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Passing the Torch:  Entrepreneurial Women

Red Hairdressing has been a regular fixture in the row of shops on Hazel Road, Whitefield, for the past 18 years, but its history is one of hard-working, creative women coming together to offer valuable services to the community.

The salon was founded in 2001 by a young hair stylist named Gemma Paton. She chose the Hazel Road location because her friend and fellow entrepreneur Sarah Stewart had recently opened her nail salon Cheekie Nails there. Gemma offered a full range of hair care services for both men and women, including bridal packages, and the shop quickly gained popularity among her clients in Prestwich and Whitefield. In fact, business was so good that she soon moved to more spacious premises (still on Hazel Road) so she could add more chairs and additional services like keratin blow dries and professional make-up and eyelash applications.

After many years of success, Gemma made the decision to immigrate to Australia with her family. While she was looking forward to a new adventure, she didn’t want to let her clients down by closing the shop. She asked Robyn Smith, the stylist who had been at Red the longest, if she wanted to buy the business. Robyn jumped at the chance.

Says Robyn:  “I had always dreamt of having my own salon so there was no way I was going to pass up Gemma’s offer.” In the year she has owned the salon, Robyn has managed to keep the comfortable, familiar atmosphere at Red while adding her own personal touches to the decor and services. She has worked hard to help the regular clientele make the transition with as little upheaval as possible and the other stylists have remained on board help maintain the friendly continuity.

To celebrate a successful end to her first year as salon owner on the 1July, Robyn concluded: “I’m offering a number of special offers to mark the occasion. I’m also continuing Gemma’s summer tradition of offering half price keratin blow dries.

“There will be a warm welcome to both new and current clientele to come in and help us celebrate.”