“It seems only like yesterday.”
These were the thoughts of salon owner Alison Windsor as she recalled the moment she and her sister Jan opened the doors of Options on Wood Street on Dec 8 1986.
Fast forward 30 years and Alison is still styling hair in the heart of the city centre and has been responsible for training hundreds of stylists and mentoring a whole generation of salon owners.
But it all began when Alison, aged just 15, began work as a Saturday girl at Changes Hairdressing Salon.
She has always stuck to her philosophy of delivering quality service with a personal touch.
She said: “I have been able to sustain my business due to the loyalty and high calibre of the staff I have had the privilege of working with over the past thirty years. I believed passionately in hairdressing all those years ago and have tried to encourage members of the team to share that passion.”
Alison says her passion has never faded and that she loves what she does, in fact she still approaches each day with the same drive and enthusiasm she did as a Saturday girl.
She said: “You need skill and talent but being a hairdresser is about having a zest - a zest for life. You must love what you do every minute of every day - after all you are only as good as your last cut or colour.”
She says her proudest achievement is the quality of training and education she has given to her staff over the years.
She also says it has been tough to make sure her city centre salon and its sister branch in Rothwell survive the 2008 recession.
The salon on Wood Street is very welcoming, with a nice ambience, staff and clients chat like friends.
She said: “All our success is because the team work together and that we are like a family and as a business we are only as strong as the team.”
Alison said she had not only seen styles change during the past three decades but also the attitude towards those working in the industry.
She said: “It is more professional, people are highly trained and skilled and there is also a great deal of technology and scientific knowledge that is needed today. You have to keep moving forward, and keep up, to create quality hairdressers.”
**Express readers will be given a discount on a haircut with a copy of this week’s paper.