Taking care of the physical and mental health and wellbeing of the Ellon community, Mandy McDonald heads up The Therapy Room and Aberdeenshire Holistic & Beauty Academy. She took time out from her businesses, her husband Larry and her five children to rewind the clock 30 years and tell Ellon Life how she got to where she is today…
Making the most of Ellon’s enthusiasm for local businesses
“Twenty-seven years ago, I completed some holistic courses, hoping to turn my learning into a career. But life got in the way, as it does, and my new skills were a sideline until I moved to Ellon ten years later. I realised I loved my hobby more than my career so took the plunge and, in 2008, turned my passion into my full-time job!
The Therapy Room came first with beauty and holistic treatments, like massage and facials. The vibe was (and still is) the perfect blend of comfort and class, creating that real pamper experience clients say they love.
Next, I spotted a gap in the market. There was nothing out there locally that filled the space between standard beauty treatments and the aesthetic market. So, I created the skin side of the business, offering products and treatments for aging or problematic skin at an affordable price point.
A few years later I wanted to do further industry training locally but it was impossible. Nothing fitted with my lifestyle and the fact I was raising a family at the same time. So, I decided to create what I needed – my very own beauty and holistic accredited training school for like-minded, passionate people.
When I set out back in 2008, I really wanted to prove to myself that I could run a business and I’m so happy I’ve managed. We’ve even scooped up some awards, which feels like a reward for all the hard work I’ve put in and sacrificing my work/life balance for a while.
Looking back, though, I wouldn’t change a thing. Everything happened at exactly the right time for me and my family, and I’m still achieving and learning every day.“
I love #ellonlife because…
“It’s where I brought my children up, and where my grandchildren are. It’s picturesque, full of nice people, and has lots to do – relaxing walks, quirky shops and cosy pubs. There’s a definite enthusiasm for local businesses and I hope that continues to be nurtured by us all.”
What’s the hardest thing you’ve had to do?
With the pandemic making life in business super-hard I unfortunately had to make redundancies. But I was over the moon when the staff came back with their own separate entities. Now we’re three happy, individual businesses under one roof! This means I can focus on the training and skin side of the business, while the other girls look after the beauty and holistic treatments.
Best thing about being in business?
I get to love what I do, and service the lovely people of Ellon!
Favourite client feedback?
That the service and level of treatment is more than they could have wished for, or that it’s even better than they’ve had from some of the country’s best spas!
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Hopefully a successful businesswoman, sitting on a beach somewhere with a cocktail!
The Therapy Room / Aberdeenshire Holistic & Beauty Academy
Address: 5 Ythan Terrace, Ellon, AB41 9LJ
Call: 01358 724223
Open: Open Tuesday and Thursday between 10am and 8pm; Wednesday between 10am and 6pm; and Friday and Saturday between 9.30am and 4.30pm. Private appointments outside normal working hours available on request – contact Mandy for details..
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