Owner of Reflections Hair and Beauty salon in Burnley celebrates an amazing 31 years in business
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And, at the age of 58, she is looking pretty good on it.
Gail is the owner of Reflections hair and beauty salon in Burnley’s Rosegrove which she has owned for an incredible 31 years, making it one of the longest established salons in the town.
Gail first started working in a salon at the age of 13 as a Saturday girl. At just 18, when she took over the running of her foster sister’s hairdressing shop Aircutz, it was a dream come true for Gail. And today, 45 years later, she still has clients from her teenage years.
“There’s no secret to it, “ said Gail. “If you provide a good service for your clients and are reliable they will return that. Loyalty works both ways in this industry.”
Gail started working at Reflections in 1990 for the previous owner, Beverley Hill. And just two years later Gail and her husband Craig bought the salon when Beverley retired. The couple lived in the flat that used to be above the salon and when Gail fell pregnant with their son, Zack, she only had a couple of weeks off work before picking up her scissors again.
Gail said: “It felt like we were working all the time and the hours were long.”
Teenage sweethearts who met on CB Radio, Gail and Craig, separated and divorced in 1990. The pressures of work and bringing up a family had taken its toll. But they were never really apart and ended up getting back together and re marrying in 2007.
Gail said: “We never fell out, there was no animosity between us and we stayed best friends and always did things together with the kids.
“Craig invited me out for a meal one night and it went from there.”
Last year the Gannow Lane salon underwent a total refurbishment to mark Gail’s 30th anniversary and although it took a lot longer than expected she is delighted with the results.
Gail said: “We knocked walls down and took it right back to plaster. It was a lot of hard work but so worth the effort.”
The couple’s daughter, Michaela Simpson and Gail’s younger daughter, Maddison Stevenson, both work in the salon. Michaela is a nail technician and hairdresser and Maddison is a lash technician.
Hair stylist Sharlene Rinaldi has worked for Gail for 17 years and since the refurbishment aesthetic technician Joanne Stevenson and Tyra Hall, who is a laser hair removal technician, now work from the salon.
Gail has cut down her working hours to spend more time with her granddaughter and her horses but she admits to still having the buzz for her job. Another of her hobbies is scuba diving and she also keeps fit with regular trips to the gym, sometimes as early as 5am!
“It seems like a lifetime since I took over at Reflections but then it often feels like yesterday,” said Gail.“But I believe that if you work hard the rewards will come to you. I am slowing down now as I edge towards retirement but I still love my job, it’s my life’s work here.”