I first came into contact with vintage loving entrepreneur ReeRee Rockette in 2012 through her range of gorgeous Rockalily Lipsticks. Unfortunately for me, I discovered them just a little too late, ReeRee had decided to discontinue the line (although I did manage to get one just before she finished, yey.) In true entrepreneur style ReeRee had big ideas for her future and by May that year she had opened up her own Vintage Americana hair salon. A salon that was different from the rest, with the friendly, sassy branding of Rockalily that had been built up over the years through blogging, writing columns and being featured in magazines (such as Marie Claire, Hello! and Cosmopolitan.)
ReeRee now has two salons (although she is not a hair stylist herself), and Rockalily Cuts have been named as one of Londons best hairdressers by Time Out magazine. Their review comments on the friendly and chatty atmosphere of the vintage boutique salon. They also say 'It's like a sleep-over at Frenchie from 'Grease's house, if she hadn't dropped out of beauty school', which I just love.
Loving all things business, ReeRee founded a networking group for women who are starting out in business; 'Wonderful Women: Minding Our Own Business' (#WWMOOB). Meeting once a month the ladies enjoy discussions lead by ReeRee on all areas of business expertise. ReeRee creates a fun space for women to chat, enjoy a cocktail and come together to build connections for their fabulous lives in self employment. I am thrilled to have ReeRee here today to share some business super woman insights and secrets.
Hi ReeRee, it’s fabulous to have you here. I’d love to ask you a few questions about you and your businesses – you always seem to be doing something different! How are you doing today?
I'm awesome as ever thanks!
Would you like to introduce yourself and your businesses?
I'm ReeRee Rockette and I'm a blogger, writer and salon owner. My 'actual' job can be pretty hard to pin down, but my days are largely spent on a computer, doing social media, admin, and blogging. I also do a little public speaking, about business and social media/social branding. I have two boutique hair salons in East London, and I split my time between being at the shop and working from home.
Your days sound pretty full, but I’ll bet they are rewarding in a way that running your own business can be. When you decided it was time to set up on your own and how did you know it was the right time?
I'd be toying with the idea, but still enjoyed my job. We then had new management drafted in, and I knew that I would no longer be afforded the creative freedoms I'd enjoyed so far.
What was your job before?
I was in charge of a school library (after side stepping from being a primary teacher), the new team had standpoints on reading that didn't align with mine. We then got sent a new dress code, and the patronising language used was the final straw.
I think when someone has a strong sense of her own style it can be really frustrating to be told what to wear and how to think. Your personality and style are such a part of your brand through your businesses. Do you think it’s difficult to build a strong and respected brand, what does the word ‘brand’ mean to you?
I think we can spend too long worrying about how we define our own brand, when actually all that matters is how other people describe it. Branding is what exists in the minds in others. Do they describe your business as friendly, smart, professional, fun... Yes, things like fonts certainly help promote a brand message, but it runs much deeper than graphic design.
I totally agree, you bring to mind one of my favourite quotes from Jeff Bezoz, the founder of Amazon ‘Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room’. I love that your writing and Rockalily London are is so personal to you. It would be hard to fake that.
What do you consider to be the most important quality in business owners, entrepreneurs and business women?
Optimism! A leader/business owner needs to be able to seek the positives and strength in challenging situations, and be able to bounce back without pausing for breath. Business is scary, tough and unpredictable. You may have to live with uncertainly for years, if not forever, and your personality needs to be able to manage these emotions with a large smile.
Yes, yes and YES! It’s a tough world but so rewarding, bounce-back-ability is essential. I believe it is the difference between those that make it, and those that struggle. I think we have time for one last question, slightly off topic but a subject close to my heart; what would be your dream handbag?
My mother has helped me along the way, and we've always had the plan that one day, when the business can afford it, she'll be paid back with a Prada bag. The vision includes me buying it with cash. I'd like to own one too of course!
Oh I LOVE that – I can see you both now in Prada – sipping Prosecco as the assistant sweeps around you showing off their finest pieces. Do let me know when you go! I’m really looking forward to coming into Rockalily cuts and meeting you face to face soon, thank you ReeRee for taking the time to share.
Want to get to know Reeree better? You can find her on The Socials:
Read all the latest on her BLOG - highly recommended!
Or visit one of the ROCKALILY CUTS salons for fun, pampering and a stunning new look!