Hi Chloe here, I thought whilst celebrating our 15th year in business it would be nice to do a synopsis of
our story so far...
Sharon, who (as most of you know) is my mum, opened the doors to Sahara Sun Tanning and Beauty Studios in April 2004 as a tanning salon, I helped my mum on weekends as a 14 year old looking for some extra pocket money. My mum soon saw the potential that this little salon in the heart of Appley Bridge held, so expanded and was soon providing a range of beauty treatments to a growing, loyal client base.
In 2008 I decided I wasn't ready for the world of work and headed to university, not quite sure what I wanted to do with my life. Getting drunk most nights of the week seemed quite appealing, oh to be 18 again. I still came back and helped out on weekends and loved the fact that Mum was making a success of this little dream.
Kate joined the team in 2009 as a 19 year old with a passion for all things beauty and make up. In 2011, I graduated UCLan with a 2:1 in Sport and Leisure Management, still unsure of which path to choose in life, unaware that the decision would be determined for me, just one week later when my mum was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 45. There was no doubt in my mind, I had to take the reins and keep the salon afloat during her absence. With Kate's help, I managed to step into my mum's shoes, doing as she had taught me from the beginning. Mum would pop in where possible, in between hospital stays, operations and rounds of chemo. Kate was the main reason I stayed sane, nothing was ever too much trouble, whether that be an SOS call into work so that I could stay home to help Mum, a later finish so that I could dash to hospital visits or just a brew, chat and a hug on the dark days. They say that tough times reveal the true friends and that is so true. We often joke that Kate is an honorary member of our family, in those trying times she treated us as her own and we will forever be grateful for that.
After a brave battle, in 2013 Mum returned to the business. The initial idea was for me to leave and pursue a career in the corporate world, but when it came down to it I couldn't let go, nor did I want to. I got a real flavour for the industry and felt like I had found my vocation. It is funny how something great can come from such hard times.
In 2016 Mum and I made the decision that I would take over the main running of Sahara Sun and my mum would still work in the salon doing treatments, handing over all the little bits that go along with keeping a small business running. This seemed to confuse a lot of clients, thinking she was going to sit at home sipping tea whilst watching Loose Women. In reality, she still loves the salon and the beauty industry but wants more flexibility and spare time to enjoy the things she loves and explore the world without the stresses of running a business, and who on earth could blame her?
The salon has continued to grow, whilst still keeping the heart and soul of the little family business. In October 2016 we refurbished the salon in just nine days. After a lot of very early mornings and extremely late nights, we finally pulled it all together at 2am, ready for our 10am re-open and reveal. With the help of our family, my partner Ben and Kate, who traded her beauty brushes for paint brushes that week and was also on the 2am finishes (what a woman) we did it, by the skin of our teeth.
We are now in 2019 and so proud to be celebrating 15 years in business, now with Lauren as a wonderful addition to our Sahara Sun family. It hasn't always been easy, but it has definitely been worth it. It has been one hell of a roller-coaster but we would do it all again in a heartbeat (minus the cancer though,
We would be nothing without our wonderful and loyal clients. Thank you for being part of our story, part
of our Sahara Sun family, long may it continue, Here is to the next 15!