When Neunglatai Morrison began studying
Beauty at UCOL, she never envisioned running her own business fulltime. Now she has a shop, two employees, and an ever-growing client base.
Neunglatai enrolled in Beauty at UCOL after attending an Open Day, and seeing the practical learning that went on in the campus salon. She had always been interested in Beauty and how it could allow her to express her artistic side.
"There's not a right way or a wrong way to do a lot of stuff in Beauty. There is a lot of creativity in it. Along with that, it's awesome to have the ability to make people feel really good about themselves. It's amazing seeing the confidence that people walk out with."
"With a job, you like to know that you have a sense of purpose. If you know you have a purpose, whether it's making people feel good about themselves, that's great."
While at UCOL, Neunglatai enjoyed working with real clients in the salon, and doing make-up for events such as the Evento Wearable Art Awards.
"Being given opportunities to get out and get a glimpse of what working is like, while you're still studying, is awesome."
Neunglatai says the family atmosphere of her classes and the great friendships she made helped her succeed.
"The lecturers were super supportive. It really made a difference knowing that the lecturers had your back, not just with study, but with you as a person."
After completing a Certificate in Beauty Services and Diploma in Beauty Therapy, Neunglatai started working at Hair, Beauty and Nails in Palmerston North, while also working at home on the side. After two years, Neunglatai had built up a client base big enough that she go out on her own fulltime.
Neunglatai started running her business,
Empire Lashes & Beauty, out of a house her parents owned. She decided to build the business around her strongest skills, eyebrow and eyelash treatments. That way, Neunglatai could be confident that all of the services she offered were of the highest quality.
As the business continued to grow, Neunglatai moved into a shop and hired two Junior Lash Artists to help spread the workload.
"I'd never actually planned on getting a shop. I just happened, but I was so thankful for it. My goal was always to work at home, but having a shop is good because you have a separation between work life and home life."
Neunglatai has made such an impressive start to her career that UCOL awarded her one of the first
Young Alumni Awards at Graduation 2019.
Even with her busy schedule, Neunglatai finds the time to visit UCOL and mentor current Beauty students.
"I enjoy going in and talking to the new students, giving them insight into where life can take them."