The Beaute Group chief executive and Comfort Zone New Zealand managing director Sian Adamson reckons she has found her perfect career in the beauty industry. Photo by Linda Robertson.
Dunedin businesswoman Sian Adams believes the city could
do a lot more to promote it as a place to do business. She
talks to business reporter Sally Rae about her own journey in
When Sian Adamson broke her back in a horse-riding accident
in 2006, it proved a life-changing event.
Aside from the physical effects, which included having to
to walk again and being in constant pain - which was ''just
hideous'' for the previously sporty and fit pharmacist - it
was also a wake-up call.
It made the Dunedin woman realise life was very short and
also that she was no longer loving the pharmacy industry,
despite maintaining a passion for helping people.
Dunedin-born and bred, Mrs Adamson (43) owned Knox Pharmacy
in the city for 10 years. Pharmacy was a tough industry and
she felt her success was not completely in her hands.
''I had a really successful pharmacy business. I could have
had a really lovely life, but I wasn't loving it.
''It's not just about the money for me. I want to create
something. I want to take as many people on that journey as I
possibly can and have fun with it,'' she said.
Three years after the accident, Mrs Adamson decided to sell
the pharmacy and, after an 18-month stint in Sydney with
husband Jamie and baby daughter Emelia, the family returned
to Dunedin. An opportunity arose to buy a business, now known
as Beaute, and Mrs Adamson entered the beauty industry,
taking over five days after the birth of son Maddox.
In four years, she has gone from owning one day spa to three
- one in Dunedin's Dowling St and two in Wellington, key
inner-city locations in Taranaki St and Lambton Quay.
Her knowledge as a pharmacist was valuable when it came to
the beauty industry. And she was still in a role that
involved helping people.
Clients were ''not just coming in for a wax''; they were
being helped to feel positive about their self-image and she
felt very lucky she had a career she loved, she said.
Last year, Beaute was a regional winner in the Deloitte Fast
50 for fastest-growing services business. Going from one spa
to three in four years was ''quite significant growth'' in a
hugely competitive industry, she said. Beaute pitched itself
as an urban day spa and the company's goal was to be the
''best in New Zealand''.
''I want to achieve. I'm really, really driven. If I find
something I'm really passionate about, I'll give it
everything until I make it work,'' she said.
The plan was to open spas throughout New Zealand and the
decision had been made to franchise the business, she said.
In September last year, Mrs Adamson took over New Zealand
distribution rights for Italian skin care brand Comfort Zone,
produced by the Davines Group which, last year posted sales
of 70 million ($NZ109 million). Comfort Zone chief executive
Paolo Braguzzi was in Dunedin yesterday to launch the new New
Zealand head office in Cargill House, Princes St.
Beaute started using Comfort Zone products two years ago and
Mrs Adamson said she ''absolutely fell in love with the
The company's founder was a qualified chemist, something that
resonated with her.
Mrs Adamson, who employs about 20 staff, believes in
surrounding herself with people who believe in what she does
and can help support her and share her energy and passion.
She also believes in helping women create the career path
they want, combining motherhood and career.
When it came to balancing family and career herself, she is
grateful for all the support provided by her and her
Mrs Adamson enjoyed being part of the Deloitte Fast 50 last
year, networking with people from other successful businesses
and sharing the same passion. Fast-growing companies all
experienced the same ''teething issues'', she said.
While it was not always easy doing business in Dunedin, there
were ''a lot of pluses'' to being based in the Southern city
it and she believed Dunedin needed to be promoting its
strengths, which included affordable rent, a great lifestyle
and a supportive community.
''I just think we could do so much more to promote Dunedin as
a place where you can do business. It's affordable to do
business here in so many ways,'' she said.
She and her husband, who is chief financial officer at Silver
Fern Farms, had ''tried a big city'' when they lived in
Sydney and it had made them ''love Dunedin even more''.
''I needed to do that to appreciate it,'' she said.
Asked what her secret to business success was, Mrs Adamson
said she wanted to get better all the time, so she was always
''I never sit down and read a novel - that's not me. When I
read, it's business books,'' she said.
Position: Chief executive of The Beaute Group and
managing director of Comfort Zone New Zealand
- Married to Jamie with two children, Emelia (6) and Maddox