'I didn't have anything to lose': Taking on a business at 19
SHE may have only been 19 when she became a business owner but she didn't let that stop her.
Rockhampton's Meg Van Hese has been successfully running the William St hair salon for the past seven-and-a-half years.
Wink for Hair is being showcased this week as The Morning Bulletin's Women of William St feature.
Starting out at the salon when she was 16, she completed a school-based apprenticeship. A week after she completed it, she was given the opportunity to buy and take over the business.
She was 19 at the time but that didn't stop her. Coming from a background with both her parents in business, she knew what she was in for.
"I didn't have any fear...I was already working in the salon... I just grabbed it with two hands and just ran with it,” she said.
She has now been in the hairdressing game for 12 years and the fact she has only ever worked in the one salon doesn't worry her.
"It doesn't change, I still work with other people,” she said.
One of the biggest leaps she has done in business was moving the salon from Bolsover St to William St in July.
She was drawn to the area and noticed it had become a hub again.
The salon is located in the shop that Little Olive Cafe was in.
The Wink girls are also good friends with the beauticians at Envy Beauty Therapy and being only a few doors down from them was another big plus.
"We have a lot of the same clients so it's easier for them,” Ms Van Hese said.
It worked out to be the best move.
"I could make it my own space, I like the feel... the old place was beautiful but it was more office style.... here we have the internal brick walls and high ceilings... it looks so much better,” she said.
"And there is much more foot traffic from Envy and Dingles.
"All the bigger cities... the suburbs are the happening place... we're two or three blocks from the CBD and I think here is where it is.
"I often joke girls can be on this side and the men can go on the other side to the motorbike shop (Rosenbergs) and the Harley Davidson shop.
"The parking is good for clients.”
Upstairs, Jessica Hansen Photography rents the space for her studio.
Ms Van Hese says it's great to be able to work together.
A new hospitality and accommodation is also set to open in the old Masonic Club down the road, on the corner of William and Kent St.
Kele Property Group is the developer behind the project and the groups says it will be open in September.
"I reckon there will be more businesses coming up,” Ms Van Hese said.
Ms Van Hese has just returned to work after giving birth to her second child, Vinnie, five months, who is a brother to Sonny, two.
"I had to let go of the reigns a bit but I know I have an awesome team so I had to let them work the floor,” she said.
"I love my job, it's peaceful here... everyone is happy... you don't hear people whinging about having to get their hair done... there is no negativity.
"I've been well supported from everyone, my husband's been fantastic.”
Over the years, there has been many highlights and being involved with weddings and formals is just one of them.
"I didn't realise until I got married myself how intimate and how nice it is to part of someone's special day.... you feel honoured,” she said.