A beauty salon that benefited from a Sir Thomas White Loan Charity business loan has been named East Midlands Beauty Salon of the Year, in a prestigious series of awards which recognise the beauty industry within Great Britain.
Sophie Élise Beauty Boutique, located in Melton Mowbray, beat three other finalists to the title. In addition, Sophie Élise was named runner-up in the Salon Retailer of the Year category; a national accolade.
Everybody at the Sir Thomas White Loan Charity would like to wish the best of luck to Faye Hooper and Becky Owens, who will this weekend be heading to Hampton Court Palace to participate in The Handmade Fair, following a special invitation by event organisers.
Over the years, The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity has assisted the start-up of many businesses, each with their own inspirational story behind them. However, in the case of business borrower Melissa March, her story is one that continues to inspire.
Melissa’s loan was used to establish Learning for the Fourth Age (L4A), which has become established as an award-winning charity. L4A provides learning opportunities to older people receiving care, either in care settings – such as care homes or nursing homes, or with individuals in their own homes.
Billions of pounds are spent each year across the hair and beauty industry in the UK, meaning there’s a lot of competition amongst salon owners. But William Wheelwright, who set up his own hairdressers in Oakham with help from the Sir Thomas White Loan Charity, doesn’t see this as a bad thing – just an opportunity to try different things to set his business apart from the rest.
He has developed a variety of innovative offers to help attract new custom, including the opportunity for men to pay an upfront annual cost for their haircuts, and says that getting people through the door is one of the most daunting parts of starting a business.