I first came across ReeRee Rockette at the inaugural Blogstock Festival last summer where she gave an informative and thought provoking talk about the power of niche as a blogger, a subject I still think about and try to work towards every day. As a blogger and writer ReeRee's growing credits include a column for Vintage Life Magazine, The Huffington Post and a regular column in Things and Ink, a high end tattoo magazine.
After leaving her job as a teacher in 2010 ReeRee embarked on her own, quite life evolving, career change and entrepreneurial journey that culminated in her opening Rockalily Cuts in 2012. A salon now listed in Time Out's 'Best Hairdressers in London' and a thriving business that has since expanded to a second location. This fabulous retro salon will totally transform your hairstyle into the most colourful and beautiful of barnets!
Thus, after fan-girling for a while and being inspired by ReeRee's journey, drive and the new career she has passionately created for herself, I wanted to reach out and ask if she would share a little of her story on this blog. Chuffed that she agreed, today I share that interview as well as her tips and advice for any budding entrepreneurs, bloggers and writers out there. So sit back and enjoy the start to this new working week whilst learning more about the inspiring business journey that ReeRee has taken ...
Hi ReeRee! So starting at the beginning of your change in career direction, in 2010 you left your job as a teacher to launch your own business. What led you to that decision and was it a scary risk to take?
I'd had itchy feet as a teacher for a little while, I really enjoyed the job, but it's very repetitive, I felt that if I didn't leave soon I'd be 'trapped' there until retirement. The pay system makes it hard to leave teaching after a while. I sidestepped and became a school librarian, and created a new library, which was brilliant, but once the day-to-day routine set in again, my itchy feet returned.
I had an evening job at the time, in cabaret, and that started to open my eyes that I could be good at something other than just teaching. I'd also been blogging, and I felt that a new path had been created for me. The final straw was when the school had new management. They sent around the new dress code, and I found their patronising tone broke the camel's back. I handed in my notice.
Setting up Rockalily Cuts must have been very exciting but also very challenging. What can you remember about those first months and the feelings/challenges that you faced?
It was all pretty quick and all felt rather surreal. I boxed my fears tightly away, there's no time for those when you're making such a big investment in yourself and your future. I never felt that it wouldn't be a success, although looking back that could well have been true!
For anyone with an entrepreneurial spirit dreaming of setting up their own business what's the one absolute piece of advice you would urge them to consider?
To focus more on what people will pay for, rather than what you'd love to spend your time doing.
What is it that you love most, that inspires you most about what you do?
I love that the days are flexible, and that I get to work from home over 50% of the time. I love that I get to be in control, although being a boss can be pretty lonely too. It's also pretty ace helping people feel more fabulous.
With all of the many things that you are involved in life must get pretty hectic. Do you believe in maintaining a good work-life balance and how do you achieve this?
I don't switch off very much, but I love my job, so I don't feel I need to balance it really. If I'm dating someone, I balance it by explaining that I can lay in bed for a lazy morning, but just need 30 minutes on the laptop first. So I guess that's one way! If I'm out with friends, I try to just catch up with work when they're at the toilet or getting drinks.
Equally, aside from finding downtime, how to you stay motivated when life gets very busy?
I'm a driven person, and I do a lot of reflection on my goals. What I want from life won't happen by accident, I need to make the choices that will get me there. If I'm feeling a little overwhelmed I use lists to focus my attention again.
For the bloggers and budding writers out there do you have any advice for finding your voice and growing your audience?
I think successful writers are natural story tellers, but of course everyone can improve their writing. On a basic level, reading quality writing improves our own, by increasing our knowledge of sentence structures and vocabulary.
As for finding your own niche, this can be helped by reflecting on what you're good at sharing, and what people are looking to read. What makes your story worth returning to?
You've achieved so much but what's next for ReeRee Rockette - what are your dreams and plans for the future?
Gosh thank you. My current business is 3 years old, so still a baby business in many ways. I have a lot of goals for my own writing, I've recently starting writing for The Huffington Post, and have a column in a tattoo magazine, and I'd love to really continue to develop these skills. I've been asked to talk again at Blogstock, and I love how talking really pushes me too.
A huge thank you to ReeRee for sharing her journey with us here today. Make sure you check out her blog for daily outfit posts, business and life inspiration as well as an insight into ReeRee's world of beauty. dating, fitness and motivation.
It's always so inspiring to hear more about another persons journey, learn about the decisions they have taken and discover that there are certainly ways to build a life and career that you love, providing you have the focus and determination to do so and can be realistic about the challenges that you will need to overcome along the way.
Have a wonderful Tuesday everyone and hope to see you back here very soon!