Since arriving here in 2009, the English woman made it her duty to integrate and blend in well with locals.
Now she has immersed herself into the local business scene, operating two businesses at the same time.
How did she get to where she is today?
Let’s hear her story.
Back in England, Lesley started off as an apprentice, working as an assistant engineer in a water company.
Apart from that she has a passion for beauty, occasionally getting involved in beauty-related activities.
She eventually enrolled in an open university, similar to that of distance flexible learning for a degree in business administration.
Whilst doing that, fate stepped in, forcing her to move to the Solomon Islands after her husband secured a job at the Gold Ridge Mining Limited (GRML) in early 2009.
She completed her studies and got her degree from here.
But there’s nothing much to do here at that time and so she remained a house wife.
“I was starting to get bored and was thinking all over what I would do, whether to find a job here or do something else,” Lesley told the Sunday Star.
“Then I thought of establishing a business that is in line with my beauty passion,” she said.
But, it was not until in late December 2011, that Haus of Nails, located at Heritage Park Hotel, was born.
Haus of Nails offers beauty services and products.
According to Lesley, when it started, her clients were mainly expatriates.
But as it gets popular, Solomon Islanders became part of her growing customer numbers.
“Establishing this type of business here is great, especially in trying to bridge the gap that is left unfilled for over time in the business market for such services, she said.
“Unlike in England where doing business is more aggressive and hectic, having to meet a lot of requirements; in Solomon Islands it is much easier with less competition.
“Thus, anyone can start off a business as long as he or she has the capital to do so.
“But I like doing business here though it is still very new for me; easily I am getting into it and adjusting very well trying to fill in the gap left unattended to in the business market.
“What I like it most here is people are helpful,” she said.
Culture may have been a barrier for women here going into business, but according to Lesley, it’s time to turn things around.
“I believe it’s time for more women to go into business,” she said.
Haus of Nails was Lesley’s first business.
Last November, she bought Office Works at Panatina and added it to her fold.
She said the Office Works was more a like a normal distribution stationery entity but what she is looking into now is to establish something a little bit different.
“The growing green business in the world today has become a major roll over since the increasing issues of environmental catastrophes and what I am intending to do here is something close to that.
“Unlike doing normal business I would like to educate other companies in the country to see the importance of waste recycling.”
Lesley said the idea is not to make profit like many other businesses but to encourage other people to think differently.
Amongst the stuffs she has in mind to do recycling includes plastic and paper, as well as old printer cartridges.
“What I would like to do is to collect as many as possible the old thrown away plastic bottles and containers, and send them to a reliable factory for recycling overseas.
“But for papers I am looking into establishing the recycling machine as a first step and will see how it goes so I can move into plastics.
“I would like to do the similar thing with thrown away plastics and waste papers as what BJS is doing with empty cans.
“This is venturing into a new dimension of doing business in Solomon Islands and I am hopeful that it will make good progress along the way.”
Lesley added that Solomon Islanders have the potential to venture into different kinds of businesses.
“Opportunities are there for all but the logic behind their mind is the set-back for many.
“Chances are there that a private business can be established but you have to work extra hard for it, think outside the box with new ideas and you will be successful.”
Now that she’s got two businesses to run, what’s the future up for the future?
“I will be in Solomon Islands for as long as am able to and will keep these businesses going,” she said.
She is married to an Englishman who now works for the Government.
They have two grown up boys.
By Bradford Theonomi
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