Thursday, 11 August 2022

Let's Get Down to Business: Sue Turner

Let's Get Down to Business: Sue Turner

SUE TURNER is the owner of Candela, a hypnotherapy practice in Reading Road, Henley, and hosts a weekly show on Marlow FM called Biz Buzz. She was 10 when her family moved to Henley. Her father was a captain with BOAC (which became British Airways). The premises was previously Edward’s Bookshop, which she used to run with her mother, Brenda Norman (Nichol). Sue is a member of Sam Brown’s Ukulele Band and the Henley Whalers and rows most weeks.

Describe your business

Candela is a clinical hypnotherapy practice which offers counselling, coaching and hypnotherapy to help clients overcome physical and mental difficulties such as anxiety, insomnia, pain, migraine, addiction to smoking, weight control, lack of confidence etc. My work is very motivational and I use goal-setting to help people tap into their strengths. As well as the Henley practice, I recently began working with osteopaths, acupuncturists and other therapists at the Chelsea Natural Health Clinic, which is exciting. I used to have offices in Harley Street.

How many people does it employ?

I work alone in Henley.

What did you do before?

I worked for Kensington and Chelsea social services and then studied for a diploma in health service administration. Sadly, my father died when he was quite young and I moved back to Henley to help my mother who wanted to open a bookshop. We called it Edward’s Bookshop after my father. My mother retired in the Eighties but around the same time my husband, Tom, was made redundant from publishing, so he came to work with me. The Nineties were very difficult because of the recession and I took a job as an academic publisher’s rep. A year after I started my husband was diagnosed with lung cancer and he died about nine months later. My mother’s husband died two weeks before Tom. It was all very difficult. My daughter was then eight but I managed to keep my job and the shop going with the support of my mother, my sisters and some great friends. With the rise of Amazon, bookselling became ever more difficult. Then one morning I woke up and thought I would like to train to be a hypnotherapist.

When did you start your business?

I opened the bookshop in 1978 and renamed it Henley Books when we started selling online in 1995. I qualified as a hypnotherapist in 2000 and renamed the shop Candela (“unit of illuminating light” in Latin). The bookshop then evolved into the hypnotherapy practice.

What was your objective?

My husband was extremely erudite and we had always wanted to have a bookshop. My hypnotherapy practice was a way of creating a business and using my brain, knowledge and life experience to help others.

What or who influenced you?

The power of the mind was something that had always fascinated me. If you really want to do something, you can — if you believe in yourself.

Do you have a mentor?

Yes. As a registered clinical hypnotherapist, I have professional supervision and peer group support. I worked in Harley Street with an amazing man called Robert Lewis.

What would you have done differently if you could?

Nothing! If I did, I wouldn’t have my wonderful daughter. She is a film producer and lives in Putney.

How is your business doing?

Very well. Henley is always busy for me and Chelsea is exciting and new.

How do you market your business?

Having a business on the high street gives me visibility. Many people come in or pick up a leaflet. I get a lot of referrals from previous clients and health professionals.

How important is the internet to your business?

It provides broader scope to reach out and help people. Anxiety and depression are huge problems in society, triggered by people’s compulsion to keep checking social media and trying to keep up.

What’s the best thing about running your business?

It gives me confidence and self-assurance knowing that success is down to me.

What’s the most challenging aspect?


What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned?

Try to be kind and gracious.

What would you advise someone starting a business?

Ideally have a business that doesn’t need stock. Selling your knowledge is far less precarious!

What’s the secret of your success?

Loving what I do. Learning how people think.

How organised are you?

Very. I know what I’m doing and where everything is.

How do you dress for work?

Smartly and comfortably, as I was trained to do.

Lunch at your desk or going out?

As I live above the shop, I generally eat lunch upstairs.

Do you still study?

Continuing professional development is essential in therapy and I usually attend several courses or conferences each year.

What do you read?

I belong to a book group. I do read fiction but I love art and architecture and social history.

Do you have a five-year plan?

To stay alive and have fun!

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