A Hawick beauty salon has been named as the Borders’ only finalist in a national competition celebrating all things bright and beautiful.
The Beauty Lounge, opened by Hawick beautician Ashleigh Fisher in March, has been shortlisted for the title of best salon in the south of Scotland at 2018’s Scottish Hair and Beauty Awards.
Ashleigh, 28, says the nomination came as a complete surprise, the High Street salon having been put forward by an anonymous source and then voted for by her clients.
“I have no idea where the nomination came from,” said the former Hawick High School and Borders College student. “It was quite a surprise when I got the nomination letter through the door, but when I do find out, whoever it is will be getting a big thank-you.”
Ashleigh did a placement at Stobo Castle in Peebles before being selected for a six-week placement in Spain during her level-three qualification course.
After qualifying as a beauty therapist , she worked in a five-star spa in Abu Dhabi for three years before returning home to Hawick in February last year.
“She then worked in the Macdonald Cardrona spa, near Peebles, before deciding to go it alone in her hometown, taking over 24 High Street, the former Borders Learning Centre at Interalia.
“It’s a great location,” Ashleigh added.
“It needed quite a lot of work done to it, but it was a chance to make it my own.”
Ashleigh says that blank canvas meant she could create more of a spa atmosphere within the salon, rather than a typical beauty salon.
And while she works there on her own, six days a week, at the moment, she does take on students from Borders College on work placements.
“It’s still just my first year in business, but it’s great to see that all the hard work has paid off,” she added.
The Scottish Hair and Beauty Awards is the largest independent competition of its kind.
Now in its eighth year, it attracts hundreds of nominations from salons and individuals across 30 different categories, with the final winner chosen by a panel of industry experts.
This year’s awards take place in Glasgow’s Crown Plaza Hotel on Sunday, December 9.