Boss of thriving wedding hair and makeup business thanks Buxton and Leek College for her success
A Buxton beauty stylist whose wedding business continues to grow from strength to strength has thanked Buxton and Leek College for giving her a head start in the industry.
Saskia Borra, 28, first enrolled on a Level 2 hair course at the college in 2012, so she could build on her existing make-up services.
She said: “In the end I became fully qualified up to a Level 3 but it was more than that – the whole experience built my confidence so I was ready to enter into work by the time I left. I really do recommend BLC.
“I thoroughly enjoyed my time there. The tutors we great and I learnt a lot from them. I also thought the experience you get at the end of year show and the trips away were brilliant, such as visiting the Wella Studios in London. The course really gave me the aspiration to do what I do now.”
After graduation, Saskia initially worked in film, television, and backstage at Buxton International Festival. But in 2016 she decided to move into weddings and launched her own company, Sass + Co Hair & Makeup Artistry, which now employs a team of seven women on around 200 weddings a year nationwide.
In between, she keeps herself busy working on photoshoots, regularly featuring in wedding industry press and mainstream titles including Hello Magazine. In 2019 she was shortlisted for the National Hair & Beauty Federation’s bridal hair award.
But Saskia still attributes her success to the important lessons she learned as a student, and the doors which the college opened for her. She has even gained a teaching qualification so she can begin passing on her wisdom to a new generation.
She said: “I gained so much knowledge about hairdressing and there were great opportunities built into the course such as the annual student hair and beauty show and industry competitions and professional away trips.
“The industry events I went to at college were great for preparing me for networking events within the wedding industry that I go to now. I’d say it’s also those events that lead you to meet industry contacts and find work.”
Saskia’s experience running a business has also given her other useful insights for anyone hoping to break into the industry.
She said: “I always say find your niche and what you enjoy to do and don’t try and be amazing at everything.
“Styled shoots are also really great for building up your portfolio and I’ve really embraced social media to market my business.”
She added: “Typically, I’m up at the crack of dawn or I’ll travel to the venue the night before. I’ll be working for the whole wedding morning until the couple are ready for the ceremony and then it’s time to come home.
“For photoshoots it’s a full day and you need to be set up early on location. I also manage the bookings for all my team, so if I’m not on a wedding or a photoshoot I’ll be catching up on admin.”
The Buxton campus is holding an advice evening for prospective students on Thursday, October 7, 5-7pm. To book a place, visit blc.ac.uk or call 0800 0740099.