Catching-Up with Melanie Gleeson

by She Will Shine on 19-03-2015 in The Journey, Small Business, Networking, Inspirational Women
Catching-Up with Melanie Gleeson

Standing in a room full of 30 other business women on a Tuesday morning isn’t exactly the setting I would expect for a spa sesh, but that’s the ambiance the calm and collected Melanie Gleeson of endota spa projected as she spoke thanks to She Will Shine this week.

Melanie Gleeson may not be a household name, but her business, endota spa, certainly is – you know, the place you dream of going when you’re at the supermarket checkout with a screaming toddler. Melanie, along with good friend Belinda Fraser, founded Endota Spa in 2000. The ladies, in their mid 20’s at the time, wanted to make a difference to peoples lives and a more meaningful lifestyle for themselves. They had a spark inside them, as Melanie puts it, and big dreams. The business now hires over 1,000 beauty therapists in more than 80 days spas across Australia.

“I believe in holidays, and lots of them”

Melanie admits that this belief took her some time to accomplish. Her time spent working on the business and wanting to always be in control meant that it was a number of years before she really stepped away from the business to enjoy a holiday with her family, now making a conscious effort to make time for her family.

“If we take the time for ourselves it makes us better at doing everything else”

Melanie refers not only to holidays, but also taking time out of our busy daily lives to do something we enjoy and have some quality ‘me time’. Is this a hint that we should all book a massage at Endota? Not at all, laughs Melanie. It’s about doing something for ourselves, even if it is taking a walk in the park, a gym session, or lying on the couch.

“If we don’t take that time out it builds and builds until we lose it. We’ve just got to chillax”.

Melanie’s down to earth nature is a true reflection of the Endota Spa brand. When Melanie speaks she is honest and open, telling stories of her children and husband Pete as well as the business and how she operates, forcing the women in the room to realise she really is just like us. She stresses that we as women are our harshest critics (spot on, Mel!) and we feel a need to judge others unlike men do. We do it automatically without even thinking about it and Melanie believes it’s because women are fast paced, always trying to do it all – we’re harsh on ourselves, so of course we’re going to be harsh on others. If we can learn to support each other we can all achieve success.

“Balance is a universal law”

Melanie reflects when talking about the elusive ‘work/life balance’. Her desire to share her experiences with women is evident and will talk about her children, business and hobbies in one sentence, as it is all the same.

“A support team is important, it really does take a village”.

Melanie admits that she has learnt to ask for help and believes she has achieved the success that she has thanks to the support and help of her husband and their extended family.

Melanie spoke about what it’s like being a woman in business with a young family and about the time she asked a boardroom full of men how many loads of washing they had done that morning. Every woman in the room smiled and nodded her head, obviously thinking about how many loads of washing she had done that morning. I’m sure there will be a lot of men in Melbourne now being asked at meetings how many loads of washing they have done before going to work!

Melanie still believes she has a lot to learn.

"I believe in taking responsibility for what you and do and who you are. If I put someothing out, the buck stops with me"

and if we accept this responsibility

“you release half of your time blaming other people”.

She relayed a story of how she encouraged her six-year-old son to imagine himself winning a race if that is what he really wanted. He did, and he won. This, Melanie says, is a lesson for herself and for all of us.

“If you want to win you have to think it in your mind and then do it”.

There is no doubt that Melanie still has a passion, a spark, for endota spa and has big plans for the business in the future.

“Once you have the spark and desire the rest comes”.

Now to implement some of Melanie’s beliefs into my own life, preferably from the massage table at endota.



About the author

Amanda Anderson owns and operates The Tenant Company, empowering the small business owner to confidently understand their rights under their lease and ensuring they secure their property with the best lease terms possible.

She provides Tenant Representation services including site searches and lease negotiations, renegotiation of existing leases, portfolio management, make good negotiation and lease surrenders.

For those looking to undertake their own negotiations, The Tenant Company also offers  property and leasing workshops designed exclusively for small business tenants across a range of leasing topics, held in Melbourne and Sydney.

With 14 years experience in the Real Estate and Property Industry, Amanda has spent the past nine years representing some of Australia’s largest blue chip companies in leasing negotiations and advising them on how to structure their leasehold property portfolio. Amanda’s key achievements have included negotiating a rental portfolio in excess of $70million per annum and identifying half a million dollars worth of cost savings by auditing outgoings.



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