Five beauty businesses born in lockdown
From an innovative mobile Glamour Caravan to stylists achieving career-long dreams of opening their own salons, beauticians are getting entrepreneurial
Every cloud has a silver lining, and for some beauty businesses in the UK, lockdown has been a time for innovation, and even a chance for new business ideas to emerge.
Across the country, beauticians and hairdressers have adapted the way they are working, with some ditching the traditional salon for home studios with lower footfall, and others finding even more creative ideas, like mobile salons that ease travel anxiety for clients.
Here are stories of entrepreneuriallockdown positivity from five salons making the most of 2020.
- 1- Former X Factor contestant opens salon
You might know Laura Hewitt better as one half of husband-and-wife duo The Hewitts, the Stoke-based singers who garnered Robbie Williams’ backing on The X Factor in 2018, but she is also a nail technician. After 12 years working in nails, Hewitt has achieved a career-long dream by opening her own salon, and she’s done it during the pandemic. Laura Hewitt’s Nails and Beauty opened in Kidsgrove in early September, and Hewitt believes that the slower pace of life during lockdown actually helped her to launch this new element of her business. “Weirdly, Covid-19 helped the whole process, because it gave me the time to really get things ready and think about what I wanted, even though that sounds so strange to say,” she told Stoke-on-Trent Live.
- 2-Superbly spontaneous industrial estate signing
An industrial estate doesn’t sound like the most glamorous spot for a salon, but it’s working for second-generation hairdresser Jodie Cox. The stylist made the leap from being self-employed to business owner during lockdown when she happened to stumble across a unit on Cheney Manor Industrial Estate in Swindon that was for rent. “I thought it was a brilliant opportunity and I just went for it,” she told the Swindon Advertiser. “Being based in the industrial estate is great because there are other businesses around you, so when people go to visit one of them it helps promote the companies around it.” And how did her first day in the new salon go? “Brilliant.”
- 3-Garage transformation in Carlisle gets green light
Another unusual spot for a salon has popped up in Carlisle. Planning permission has been granted this month for the transformation of a garage into a hair salon in the north of the city in a residential area. This taps into a wider trend for beauty technicians and hairdressers opening up at-home micro salons to treat clients who might feel too nervous to use a larger salon since the outbreak of Coronavirus. Carlisle City Council ruled that the as-yet-unnamed salon, which plans to treat a maximum of 12 clients a week, would not pose too much disruption to local residents and “provides a beneficial service to the local community and contributes towards the local economy”.
- 4-Caravan gets pink makeover to become mobile salon
When lockdown hit, Ciara O’Reilly had a problem. During the week, the Dubliner works as a learning and development specialist but supplements her income by offering nail and eyelash treatments at the weekend. However, she lives with her parents, and due to the pandemic they asked her not to treat clients at the house. Rather than give up on her business, she got creative and bought a second-hand caravan, and a lot of pink paint, and transformed it into a mobile beauty salon. “‘I didn’t want to give up doing what I love so I went to a caravan park and found this little gem,” she told the Metro. “I have painted the caravan from top to bottom in baby pink. It is super girly and aesthetically pleasing. I actually think some people just book in with me so they can take pictures for Instagram.” Best of all, the whole Glamour Caravan project – including buying the caravan – was completed for just a little over £1,000.
- 5-A luxurious investment in Kiddeminster
This next lockdown salon opening cost a little more at £20,000, but as Alisha Barnett and Tessa Rouse like to say, they are focused on creating a luxurious space. The two friends were working for other salons but decided to join forces to open their own salon, AT Hair and Beauty in Kiddeminster, at the end of July. Despite opening during what has been a difficult time for the industry, Barnett and Rouse have gotten off to a flying start. “The feedback and comments we’ve had in our first few weeks has been amazing and we are obsessed with making sure every last detail and the atmosphere is perfect for our customers,” Barnett told the Express & Star. “Everything is going in the right direction and we are determined that as the business develops, we will be in a position to grow our team in the months and years ahead.”
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