AABT – A new era of training

Lockdown has given us all plenty of time to get around to projects that we’ve always wanted to start. This was the case for Alana Forrest and Sammy MacDonald who had always wanted to start beauty training. During lockdown, they created the Aberdeen Academy of Beauty Therapy. They strive to raise the beauty industry standards by providing a range of specialist beauty courses. Each course is taught by industry professionals who specialise in that area of expertise, ensuring that students receive the best training possible. We spoke to the two award-winning salon-owners about the academy and the courses they offer.

How long have you been in the industry?

Alana: I have been in the beauty industry for 19 years & it’s been 9 years since opening my salon Pink Lily.

Sammy: I have been in the beauty industry since I was 15 and I’m now almost 36 so it’s been a long journey. I now have a chain of three salons called The Studio salons.

When and How did the Aberdeen Academy of Beauty Therapy start?

Alana: Sammy & I had talked several times over the last few years about the possibility of opening a training academy but we were both too busy with our salons to really do anything about it. During the 1st lockdown of 2020, this gave us the time to really look into it & start planning. We then opened the academy in September 2020.

Sammy: We had talked about it so many times throughout the years. Lockdown finally gave us the chance to finish all our manuals and get the accreditation process started. We officially opened in September.

What inspired you to start the academy?

Alana: I’ve been on lots of training courses over the years & some of them were really disappointing, the course itself & the after support. This made me want to offer better quality training by industry experts each with a specialist field. I wanted to be able to offer lifetime support so that students felt comfortable carrying out treatments safely & confidently while also being taught up to date training methods with quality kits. 

Sammy: Both myself & Alana had invested so much money on courses that were just not up to scratch. The industry standards in the local area are really poor and we just really wanted to bring something to the local area where students could train with confidence knowing they were getting all the knowledge and skills that they needed.

What skills do you teach at the Aberdeen Academy of Beauty Therapy?

Alana: I personally specialise in eyelash extensions so I teach all aspects of this at the academy. But with 7 resident tutors, we cover all aspects of beauty therapy.

Sammy: I teach the advanced classes, micro-blading etc. We are so lucky to have a great team of educators who all teach in their specialist field. Making each student really learn from someone in that specialist field.

How many courses do you have?

Alana: We have 30 courses plus an under 16’s course & introduction level 1, intermediate level 2, advanced level 3 courses which combine several courses. We also run masterclasses & welcome guest educators to teach from our academy. We have recently branched out into online training course on our website as well.

Sammy: I have actually lost count. We are always adding more classes. This lockdown we have finally added online classes to our website. We have had great fun filming these and getting them ready.

What advice would you give someone who is considering one of your courses?

Alana: Before booking a course check that you have the basics covered, some of our courses require a prerequisite. This is to ensure you are fully knowledgeable in the treatment & so you can gain an accredited qualification & insurance. Check out our website for all course details & always ask questions if you aren’t sure about something.

Sammy: To work out exactly what to learn and the best way to get there. If you would like any advice we are always happy to help just drop us an email. Some of our classes require a prerequisite so be mindful of this. It’s great fun and ever-growing industry defiantly dive in!

What benefits does partnering with BeautyBooker training provide to you and your customers?

Alana: The Beauty Booker Training Hub are thorough with checking out whom they work with. This means we can be sure of a reliable booking system as they are a reputable brand. It also means our students know that they are booking good quality training if it has come through Beauty Booker. 

Sammy: Kate is so great at what she does, it was a no brainer to have her partner with us from the start. I knew she could deliver on a smooth booking process. We love working with people who share our drive and ambition. Kate definitely fits this.

Why should people be booking your courses now?

Alana: The beauty industry is one that will always be around, it will always recover from anything thrown at it. So many people are looking at career changes since the beginning of the pandemic so now is a great time to start training if you are looking for a change & have a passion for beauty as we do. We have put a lot of hard work into making our courses & training academy perfect so I’m sure if you book you won’t regret it! 

Sammy: We guarantee all our courses will leave you confident and ready to embark on a career in this amazing industry. You will only be taught by the best and most knowledgeable tutors and we offer full ongoing support.

It was great to speak to two women with so much experience in the industry who have been successful in creating quality courses during the Covid-19 pandemic. AABT courses can be found on the BeautyBooker Training website. Sammy will be attending our Business Bootcamp in April along with beauty business coach, Ryan Power, owner of Nailco Salons, Jayd Linney and our founder Kate Stott. You can book tickets to the event here: https://beautybooker.training/product/business-bootcamp/

Written by: Kirstin Brown

Instagram: Thrifty Mango


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