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Milton Keynes salon-owner Rochelle Anthony Inspirational Apprentice finalist

"Any woman of colour in business inspires me and keeps me going because they’re such grounded women and they’ve proven that you can get by in a very male-dominated industry."

In the last show, the 35-year-old mother of two, Rochelle Anthony – who owns The Dollshouse Salon in Milton Keynes - was among the final two candidates after surviving the brutal scrutiny of Alan Sugar’s tough advisors.

Following her success, the salon-owner told local press she felt ‘privileged and proud’ to be a finalist and that it had been a ‘rollercoaster of a journey’.

Find out more about the beauty business woman Rochelle Anthony, her experience on the show and the women who inspire her.

Rochelle Anthony: Image courtesy of BBC

What has been your series highlight?

The immersive experience. I think it was a chance to prove that even thought it didn’t work out with the corporate team in Dubai, that we were able to learn from that and I really had a chance to show my growth and capability in the process. I was able to showcase all my fun elements, my business side and my cooking skills. We won over our corporate clients and gave them, from start to finish, a really good experience.

What has your series low been?

I had major hopes for Dubai. It’s a favourite city of mine and I was obviously project manager, where everyone relies on you. I was so confident going into the boardroom with the profit margins we had, thinking there was no chance that we could have lost. So much so that I packed lightly, thinking that I’d be getting back to the house. I learned so much from that and then took that forward to win in the immersive task.

What are your thoughts on women in business and fashion?

The women in this series show you can have style and substance and be business minded. I don’t think that it should be frowned upon, you should be who you want to be and if that’s dressing how you want to dress, then more power to you. I think people pre-judging you for what you’re wearing says more about them and their character.

I strongly believe that if your hair and outfit are good, it brings out your inner confidence. When a woman sits in my salon chair and leaves with their hair great, it instantly gives them a whole transformation. Their shoulders are back, they’re upright, they feel good. If you look and feel good, you’re going to show the best side of yourself.

Baroness Brady is of course a force to be reckoned with, are there any other women in business that inspire you?

A major inspiration for me is Emma Grede, he is the co-founder CEO of Good American, founding member of Kim Kardashian’s SKIMS and is the founder of Safely, the plant-based cleaning products, along with Kris Jenner. I love that she is a woman of colour that moved over to America, has entered the Kardashian-Jenner brand and been the driving force behind their brands. I love that she is self-made and has worked her way up in life. Another inspiration is Madam C. J. Walker, one of the first Black self-made billionaires in America from the haircare line she created. Any woman of colour in business inspires me and keeps me going because they’re such grounded women and they’ve proven that you can get by in a very male-dominated industry.

When did you know that you wanted to start your own business?

From a really young age, I have always worked. I started my first job at fourteen as a waitress and if I had a part-time job, I had another part-time job on the side or even two or three. Even in the pandemic, when I wasn’t able to work, I started selling haircare online. I am such a go getter and I think that stems from seeing my parents take the risk and start their own businesses. I am not afraid of hard work, and I think that is where my passion came from, seeing my parents try, no matter what. I’ve always had that entrepreneurial spirit to aspire to.

What would your message be to any women looking to get into business or become an entrepreneur?

The key to starting any business is just getting started. You can procrastinate and you can think about it too much, but the biggest thing is passion, the drive and a USP to fuel your passion and actually get going and give it your all. I think so many people are sitting back and waiting for the perfect opportunity in their life, but the reality is that when you have kids, there is never going to be a perfect moment. You just have to give it a go because nothing good happens in your comfort zone. Anyone that is thinking of starting a business just needs to start if you don’t try, you will never know if you will fail or succeed. Nothing bad will happen if you fail, you just go back to what you’ve been doing. But just try.

Marnie Swindells Image courtesy of BBC

Rochelle will compete against a tough opponent in the final as she goes up against court advocate and award-winning boxer Marnie Swindells who plans to open up a boxing gym in London if she goes on to win the £250,000 investment.

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