Alumni profile - Kayla Houlihan

Name: Kayla Houlihan
Studied: Diploma of Beauty Therapy
Year:  2013
Now: Beauty Therapist / Owner - Skin Solutions Geelong


Why did you choose to study beauty therapy?

I have always had a passion for beauty, health and wellbeing. Making people feel great on the outside helps them feel good on the inside. Originally, I wanted to do the course because I was interested in make-up, but then facials and skincare quickly became my favourite area of beauty. It’s such a diverse industry and the course really reflects that. 


What did you enjoy most about your time at The Gordon?

Getting facials every Monday and massages every Tuesday. It’s a dream course really! The Gordon is very community orientated and many opportunities were given to us throughout the year to get extra experience by volunteering at events. It was fun to get out into the community and put our new skills into action for good causes.

What led you to start your own business?

My sister has a business background and we have always wanted to have a business together. Skin Solutions Geelong was a perfect opportunity for us to put our skills together to create a great beauty salon. We wanted to create a place where the customers know that they are valued and aren’t just a number. We love getting to know all of our clients and have a really strong repeat clientele. 

What does an average day look like for you?

I specialise in microdermabrasion facials, so most of my day is booked out with them. Facials was my favourite subject at The Gordon and the clients know how passionate I am about getting their skin in its best health. I also do other beauty treatments including spray tans, lash lifting and tinting, waxing and pedicures. 

How did The Gordon prepare you for the career you have today?

The knowledge I gained from The Gordon about skin types, skin conditions, and skincare is something I put into practice all day, every day. I also use the practical skills I learnt such as waxing and pedicures. The course was very practical, learning exactly what we needed to know once we were in the industry. I even completed the Skin Solutions Geelong business plan with the assistance of the business teacher at The Gordon. 

What do you find most rewarding about your job?

All of the work I do is results-driven, so I love seeing my clients’ progress and results. With facials, we track their progress and it’s amazing to see the changes in the clients skin from the facial treatments and skincare use at home. It’s really rewarding when clients continue coming back as they are always so grateful to have found somewhere that they love coming for their treatments. 

Can you tell us about your proudest career moment so far?

I was so happy to win the Student of the Year Award for Diploma of Beauty Therapy and The Gordon’s Community Spirit Award. I had put in such a huge year of study as well as working in the industry part-time, so it was such an amazing end to the year. It really boosted my confidence going into full-time beauty work.

If you could pass on one piece of wisdom to those currently making study and career decisions, what would it be?

Study something you love and are truly passionate about. Take in every bit of information you can and network with the community and your industry, and amazing opportunities will come your way.


Posted: 8/02/2018 1:55:20 PM

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The Gordon Institute of TAFE is one of the largest regional TAFEs in Victoria and has been helping people gain real skills for real jobs for over 125 years. We pride ourselves on delivering a great range of TAFE courses from short courses to nationally accredited training across apprenticeships, traineeships, certificates, diplomas, and advanced diplomas, which can lead you to a great career or create pathways to university.

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