Former student Jemma Neal has set up her own beauty therapy business with the support of the Prince’s Trust scheme. Jemma, who left Brooke Weston in 2008, has been constantly learning since then, firstly studying beauty therapy and media make up and then completing short courses so she can offer a full range of treatments.
Jemma and her business partner, Cara Gales, set up Vanity Lounge Hair and Beauty salon in the Best Western Hotel on Rockingham Road just before Christmas. Business has been brisk and they plan to eventually train and employ more young people from the area.
Cara is a hairdresser while Jemma offers beauty treatments including spray tans, waxing, manicures, pedicures and make-up. Some of her clients come from the wedding parties held at the hotel, but many are local people who support this growing new venture.
The Prince’s Trust was set up in 1976 and gives practical and financial support to help young people move into work, education or training. Its Enterprise Programme provides money and support to young people starting up in business. Jemma said: ‘You go on a four-day course and they teach you how to run a business. You have to do a business plan and as soon as you do that you go to panel, which is like Dragon’s Den. You have got to stand in front of people and pitch your idea. I was successful in getting a grant so I am currently spending that. We have already installed a new boiler, new flooring and have used 80 litres of white paint in the salon.’
Cara, Jemma and her family have created a calming, tranquil studio, and they hope to expand and offer more services: ‘I like doing Gelish manicure, it is really good and really fast. I like doing facials because they are quite relaxing and I am looking at training in massage. I am studying hairdressing at the moment as well. I haven’t been out of education since I left here. It is good experience. It has been a mad 12 weeks but it has been well worth it. We want to carry on and hopefully take on a beauty apprentice by next year. I’d like to become a training establishment rather than just making money.’
Vanity Lounge is based at the Best Western Rockingham Forest Hotel, Rockingham Road, Corby NN17 1AE. Telephone 01536 203894 for more information or to make a booking.