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18 December, 2020

Mum's not the boss

A CAIRNS mother and daughters’ relationship has come full circle as the mum and one time teacher becomes the daughter’s apprentice.

By Phil Brandel

Jessica Wicks who has just taken on her mother Sandy Wicks as her apprentice

Jessica Wicks, 28, and has just taken on her mother Sandy Wicks, 55, as an adult hair dressing apprentice at her business Elise Roy Hair Designers in Westcourt.

Sandy had been a teacher for over 30 years across the Far North, including teaching her daughter at a number of Cairns High Schools.

While teaching her daughter she never thought that 30 odd years later that she would end up becoming her daughter’s student.

 Sandy said her circumstances changed and that teaching was becoming quite stressful.

“We were talking at the basin one day and I jokingly said I should be your apprentice,” she said.

“A few days later we chatted a bit more and I admitted that one day I would like to open a mobile salon that visits the elderly so that I can do their hair and nails and visit people who are lonely.

“We crunched some numbers and we thought let’s do this, so I resigned from teaching in July and I started the apprenticeship in August. I’m now a first hair dressing apprentice at 55.”

Sandy said that she gets a different type of satisfaction from working as hairdresser. “When people come into the salon they are smiling and grateful, with students it’s not until after they left school that they thank you,” she said.

“Having my daughter as my boss was scary to start with as she is a very strong-willed young lady.”

Jess admits in the beginning it was hard separating their mother and daughter relationship. “It was hard at the start, during business hours we are staff and boss and after hours we are mother and daughter. I actually really love it,” she said.

“At work we call each at by our first names and then as soon as we knock off we give each other a kiss and a hug and go home.

“Sometimes I can be tough on my mum, so I have to make sure that I treat my mum like any other employee.”

Sandy said she has no regrets about becoming her daughters apprentice at 55. “Five months in I really like what I’m doing it,” she said.

“With COVID I feel like a lot of people are now making decisions to change their life.”

Jess said that their relationship has now come full circle. “It’s really cool that she taught me at school and now I get to teach her,” Jess said.

 “There’s not many salons that would put on an adult apprentice, as they do cost more so being able to do that for my mum was really nice.”

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