IN the six years she has been building her beauty business, Tammy Koslowski has made lots decisions.

But none have come bigger than the moment the young entrepreneur had to decide between accepting a product deal with a high street retailer and following her dream of opening a salon.

Ms Koslowski followed her dream, and three years on NAF!, in Glasgow city centre, has a reputation as one of the quirkiest, most creative nail bars in town. It’s also one of the most successful, employing 19 staff to deal with upwards of 300 clients a week.

Never one to rest on her laurels, however, the 30-year-old is also continuing to grow the product side of the business, supplying bespoke cuticle oils to more than 500 salons worldwide, with plans in the pipeline for new ranges, products and services.

It’s a far cry from painting false nails at home for friends, which is how Ms Koslowski, who originally studied fashion at university, started out.

“Things moved quickly after my designs became popular on social media and before long I was making my own decals [stick on nail designs] and selling them at pop-ups in London,” she explains.

“Then, when the likes of ASOS and Urban Outfitters became interested, I had to make the move to manufacturing. It was a big jump, but I learned a lot and realised I really enjoyed the process of bringing an idea to fruition. I worked with a printer to create a whole new process and it ended up being really successful and that's when I had to decide which road to take."

After deciding to pursue the salon, Ms Koslowski moved quickly, using social media to help build her brand. But, as she highlights, it’s what happens in the real world that matters.

“When you have a following on Instagram you need to ensure everyone seeing your product online will have the same or better experience in real life,” she says. “That has been my focus from the start. Any business growing on social media knows social media is only the tip of the iceberg. The reality underneath is the days spent working one-to-one with clients, relentless emailing and shaking hands with people in the real world.”

The Stirling-born businesswoman, who lives in Glasgow’s south side, says watching her staff flourish is the thing she enjoys most about being her own boss.

“What motivates me is creating a meaningful career path for my team," she says. “Watching these amazing women bring my ideas to life makes me so proud and happy.”

Challenging sexist attitudes and stereotypes is also important, says Ms Koslowski, especially within the beauty industry.

“In the past suppliers have tried to take me for a ride and refused to take me seriously as a businesswoman,” she says. “People have been patronising about me ‘wee salon’. I employ 19 people. Women should never accept that type of attitude no matter what business they are in. Fight back and hold these people to account.

“You need to be resilient and not get disheartened when things don’t go your way. And you need to be prepared for your business to take over your life, so it had better be something you’re passionate about.”

Becoming a participant in the RBS Accelerator programme was another good decision, according to Ms Koslowski.

“I feel so much more confident in myself now, especially with the financial side of things. Now I call the Accelerator staff my business therapists. They connected me to all the right people and concentrated on what I needed rather than what I thought I wanted.

“Getting an outside opinion is one of the best and most important things you can do for your business.”