Meet The Mumpreneur: Daniella Scappaticci of Academy One
Daniella Scappaticci had been working in the beauty industry for 15 years when she decided to make the jump from consultant to business owner.
She set up Academy One, which runs courses to enable people to qualify as beauty specialists.
Add three young kids into the mix and you've got a summary of Daniella's life. Below, she tells us in her own words what it's really like to juggle work and family.
It started off as my husband’s Fitness Academy so we just went through the process of changing it to Academy One and incorporated The Beauty Academy. For the past 8 years, he’s been teaching fitness courses, instruction and personal training but I thought it could work with beauty courses too.
I had thought about making the move previously but circumstances changed. I had three children in quick succession. I had my first in 2011, then another in 2012 and then another in 2014 – like stepping stones! I’d always been interested in the educational side of things and with my husband having the platform, it really seemed like a natural progression. It also gives me flexibility. Obviously, I have to work, but if one of the kids is sick, because it’s my business, it means I can take a couple of hours. You can’t do that in a nine to five job. I have a better work-family balance now.
It was easy to get the examining body ITEC on board and it’s recognised worldwide which means that people can take their qualifications anywhere they want. The hardest bit was me deciding to take the jump. I’m also setting up a blog in order to give people quick and easy skin care and lifestyle tips. The amount of people that contact me asking for advice, especially mums that are working, is crazy. I will be answering questions like 'How can I help cellulite?' and 'What products are safe to use on children?' The blog will also deal with what happens to the body and your skin when you have kids and as you get older.
For me, the biggest challenge has been going from being a beauty consultant to setting up in the commercial sector to taking the leap of setting up on my own. You realise that when you set up by yourself, you are everything. You’re the sales, you’re the marketing and you’re the IT. You can’t just pass it off to someone else and you have to be up to scratch on all fronts. You really have to put yourself out there. I also want to prove that, just because you have kids doesn’t mean you can’t do what you want to.
There is a lot of organisation from both sides. When I decided to take the plunge, I said that I was going to do it but that the kids can’t suffer. My husband and I have worked hard to get them into a routine. The whole point was that I didn’t want to put the kids into full-time crèche. Himself goes out at 6am and then comes back so I can go. It’s a bit like being in a tag team. We both decided that we could do this but we can’t work seven days a week either. I try every evening to be home by 6.30pm so that I can put the kids to bed and relax. Thankfully, with the help of my family and a good childminder two days a week, we are slowly finding the right work-life balance. That's not to say that we don't have very stressful times!
Becoming a mum is life-changing. I mean, you think you know what love is! When they hand you that child, it’s something else. You realise that you’d jump in front of a bus for them. It changed me in terms of my perspective and what I wanted. It’s a fantastic feeling but it’s also the hardest job I’ve ever done and it’s the only one that doesn’t come with training. Thankfully, I had the help of my mum for the first and second kids.
There's nothing better than heading away to a spa hotel or having days out with the kids. Even on cold days, we go to the beach. They love being out and about. It’s all about the simple things like having a glass of wine or watching a movie. I also do yoga on a Wednesday evening. I think it’s important to have something that’s your own.
If I could give one piece of advice to other mums thinking about starting up their own business, it would be not to overthink it. I did that for five years. I always had that fear. I’d say if you’re thinking of doing it, just do it. If I didn’t, I’d still be in my job thinking about doing it. The worse possible outcome is always worse in your head. If you’re passionate about it, it will do well.
Heaven is… being at home with a glass of wine and the kids tucked up safe in bed.