Frank Sinatra’s former masseuse, who worked in some of London’s top hotels, gave a fascinating insight into how to thrive in business at a recent networking event.
Pamela Drew, who owns Business Doctors in Chester, spoke about how businesses can achieve their goals when acting as guest speaker at the West Cheshire Women’s Network.
The event took place at Llyndir Hall Hotel in Rossett and was organised by Ellis & Co Chartered Accountants and Business Advisers in Northgate Street, Chester, in partnership with NatWest bank, Cheshire West and Chester Council and the West Cheshire and North Wales Chamber of Commerce.
Pamela told how she spent the height of her career working at the Savoy, Claridges, Dorchester and Park Lane Hotels as a celebrity masseuse and was flown all around the world by her famous clients.
When her jetset lifestyle came to an end, a stint in intensive care and near death experience put her on a different business path.
She expanded her business interests into developing a retail aromatherapy product before opening up five successful hairdressing salons in London with a £1m turnover.
At one stage her own brand of aromatherapy oil hit the shelves at London’s Selfridges and Fenwick’s.
Now, the 50-year-old mum of two advises businesses on everything from knowing how to market your product to drafting a successful business plan and meeting your customers’ goals, as well as your own.
Pamela, who lives in Chester, said: “At Business Doctors I help businesses get to their next level of growth.
“I support Small to Medium Sized Businesses and act as their mentor which is similar to the service that Ellis & Co provides to their clients.
“I thoroughly enjoyed my career in London and walked away with many special memories.
“When I worked with Frank Sinatra I was amazed by how much security he had. He always requested half the hotel floor to himself which had to be covered in thick white carpets and a piano that shined like a mirror.
“I also have fond memories of working with Kirk Kerkorian who owned MGM Studios. Kirk gave me lots of positive advice such as never give up on your dreams. He is a very shrewd business man and it was a great privilege having him share great business experiences and knowledge with me.”
Apart from recounting the glitzy side of her career, Pamela also warned her audience about the pitfalls of business which saw her experience a dip on occasions, a divorce and a near-death car accident.
She learnt how to pick herself up and find another direction before establishing herself again.
Claire Tinston, marketing manager at Ellis & Co Chartered Accountants, said: “Pamela really engaged the audience and gave a lively account of what it’s like to come up with one entrepreneurial idea after another and bring them all to fruition, while experiencing many challenges and hardships along the way.”
NatWest’s relationship manager Johanna Holehouse said: “Pamela Drew was a fantastic speaker who gave business leaders some fantastic anecdotes around the importance of overcoming adversity to achieve your business vision.”
The next networking event is due to take place on June 18. Details will appear on the West Cheshire and North Wales Chamber of Commerce website nearer the time.