For years Megan worked part-time in Beauty-Fulltime, now she’s bought the high street shop
She was a fourteen year-old Girl Guide at summer camp in Savernake Forest when she first set foot in Beauty-Fulltime. Now Megan Bowyer owns the shop, is its sole manager and employs Hannah Pakenham as her assistant.
Megan has had a long relationship with Beauty-Fulltime even though it started as a part-time relationship. She worked for the owner, Kerry Chambers, in her holidays from college and university.
She left school in 2004, did her A levels in Devizes and then completed a beauty therapy course at Trowbridge College. It was her successes at college that gave her the confidence to go to university.
But before university she worked in a Swindon beauty salon for two years. In summer 2013 she graduated from Bath University with a 2.1 degree in sports therapy – a degree which included a business studies course.
And it was last summer after her graduation, as she applied for and got offered jobs in London, that Kerry Chambers suddenly said to her: “You’d be very good at running this shop, you should think about it.” Megan was shocked – she still refers to it as the moment “Kerry dropped the bomb about selling me the shop.”
Megan did think about it and consulted her parents. Then she put away her CVs, got a bank loan and bought Beauty-Fulltime.
Kerry had been running the shop successfully for thirteen years and wanted to spend more time with her husband. But she’s still on the end of the ‘phone with any advice Megan needs.
She calls her shop ‘an Aladdin’s cave’ or ‘a sweet shop for girls’. It is a discount beauty shop selling both premium and high street brands at reduced prices. Megan’s prices run from 40p to £40 – and upwards: “We stock something for everybody.”
Megan is aware that since the recession some people when they come into the shop now spend ‘slightly less’ in total than they used to. But they have not stopped spending: “Many people’s preference for the premium brands is very strong - there’s strong brand loyalty.”
Quite a number of her customers come to Marlborough for the women’s clothes shops, and pop in to see what Megan has for them. But some regulars will ‘phone her up first so she can get in their favourite items.
Megan is trained to give advice on cosmetics and make-up schemes. And it’s quite apparent that her main strength is simply “I know what sells” – whether it’s fragrance, skin care, cosmetics or gift packs.”
One of her first projects has been to give Beauty-Fulltime a good presence on social media – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: “These have already proved popular giving people the latest news on special offers.” Megan has also launched a loyalty card. Looking ahead, she plans a monthly newsletter and wants to host beauty evenings for her customers.
As well as Hannah Pakenham, Megan employs two other assistants at Beauty-Fulltime: Erin Sweeney from Chiseldon and Kerry Hodder who lives in Marlborough. With seven day opening – the shop is open 12.00pm to 4.00pm on Sundays – Megan needs a roster of staff.
This is Hannah’s first fulltime job: “I’m fresh from St John’s up the hill – and I absolutely love the job.” Just a wee word of warning to Megan who was 19 when she first worked in Beauty- Fulltime, Hannah is 19 and has an ambitious gleam in her eye. Who knows what will happen when Hannah reaches the age Megan is now…