Champion success for young business woman 

It has been a big year for hairdresser and CDU graduate Kalotina Kotis, who was named a Youth Business Champion

It has been a big year for hairdresser and CDU graduate Kalotina Kotis, who was named a Youth Business Champion.

The Youth Business Champions award is an initiative of the NT Government, with the aim of raising the profile of young Territorians in business.

The 25-year-old who went straight from school into a hairdressing apprenticeship and then bought her own business now runs an operation in the northern suburbs of Darwin that employs a staff of eight.

Three of her apprentices are already studying at Charles Darwin University, while another will sign on in the VTE hairdressing course next year.

Kalotina credits much of her success as a hairdresser to the solid training she received at CDU when she entered the industry as a 16-year-old after completing Year 10 at Darwin High School.

‘I loved the course and couldn’t wait to get started because I must admit I didn’t like school very much,’ she says.

She says she initially thought she would spend a couple of years as a hairdresser before moving on to something else, but the chance to buy her own business emerged when she was 19.

‘The owner of the salon where I was apprenticed fell in love with a marine and went to live in the United States,’ she says. ‘I was her only apprentice and she asked if I wanted to buy the business, so by the time I was 20 I was in charge.’

Her business, the Kut ‘n’ Kurl salon in the Northlakes shopping centre is thriving, and she plans to expand its size next year. So how about a chain of salons across Australia?

‘No, not at this stage,’ she laughs. ‘I’ve got enough to keep me busy running just one salon.’

Kalotina says she runs the business without benefit of further training in small business operations, and relies on her parents, who run their own supermarket in Fannie Bay for encouragement and advice.

‘They’ve been very helpful, and so has my sister, in helping me with any problems,’ she says.

She says she will always be keen to send her own apprentices to CDU’s hairdressing courses for training.