Donna has worked in the industry for 35 years
Donna Wilson Scott Hegarty, owner of Donna VIP Hair & Beauty Studio on Derry's Carlisle Road, took the leap of faith and opened her salon during the pandemic last year.
The Derry woman has been working in the hairdressing industry for 35 years and spoke to Derry News last year as she began her new business venture.
Donna saw the pandemic as an opportunity to take a different direction in her career and finally open her own place, Donna VIP Hair & Beauty Studio.
One year on, the salon is thriving and Donna says it is the best thing she ever did.
"It's definitely the best decision I've ever made in my life"" Donna explained. "Thank god, it has gone from strength to strength.
"I get to make my own decisions, I get to put my own stamp on everything, I love it.
Donna opened her own salon last year during the pandemic and has watched her risk pay off over the last 12 months as the salon goes from strength to strength
"I was worried. Hairdressing is a treat and during the pandemic I felt like it was more of a transaction than a personal experience.
"But, now we are starting to properly interact with people, especially our older clients, they need their wee social outing and their chat during their blow dry.
“Hairdressers and beauticians should’ve been seen as part of essential services for people’s mental health because I have seen how important it is to my customers.
"We love to chat to our customers and get to know them on a personal level.
"We also like to get on the same wavelength as our clients and have a consultation for 15-20 minutes, we want to really know what they want.
"Now that the clear dividers are down and everything, we can do that properly, it makes such a difference.
"We can chat to everyone in the salon and get conversation flowing. It's like we're getting ready for a night out in here, the only thing that is missing is a bottle of wine," Donna joked.
The businesswoman has been inundated with appointments over the last 12 months from Derry, Donegal and further afield.
Donna says she loves getting to know her clients and giving them the best experience and results that she can with the help of her team.
Donna added: "I have the girls that come in to help me at the weekend and we are all here to listen and to chat and to laugh, we want everyone to leave happy.
"One of my clients says whenever she is feeling down, her husband tells her to 'go down to Lourdes' because Donna is a miracle worker," she laughed.
Donna and the girls are at Donna VIP Hair & Beauty Studio at 69 Carlisle Road, BT48 6JL, Derry.
You can call the salon at 028 7137 0131 or visit the Facebook page @HAIRBYDONNA
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