Independent Woman

Saturday 30 August 2014

Exclusive: Beauty guru Marissa Carter on selling her business

The muti-millionaire businesswoman exclusively tells Independent.ie why she chose to sell her flagship beauty salon Carter Beauty

Published 10/04/2014 | 14:17

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Marissa Carter
Marissa Carter. Picture: Barbara McCarthy

Selling my business feels like both the best and worst decision of my life.

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I have sold my beauty salon, Carter Beauty in Blackrock, Co. Dublin. When you build a business from scratch and turn it into something that is loved, not just by you but by your customers, selling it can feel like selling out. No one can prepare you for the strange mix of feelings you experience when you sell a business. Whether selling your business means you’re now liberated from debt or free to fully pursue another venture, there’s no denying those perks are served with a dollop of guilt, regret and loss.

I was twenty one when I opened Carter Beauty in what had been the laundry room of a house I was renting. I had saved €2,000 and with a matching loan from Bank of Ireland, I was able to move to a small commercial unit in Stillorgan. Two relocations later, Carter Beauty made its final home in Blackrock Main Street, where it has remained for the last five years.

Carter Beauty was never created to be sold. It was a lifestyle business that I was passionate about working in. When the recession hit, there were many nights when I wondered how I would keep the business going but closing, was never an option. Carter Beauty was my baby until one day, I had an actual baby and everything changed. I passed the day to day running and management of the salon to a wonderful woman called Claire and I have never taken the reigns back.

I wasn’t long on maternity leave, when I began working on my own fake tanning product, Cocoa Brown which has been successful beyond my wildest dreams but as that business took off, I began spending less and less time in the salon.

One day, I was treating myself to a pedicure with Claire and she began telling me about a friend of hers who had opened up a new beauty salon. That was the moment I knew I was going to sell Carter Beauty to Claire.

I don’t know whether it was the excitement I could hear in her voice as she spoke about her friend’s venture or my gut instinct but there and then, I asked Claire if she’d like to open up her own salon. She was a little taken aback but she was honest with me and said that yes, she had been looking at some premises. I asked her if she’d have any interest in buying Carter Beauty? She said yes and the rest is history.

Deep down in my gut, I know I have made the right decision. I know that Claire will inject fresh passion and energy into Carter Beauty. She has been managing the day to day business without me now for two years so I’m confident that staff and customers alike already love her. I can’t thank my customers enough for nine incredible years.

I will miss Carter Beauty more than I think I can comprehend at this time but Claire has promised me free beauty treatments for life so I’m looking forward to visiting my ‘baby’ regularly!

 

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