Hairdressing student wins funding for start up

October 30, 2019 - Jane Moore

Lorna Hamilton, a Hairdressing student, has received a grant for £5000 from the Ayrshire College Foundation to help her start up her own business.

Here is Lorna’s story.

What made you interested in enterprise activities?

I was already trading by the time I heard about Bridge 2 Business and the Ayrshire College grant. I was interested as I had come across a gap in the market for my idea, but I needed funding to get it started.

What have you done since leaving school?

Since leaving school, I’ve worked in many jobs. I returned to college a few times and I now have my own business working as a self-employed hairdresser, alongside studying.

How did the opportunity come along to start your business?

I had attended the ‘Impact Summit’ event at Ayrshire College where I saw a presentation from Lynn Kelly of Bridge 2 Business. She introduced other students who had benefited from the grant which had helped them with their business start-up ideas. I was so inspired that I emailed Bridge 2 Business after the event and met with Lynn shortly after.

How has the Enterprising Students Fund and Bridge 2 Business, helped you get your business off the ground?

I had already been trading for a few years by the time I had learned about the Enterprise Fund and had already established a good client base. The fund helped towards the cost of securing my own premises, which I now have, as well as helping with solicitors’ fees etc that comes with dealing with commercial leases.

What do you think makes your business unique?

I work within the hair and beauty industry which I understand can be intimidating for some people. I wanted to open a ‘quiet/silent’ salon, which I have called “Hushed Hair Salon”. The salon space, services and atmosphere are designed to support and service clients who may be anxious, depressed or feel self-conscious about going into a salon.

My son has autism, and so given my own experience, I wanted to create a salon space that felt safe and comfortable for clients or children who had additional support needs. I work one-to-one with clients and hopefully I am helping them feel relaxed and at ease while in my salon.

The salon is also sensory aware and uses low noise appliances and, wherever possible, I try to keep aerosol use to a minimum. It is important to me that my salon caters for everyone and is inclusive for anyone to visit.

How do you plan to grow your business?

I plan to grow through marketing and word of mouth. I also have two other hairdressers who are renting chairs in my salon, and I plan on growing the team as demand develops. I will also be holding a launch party later in the year to celebrate the opening of Hushed Hair Salon.

If you have been inspired by Lorna and would like to find out more about the Enterprising Students Fund, read more here.

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