Girl Founder Inspo: Brodie Lee Tsiknaris, Rokstar Salon
We are excited to bring you a new series of interviews highlighting female entrepreneur role models in our communities!
Introducing Brodie Lee Tsiknaris of Rokstar Salon
A bit about Rokstar Salon:
Consistently voted as one of Brisbane’s best hairdressing salons, Rokstar is an inner- city hair haven in the cool urban neighbourhood of West End Located in the iconic Glass factory and led by Brodie Lee Tsiknaris a well known name in the Australian hair industry. The salon is home to an expert team of talented and award winning stylists offering a luxurious and relaxing experience. Rokstar is a member of Sustainable Salons Australia (SSA), the first comprehensive resource recovery service that rescues up to 95% of salon resources from landfill and finds repurposing solutions that benefit our planet, all while supporting the community!
Question 1: Where did your idea (or interest in your industry) come from? Was it something you have always been passionate about?
I was 18 and had just finished my apprenticeship and my Boss who I admired so much had to sell her salon for health reasons. I loved the salon and cared about her and the business and literally went home to my parents and said I'm going to buy the salon... I guess you could say I'd always been determined.
Question 2: What gave you the confidence to get started? Or the resilience to keep going?
I was lucky to have very supportive parents. My Dad always told me you can have anything you want in life if you work hard for enough for it. He and my mum were incredible role models for me and they taught me so much. My Mum's background is in HR and training and development, which was very appreciated when I was a young and very green business woman. 13 years later I have learnt so much but I am always grateful for their support and encouragement in the early days. Resilience is something that I believe takes a lot of practice I grew up as a dancer and went down the road of professional ballet before having to make a choice between hairdressing and a ballet company. I truly believe my resilience came from ballet, the discipline, the structure the determination and ability to keep pushing - even when it is painful. Get back up and go again.
Question 3: What skills have you learned along the way as a Girl Founder (Female CEO / Founder) ?
I've learnt to be structured, extremely organised to be firm but always fair. Lead by example always, integrity and pride in all that I do. Educating myself in everything and anything I can to be a better communicator and leader. I've done so many leadership and self discovery courses to better myself and help understand the way others think. I've learnt effective Time management and conflict resolution. To be a Numbers and Business guru understanding P&L and learning to be a CEO of my business and not an employee of it.
Question 4: What did you learn from a hero or mentor? How did you find them?
In terms of business, I think you can learn from many different people. I love to surround myself with like minded people, you can learn so much from each other. I have some incredible clients I have learnt a lot from over the years, worked closely with business coaches and accountants I think its important to identify your strengths and weaknesses in business and as a leader and find yourself people who can work alongside you and strengthen those weaknesses. This is what has helped me on my Journey.
Your hero may be someone who is in a different country but these days information and resources are endless thanks to the internet. One of my biggest Inspirations is in Canada I have been lucky to do a course with him when he came to Australia but I tune in to online learnings, podcasts and anything I can to sponge his intelligence.
Question 5: Why do you think more young women should consider becoming Girl Founders? Why do women make great business owners?
I think woman have great empathy but also an understanding and determination. We like to dream big and include others on the way.
Question 6: Any last advice to give to young girls ?
Never ever let someone tell you that your dreams are too big. If you have your mind set on something you can do it. You just need to go for it. Surround yourself with those who lift you up, who support you and encourage you. Success comes with sacrifice and hard work but if you are passionate about what you want to do its a no brainer. Don't be afraid to change direction if something is not working. Be resilient, adaptable but always stay humble.
Question 7: How has your business pivoted during COVID?
Wow! COVID challenged us all hasn’t it? The week COVID changed everything in Australia is one I won’t forget. Along with things changing at a rapid pace in Government and in Australia I ended up in Surgery and was forced to take 10 weeks away from my business. My 2IC also broke her wrist and had surgery during this time too.
To say it has been a challenge in more ways than one is an understatement. But even though I couldn’t physically be in the business I quickly adapted and made a plan. I made a point of touching base personally with all our clients. I wanted them to know that we were thinking of them and what we were doing as a business to ensure the safety for our team and clientele moving forward. I put policies and new procedures in place spread out rosters and opened the salon on days when we are closed to minimise the amount of staff and clients in the salon at all times. We had perspex screens installed at our front desk between our basins and did a risk assessment on every aspect of the business and presented to the team the way forward. I have done cash flow forecasts for the next 6 months, 12 months new budgets and strategies and completely pivoted our business model around COVID and social distancing.
I will look at this again in October but for now our business can't operate at its full capacity and won’t be able to for some time but we have learnt a lot as a team and I have learnt a lot as a business owner. I couldn’t be prouder of the way we have adapted in such a trying time. It really does make me proud of the values and culture we have as a brand.
Stay connected with Brodie and Rokstar:
This article is just a teaser of the great things you can learn by enrolling in our free online Academy Campus. Get started on creating your very own business idea and learn more about design thinking. Not to mention, you can learn from some pretty great Girl Founders, along the way.
It's never been easier to enrol in the Academy for Enterprising Girls eLearning Campus and get started in creating your very own business.
Start by heading over to Academy Campus .Discover More!