A young aesthetic student traded in her acrylics for helmets by starting her own roofing business.
Rose Williams. from Blackwood in the Borough of Caerphilly, she loved hair and makeup, but had not been satisfied that it became her full-time job.
While studying at home during the lockdown and working part-time as an assistant, the 19-year-old knew she had to change to make herself happier.
So after talking to her DIY dad, Jeffrey Williams, she took the plunge and started a roofing business, All You Need Roofing, in June, alongside her beauty class. Now she wants to encourage others to make their dreams come true and not to worry about gender stereotypes in the workplace.
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Rose said: “I found myself getting part-time jobs and bouncing between jobs and never feeling fulfilled in what I was doing. I love beauty but it’s not something that I do. i want to spend my time, i wanted it more as a hobby or side activity.
âI told my dad about it and said ‘something doesn’t click, I can’t find a job that is close to my heart.’ He has been in between jobs for the past 35 years. Working for different people and get the experience behind He suggested that I start my own roofing business.
While it might seem like a U-turn from beauty to construction, this isn’t the first time Rose has stepped into the industry. She was helping her father on construction sites and did a year of trades in college.
âWhen I was younger I would go to construction sites for extra pocket money with my dad,â she said. âI have always really enjoyed being on construction sites.
âDuring my freshman year of college in 2019, I did some multi-purpose construction on the Ebbw Vale campus which included plumbing, plastering and tiling. Loved it but the ride was too long . “
Rose said that due to the difficult commutes, she instead opted to study beauty at Crosskeys, which she also enjoys very much. However, she said her experience studying the trades stuck with her and gave her more confidence to work in a male-dominated industry.
“When I first entered my class at Ebbw Vale it was full of boys and I felt like everyone was looking at me like I had entered the wrong class with my eyelashes, my makeup on. and my nails, âshe said.
âI remember doing plaster – something that I really enjoyed and want to take back – and I was really good at it. I looked at my wall and I looked around and mine. was better than some of the boys. It made me think ‘I can do it’. Women can do as well in this industry as men, if not better. “
Despite her background in the industry, Rose said she practically had to learn the business side of things from scratch. She said she contacted Big Ideas Wales, a Welsh government initiative to help people under 25 become independent.
She said: âAt the time, I had no idea how to start my own business at all. I didn’t know what to do, so I went google ‘how to start a roofing business’ and came across Big Ideas Wales. “
Rose said she passed on her details despite not feeling very optimistic, but was pleasantly surprised when she heard from and was matched with a business advisor named Natalie who brought her to her. helped every step of the way.
She then employed her father, as well as an apprentice under the UK government’s Kickstart program, which offers six-month internships to 16-24 year olds to help them find jobs.
She hopes to grow her business so that she can provide training and opportunities to people from all walks of life.
âOver the next year, I hope to do more with the program,â she said. “I’m very young and got a huge opportunity and I’m very grateful for it and with that I want to do the same for others around me. I also want a mix of employees, I want the business reach everyone, whether young or old, inexperienced, male or female.
âI hope in the years to come we will have great teams in Swansea, Cardiff and Newport. I want the apprentices to become fully qualified roofers. We are going to put them in courses on health and safety, cutting tiles etc. Many don’t have GCSEs and I want them to be successful.
âI want them to also have the opportunity from an early age to make a name for themselves. I want it to be like a hairdresser, when you can choose the stylist you have, so they can build their own reputation. . “
Rose has said that while she may want to return to the plastering at some point, her main role in the business right now is to lead it. She said she was once shy, but has since seen her confidence grow through her job.
She said: âI took on the role of project management. I take care of cash flow, material ordering, agenda planning, publicity and social media and I make sure that we all have a uniform. Clients call me if they are interested in a job and I allocate them a day, write invoices and handle all the financial side of things.
âI love interacting with customers. Before that I was pretty shy and didn’t even call for take out. Now I have the confidence to go to anyone and order supplies for them. us over the phone. It really took me out of my shell and pushed me to take it further. “
Rose said she also noticed an added benefit to having a female-led business enterprise for her clients. She said: “What also separates me are the clients we have. If there is a woman who lives alone it can be less intimidating to talk to a woman on the phone, it can provide a sense of comfort. . “
She said it was “so gratifying” to see how far she had come over the past year, not realizing that she would soon have her own successful business.
âIt’s amazing. At this time last year, I was doing support work alongside my beauty class,â Rose said. âI would wake up in the morning, drag myself to work and come home tired, thinking that’s not what I want to do. I was so miserable. Now I wake up and I’m delighted. to talk to my clients. I really feel proud to be a part of something that is mine and that I’ve created. “
Rose said that while she is aware of the gender stereotype in her industry, it paid off to ignore her and follow what she really wanted to do. She wants to encourage others to do the same if they need a change.
She said: “I feel like the best thing they can do is never settle down. Girls are often told that when it comes to dating, but so should be. even when it comes to your job. If you wake up every day and dread going to work, you don’t want to do this every day for the rest of your life. You want to find a job where work doesn’t look like work, regardless of the stereotypes associated with that work. It will reward you for the rest of your life. “
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