Meet the new addition to the Guildford family, Meme Du Preez. With an in depth background in the hair and beauty industry, Meme is the perfect fit for keeping our salon and spa running smoothly. Meme will be co. managing alongside long standing Cathie Newman and we are thrilled she has settled into the role so well. We hope you’ll enjoy getting to know her, just as we’ve done!
Tell Us About Your Life Outside MAW?
When I was a young girl, my dream was to travel the world and see as much as I could. Other cultures, peoples and landscapes have always fascinated me, so I set about achieving that goal with my husband and that has taken up a large part of my life! We think we have probably visited around half of the world now and we intend to explore the other half one day with our little boy, Jason. For me, to travel gives the type of freedom and adventure that I have never found anywhere else. The world really is just so beautiful. I think that’s why I love Aveda so much, because it’s a company that’s genuinely invested in trying to work with the planet and help protect it’s inhabitants. For me, it’s really important. I think seeing so much creativity over the globe ties in with the creatives you see in hair and beauty too which might be why I’m drawn to that too!
What is your Job Title at Mary Ann Weeks Aveda?
I am the (brand new!) Co General Manager at MAW Aveda and so far I’m loving every moment!
Describe in a Few Words What You Do On the Average day.
The role is vast! Obviously my focus, alongside Cathie, is to make sure the salon and spa are running smoothly and that our guests have the optimum experience with us. I really want us to stand out as the best Hairdressers and Spa in Guildford, because I think we are! As well as managing the facilities, a key part of my job is developing our team. I help each individual team member to work at and achieve their goals. I’m also a firm believer in team work and so try to install that in all our staff interaction.
From a business perspective, it’s important to try to come up with fresh business ideas that improve our KPIs, so that’s something else that keeps me motivated and occupied!
How Long Have You Worked With Us and Where were you Before?
I have been with MAW Aveda Guildford for about 2 months now, but it feels like longer! When you are living the job, you can’t help but settle in quickly! Before here, I worked with another reputable salon in 4 locations for 12 years, holding a number of different positions such as Franchise manager, Style Director, Colour Specialist and Salon Manager. This experience has really set me up for my new Aveda role.
What are Your Favourite Things About Working with Aveda as a Brand?
The experience of working for Aveda has been such a breath of fresh air. It’s so great to work with products that are so natural and so professionally graded! The fact that the products are plant based is almost tangible – it’s like you walk into the salon and just by breathing in the aromas you feel instantly calmer and relaxed. I think possibly the Aveda smell is my favourite thing of all! I really love that it’s cruelty free and the ingredients are sustainable too.
What’s Your Best Memory of Working Here?
As I have not been working at MAW Aveda very long, I don’t have many memories yet, but I would say that a lovely memory was how welcome I was made to feel when I first started. Everyone has just been so friendly and helpful to me. There is a great atmosphere in the salon which makes it a great place to work and I’m really excited about my future here.
If You Could Nominate Anyone at MAW Aveda for an Award for Something, What Would the Award Be and Who For?
If I could, I would give the whole team an award! I honestly think everyone is amazing at their jobs and they are all special in their own way. The hairdressers are really very talented – you can see that from the excellent hair colour and haircuts of guests as they leave. The therapists here are also really professional and calming. You can see how relaxed people are as they float off down the high street after a spa treatment!
However, if I have to choose, then I would have to give a ‘Great Leadership Award’ to my Co Manager Cathie. The help and support that she has given me has been invaluable. I think she shows great leadership in creating such an amazing team and is such a massive part of this successful business.
What’s Your ‘Go To’ Aveda Product for Your Guests and Why?
That would be our Aveda Botanical Repair Range. It’s newer than me, but I would recommend this product to anyone with damaged or dry hair. It strengthens the hair from inside out and contains all these amazing ingredients such as avocado, green tea, aroma ylang ylang, rose and marjoram. I keep seeing all these guests come to the reception desk with hair that just looks incredible because they have had the Botanical repair service! People compare it to Olaplex and it’s really true – and better!
What Do You Use on Your Own Hair/Skin?
I use Aveda Brilliant Damage Control hairspray to style my hair and Botanical Repair Strengthening Leave-in Treatment for it’s condition. If you regularly use a hair straightener like I do, then these are the most amazing products to protect your hair from damage. I have noticed a real difference since starting to use these products. For my skin, I use the Aveda Cherry Almond Body Lotion because the smell is incredible and the cream is so beautifully smooth and rich! For my face, I’m loving the Intense Hydrating Soft Cream from Avedas Botanical Kinetics Range.
How Do You Like to Relax After a Busy Day at the Spa?
My go to for relaxation is definitely always nature. I just love to spend time outdoors in my garden, pottering around tending to my plants. That’s my ‘me-time’, but my very favourite happy place is when I have time to play and teach my lovely little boy Jason. He is my inspiration and my joy!