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Shifting skills steers Melissa to salon success

Melissa Bergen worked in the beauty industry for six years before she decided it was time for a change, embarking on a two-year adventure across Europe.

While travelling she discovered a passion for design and architecture and before she had even returned to Australia she enrolled into the Diploma of Interior Design (MSF50218) at TAFE Queensland’s Coomera campus.

“I love the feeling that being in a beautiful space gives you. It’s hard to put into words - but just feels right. I wanted to learn how to create these beautiful spaces myself,” said Melissa.

“I couldn’t wait to get back home to start my TAFE course and explore a career in interior design.”

Little did the 33-year-old know that her new found skills would circle her career back into the beauty industry and be invaluable to the successful launch of her very own beauty salon – The Lash Spa.

“I missed the instant results and the smile on a client’s face after seeing their transformation. There’s something so special about that moment, so I combined my love of design and my love of beauty together,” said Melissa.

“I used my interior design skills from TAFE Queensland to create the Gold Coast’s most luxurious eyelash salon with more than 600 5-star customer ratings and is described as the ultimate pink girly heaven.”

The Lash Spa is famous for the iconic pink phone booth exploding with florals and boasts nine private treatment suites which all have their own unique flare.

“It’s all very dreamy with plush velvet curtains, chandeliers, ceramic floral wall hangings, vintage love seats, gold trimmings and various shades of pink.”

“I have turned a routine eyelash extension appointment into a tranquil experience which stems from the moment clients walk through the doors into that whimsical interior design.”

Melissa, who lives in Robina said prior to studying interior design she found it difficult to notice the many individual components and elements that go into a completed space.

“Before I studied interior design I would see a beautiful space as a whole scene and just couldn’t mentally break down each piece of the room into parts like I can now,” she said.

“To take a vision from your head into a rendered concept and then eventually into reality, requires skills that need to be taught and TAFE provided me with the training to create my business dream and I will be forever grateful.”

Melissa said choosing to study at TAFE Queensland was an easy choice because she had already heard about the amazing hands-on learning and industry experience.

“I felt confident that I would be getting the best education available and I have no regrets as my time at TAFE Queensland gave me the opportunity to design my very first real-world space which was a VIP area for a local night market,” she said.

“Seeing my ideas come to fruition before my eyes was incredibly cool and standing in the completed VIP area on opening night with my friends and family gave me the biggest confidence boost."

“I believe it was this experience during my studies that gave me the self-assurance to launch my very own salon and I can’t thank my TAFE teachers enough for the support, patience and passed on industry knowledge.”

Melissa is now a mother-of-two and has dreams to franchise The Lash Spa and have multiple locations around Australia.