As the CEO of The Angel Academy of Teaching and Training and the mastermind behind Celebrity Red Carpet Skincare, having won over 300 awards, what motivated you to start the Academy in 2003?
I started in the Beauty/Fashion industry when I was 17. I have always had a love for this industry. Alongside this I was exploring therapies for my own wellbeing and decided to start training in them as a sideline to my full time job. I trained in 122 therapies, sometimes doing courses every evening and at weekends. I trained in the best International accreditations as these were all that were available at the time. These were VTCT, NVQ, ITEC, BTEC, City and Guilds, CIBTAC.
I trained as a Tutor, Assessor and IQA and began teaching in adult education institutions. Meanwhile I studied a doctorate in Anatomy and Physiology and became a Doctor. Dr Deborah Jay Kelly.
During this time I realized that teaching at colleges was very limiting. They were interested in retention figures, paperwork, politics and all things that didn’t really focus 100% on the student. In 2003, discovering this niche, I founded ‘The Angel Academy of Teaching and Training’. I offered a unique approach to learning. Firstly the student could book a course according to their availability and we would bespoke dates to suit them (evenings and weekends). Secondly we offered one to one teaching included in the course price. Thirdly, students got to learn in a unique environment that would encourage 100% focus on them. I also have a real passion about what I teach and this rubs off on the students who go on to found their own centre/clinic. It is common for a student to learn every course with us and many have become friends. We also help with placement.
The AATT became a professional training academy in 2003 with VTCT/NVQ, ABT and CPD qualifications. VTCT/NVQ are Internationally recognized and many salons/spa/cruise ship now require this level of recognition from their employees and staff members. ABT is Nationally recognized. All of our courses are fully insurable.
I used to use a Cosmeceutical range at my academy. I am a very allergic person and realized that many ingredients are harmful to us. Take for instance Lanolin (sheep sweat). I am allergic to animals but there are also a lot of vegans/vegetarians who have no idea that they are using an animal product on their face!
Add to that Parabens, Propylene Glycol and other nasty products, the skincare industry often hide these ingredients in small print. Note: The first two product ingredients in a product have the highest amount in it. So if, for instance, the last ingredient is Aloe Vera, the packaging can say ‘Enriched with Aloe Vera’, but the product is a very bad product with only a trace element of aloe vera!!
We need to be careful about what we put on our skin. This is why I launched my own skincare range in 2020 called ‘Celebrity Red Carpet Skincare’. Many of the products are vegan and all ingredients are clearly labeled. They are all enriched with anti-oxidants and we have received hundreds of testimonials about how they have positively improved the skin with remarkable results. Even our anti-aging products do not have carcinogenic ingredients in them.
How do these ventures align with your personal and professional goals? With your immense success and wealth of experience, do you have any plans for ‘The Angel Academy of Teaching and Training’ in the future?
I have Tutors at my Academy so I can have as much input as I choose too although I adore teaching Degree level Anatomy and Physiology and also lecture around the country doing this. I have worked in Munich, Lithuania, Berlin and Spain. I am moving the Academy into more aesthetic courses as there is such a huge demand for this growing industry. It truly needs to be legislated though as loopholes mean that many potentially under qualified people are able to operate. As an IQA (inspector) I oversee all training in my Academy to make sure that it is of the highest standard.
My Academy continues to win awards and this I below is due to the niche we filled in the industry which is to offer bespoke courses, cater for religious concerns and offer private and one to one training. We also train students in their workplace and this is where I love to be both here and abroad so this actively will be what I do more of in the future.