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IWD 2020: How Rebecca Crawforth overcame a brain condition to launch Navy Pro business

By Zoe Wickens | 02 March 2020 | Feature, Tech Talk

Rebecca Crawforth Navy

Scratch speaks to some successful and inspirational women in the nail industry leading up to International Women’s Day, 8 March…

Rebecca Crawforth, owner of Navy Professional, entered the beauty industry when she was 17. “I enrolled on a beauty course at a local college,” she says. “I loved doing the course but once I completed it, I decided to take some time out and worked in Spain. I came back into the industry at 21 as a new mum looking for a flexible career path that suited both me and my baby at the time.”

Rebecca Crawforth, owner of Navy Professional

Rebecca owned a number of salons in shopping centres and was working non-stop, until one day she noticed she had limited feeling in her limbs. “I later found out that these symptoms were caused by a rare brain condition which meant I would need surgery on the base of my brain.

“As my future wasn’t clear at this point, I chose to sell my salons and take some time out. Taking a break was the perfect time to research what could be done to solve the problem.

“While owning my own salons, I became fed up of the blue style disinfectants and the constant task of replacing sub-standard tooling, which is why I decided to start my own company,” Rebecca continues. “I think Navy is important to the industry as it is making people question their hygiene practices and the standards I which we work to. It has started a very important conversation Before planning anything I always question whether it will help beauty professionals and improve the industry.

“I am very conscious of everything I do and always view from a salon owners’ point of view too.”

Along with her rare brain condition, Rebecca has faced some challenges in her professional life. “Where to start! Navy has grown from a little dream to selling in 36 countries worldwide in the space of 16 months, so the challenges have been keeping up with demand, recruiting a trustworthy team and providing the best customer care 24/7 to customers worldwide on different time zone. The list seems endless! Sometimes I wonder if the madness is really worth it, and then I see a beautiful comment online and it reminds me exactly why I love what I do.”

Some Navy products

Juggling running a business and having a family can sometimes be difficult, but Rebecca seems to balance it all. “The kids are very much involved and I have a good family network around me who pull together,” she says. “My husband is also super supportive and will even force me to take some time out when I get grumpy.

“I always try to get home for tea, bath, and bed with the kids and then often leave them at home with my husband once they are asleep and return to work so I can minimise the disruption of their bedtime routine.

“I love being able to set a good example to my daughter and nieces, to show that you can have a career and a family.”

Rebecca’s top tips for any inspiring beauty professional:

  • Know your worth
  • If it was easy, everyone would do it
  • Find what you’re good at and build upon it
  • Take some time for you
  • Don’t compare yourself to anyone else