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  • Writer's pictureSheree Hoddinett

Glambulance to the Rescue

What’s your beauty emergency? Desperate for a massage or need some urgent lash or brow work? Well never fear, Glambulance will come to your rescue. Shelley Rouke is the brains behind this venture, an old ambulance which has been repurposed to offer clients beauty treatments all within the confines of a cool, comfortable and private space. But, it gets even better. Glambulance is mobile and can come to you at home or work, covering a wide area within the City of Moreton Bay. Who would have thought that a place once used for transporting patients could become a place of relaxation and rejuvenation?!

Shelley is no stranger to the beauty industry, it’s a role she has embraced now for more than 30 years. Having previously part-owned a beauty salon in Scarborough for the last 10 years, Shelley certainly knows the ins and outs of treatments. Wanting to take a different path but remain within the industry she has known and loved for so long was paramount to Shelley and so the idea behind Glambulance came to fruition.

“It’s actually never been done before,” Shelley says with a smile. “When I first started thinking about it last year, I figured it’s probably been done a thousand times, but it hasn’t!


“So I started doing some research and I Googled it, but couldn’t find it anywhere and I realised no one has done this, so the idea turned into something more.”

Working even more in her favour, Shelley’s partner is a paramedic and helped her with bringing the idea to life, using his knowledge to source an old ambulance for her to convert into a beauty service on wheels. With a brother-in-law, who Shelley describes as “an amazing mechanic” on hand to help out, the Glambulance will also be an economical machine to cruise around in. The Glambulance officially hit the road on 6 January and is already proving popular.

“I ended up with more than 1200 people following the Facebook page in about six days,” Shelley says. “After working in a salon for a long time, it’s nice to be out and about. I can run my own schedule, I get out on the road and turn up where I’m needed.”

Shelley wants to highlight to the community that when they do see her out on the road, although she may look like an ambulance, it’s all just a play on words.

“Obviously, I had to be very careful using the word ambulance in my business name, but that’s why it’s Glambulance, it’s all a bit of fun and a play on words given the nature of what I do,” she says. “I’ll have the word Glambulance displayed front and centre and lights too, but I’m not allowed to have them flashing like an emergency vehicle does.”

So, what can you expect from a beauty session in the mobile Glambulance? All general beauty, including massage, waxing, cosmetic tattooing, paramedical tattooing (for scars), fragmented plasma treatment (for wrinkles) and so much more.

For Shelley, her path into the beauty world all started when she was still in her home country of Northern Ireland. Growing up in a place that experienced severe conflict was no easy upbringing, but it’s certainly shaped Shelley into the person she is today.

It’s a beauty idea that’s never been done before and it’s right here in the City of Moreton Bay. Ready to take care of all your beauty emergencies - STAT!

“I remember a bomb going off in our town when I was 14 and our whole town centre was blown to bits,” she says. “I can remember my mum's house, a fair distance from the town centre and every window in her house went out in the blast.

“It was terrifying. I knew then at 14 I couldn’t stay in that country my whole life or raise children there. I needed a job that would get me out of there. I was thinking of becoming a psychologist or psychiatrist to begin with, but I would never have left with all the study involved and then I would have been stuck.

“One day I was flicking through a magazine (it was before the times of the internet) and I came across an ad for a place that employed beauty therapists to work on cruise ships. That became my goal to work towards. At 17, I did my beauty course and I was on cruise ships by the time I was 19 and I never went back. I travelled all over the world before settling in Australia – the best place in the world.”

Although she may be cruising around in an old ambulance, Shelley knows while she isn’t exactly “saving” lives, she still takes great pride in her job.

“I look at my partner and others like him and they’re out there saving lives which is pretty impressive,” Shelley says. “I guess you could say I save people in a different way. Eyebrows, lips, legs, whatever or whichever way you want it done, I make people look and feel better within themselves.”

With a myriad of different beauty treatments available, Shelley loves any opportunity to make a difference for her clients.

“I love all treatments, but it really comes down to the client,” Shelley says. “It could be giving someone their first set of perfect eyebrows and seeing their face light up; helping someone get the skin they have craved or simply giving someone a great massage.

“I also love doing really good facials. There’s having that instant result, the client is so happy and in a good mood at the end, so it’s such a feel-good thing to do. I'm just addicted to making people feel good in their own skin.

“I remember coming across a survey on the best feel-good jobs you can do and beauty therapist was right up there. Obviously, a complaint officer or something like a debt collector was at the bottom, no surprises there. 

“But it’s nice to be able to do something beneficial and rewarding for clients. It’s one of those instances where you say, if you’re happy, tell everyone! There’s nothing greater than to have happy clients.”

Ready to make an appointment? Glambulance will travel a reasonable distance – all you have to do is ask! To find out more information or to make a booking phone Shelley on 0481 982 023 and make sure you check out the Glambulance Facebook page for all the opening specials.


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