Jackleen Mayes.
Jackleen Mayes.

Biloela beautician recalls brush with fame

WHEN Jackleen Mayes finished year 12 she was unsure what career path to take.

"When I was growing up I did charity modelling with the fashion houses in town with a group of girls. We did the local show and some Saturday mornings at the local shopping centre for businesses and other events,” Jackleen recalls.

"When I was still at school I worked part-time at a local jewellery and fashion store owned by Esta Dunnet called At Your Finger Tips. Her daughters also did beauty treatments and I became very interested in the beauty industry.'

Jackleen's mum came across an ad in the yellow pages offering a course in beauty therapy at Airlie Beach.

"It was a one-year course offered by a lady who owned a salon where you had to do 600 hours of practical,” Jackleen said.

She finished the course and was awarded best practical student in her class. After returning to Biloela and working for eight years in the field Jackleen needed a change of scenery. She moved to the Brisbane suburb of Ascot and ran her beauty business in conjunction with an Italian family hair salon. It was here that she met Richard Branson's head secretary, Amanda. Amanda became a regular client, which led to Jackleen receiving a regular flow of air hostesses working for Virgin Airlines.

"Richard Branson booked in for a haircut and a massage,” Jackleen said. "He was so easy to talk to. He asked about my life living in Biloela and told me about his life growing up with dyslexia and his business success. He even came out into the kitchen and helped wash up.”

To celebrate Virgin Airlines' two-year birthday Jackleen was invited to a party at the airline hangar.

"Myself and the salon staff got a limo to the party complete with Crystal champagne. Each of us girls did the whole Pretty Woman thing standing up through the sunroof of the limo with our glass of champagne waving at everyone as we were chauffeured along. We definitely enjoyed our once in a lifetime moment.”

After almost two years Jackleen returned to Biloela in 2005 and continues to provide high quality beautician work.

With 23 years' experience in the beauty industry Jackleen appreciates her loyal client base in Biloela.

"My favourite treatments are aromatherapy, relaxation and Swedish massage. I also love the Thalgo facial and skincare range as it is based on plant extracts and aromatherapy oils,” Jackleen said.