Wanita Gosbee

At 19 years old, Wanita Gosbee began her career as a hairdresser when she scored an apprenticeship with Made You Look Hair Studio.

Fourteen years later, and Wanita is the owner of that very salon she started out in, and she's employing other Indigenous women from her community.

"After working in Brisbane as a qualified hairdresser for a while I thought it was time to take my expertise back to my home town of Mount Isa."

But upon arriving home, Wanita decided she needed a new challenge and put hairdressing aside for an opportunity in the mining industry.

"I went to my interview and got the job as a Drill and Blast Technician," she said.

"I worked with a crew of seven men and after 12 months I was offered the job as leading hand!"

But the shift work and increased demand for her mobile hairdressing business began to take its toll, and one night fate came knocking.

"Myself and my partner Kris went for a drive one night and noticed that the salon had been closed down," she said.

"It was sad to see as it was a thriving little business."

A quick meeting with the landlord the next morning and a chat with Kris, and suddenly Wanita was the proud owner of Dye with Style.

"I couldn't get the smile off my face," she said.

"We hired our very own first year apprentice who still works for us today and opened the business on Monday the 1st of September, 2008."

Since that day, the business has grown from strength to strength, increasing staff; training apprentices; and winning the Indigenous Business Australia Indigenous Business of the Year Award in 2009 and being runner up in 2010. Wanita has also become an Ambassador for Indigenous Education.

"We have never looked back! We hired more staff and now have expanded into the day spa next door.

"We now have three senior hairdressers, one apprentice hairdresser and one beauty therapist.

"In the future I would like to bring hair and beauty courses to the remote communities in the North West."

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