Becoming a parent is a wonderful but challenging time and, for many women, a time to reconsider the world of work.

For Natasha Petrie (Tash), motherhood was definitely the catalyst for making a change.

Born in Arbroath, Tash was a paediatric nurse working within the Neonatal speciality, initially at Great Ormond Street in London and, latterly, in Kirkcaldy.  After the birth of her first son, Tash felt she was taking the emotions of her day job home so decided to leave nursing and explore the world of skin care and aesthetics.

Training with one of Scotland’s only aesthetics teaching plastic surgeons, she carried out her initial aesthetics training and instantly fell in love with the profession. From there, she progressed her training through various experienced and well-known teaching practitioners within the industry, who she continues to advance and enhance her knowledge through today. It was the impact she made on the first client she ever treated that fuelled her passion and she decided to dive head first into the business world.

With her business plans moving at an impressive rate, she went on to open ‘Derma T Aesthetics & MediSpa’ in Dundee’s Dock Street in November 2018. A medical skin care and rejuvenation clinic for both male and females, the clinic offers a range of medical facials, aesthetic treatments and science-backed home care products which work to heal and improve skin, boosting clients’ confidence in the process.

Registered with Health Improvement Scotland, Tash and her team can help with a range of conditions from acne and rosacea to anti-ageing, as well as guiding clients on their skincare regime, creating customised holistic treatments which cannot be found anywhere else in Dundee.

As her client-base grew, Tash realised that she needed to build on her own business skills.

She said, “My background was in nursing and I had every confidence in my skills as a practitioner, however, it soon became clear that I needed a little more support in taking the business to the next stage, especially when it came to recruitment. The business aspects were daunting and I was basically feeling my way, so I needed a bit more support to ensure I was doing everything by the book.”

It was around that time that Tash saw a social media post about the Coca-Cola 5by20 Dundee programme. Launched in 2010, Coca-Cola 5by20 is a global initiative with one purpose – to enable the economic empowerment of five million women by 2020.  Run in over 60 countries around the world, Dundee was the first city in Western Europe to host the programme, founded by Angie Foreman in 2017.

In less than two years, the programme has supported over 170 women, over 90 of whom have launched their own business and over 40 of whom continue to grow their business.  Furthermore, over 50 new jobs have been created, alongside over 30 volunteer opportunities.  There are currently 40 mentors, male and female, including entrepreneurs, consultants, academics and business people from a range of sectors.

Tash got in touch with Angie and, shortly after, applied for the ‘Fast Track to Business Success’ course which gave Tash and her colleagues the opportunity to share and learn from each other while increasing their business knowledge and confidence through industry designed and led topics.  Each day, they were hosted in-kind by business venues across Dundee, with interactive, practical sessions covering core business topics delivered by industry led business owners and other experts.

Following one week of creative, experiential learning, Tash and the others were tasked with pitching their business needs to a 10-strong support panel of business experts.

Completing the course in June 2019, Tash is now ready to embark on the future, having since employed two staff with plans to double the team within the next year.

She added, “There was a great mix of ladies on the Fast Track course, it really felt like a sisterhood! I learnt so much, particularly about HR, policies and legislation.  As a business which is mainly promoted through social media, I also learnt a lot about marketing as well as costings – it was a fantastic education for me, and so valuable to be working alongside local businesspeople who had been through the same experiences, and faced the same challenges. It feels like I’ve got a structure now, it feels real!”

Of course, the Coca-Cola 5by20 Dundee programme also offers countless networking opportunities in the form of events, get-togethers and online forum, so the support doesn’t end when the courses do.

Tash added, “The great thing about the programme is that you become part of a larger community, you’re no longer on your own.  There’s always an answer to any question you might have, and you make friends as well as business acquaintances.  On a personal level, lots of the other women on the course, and in the programme more generally, also have children so we can all support each other with the challenges faced by juggling a business with a young family.  It’s been fantastic for me.”

For more information,  please download the Derma T App, available on ios and android, or follow the business on Instagram or Facebook: @dermaTaesthetics1.