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Derby barber’s first ‘incredible’ year despite lockdowns and Covid measures

An Allenton salon owner expressed her relief after facing a difficult but “unbelievable” first year of business.

Monique Murphy, 29, opened Monique Hair and Beauty last September after building clients as a mobile hairstylist.

She decided to set up her base in Nightingale Road, Allenton, to avoid traveling across the county to reach her clients.

She said: “I don’t know what I thought would happen when I opened, to be honest.

“It was just one of those ‘I woke up today and decided to open a living room,” but when I’m actually in the living room and it’s full and filled with the other salon staff, I’m really glad I did.

“I didn’t know I had so many clients too, I thought I couldn’t drive to so many different places, that’s why I opened the salon.

“Obviously it was intermittent around the time we could open, but it was amazing. All the times we have been open it has been busy all the time, so everything has gone well.

Monique said she found her place when she opened her new salon.

Specializing in the braiding of Afro-Caribbean hair, Monique uses a variety of techniques including box braiding and weaving.

She found that the type of hair she could process was different from most other Derby-based companies and her clients were passionate about her work.

She said: “I get along with a lot of people, and I know a lot of people say in Derby that Afro-Caribbean hairdressers are hard to find because I specialize in braiding, so it’s a bit of a niche.

“It’s great for someone to know that they can go to Monique’s salon to have their hair braided or anything that really has to do with black hair.

“There isn’t much in Derby, with black clients they normally get their hair done by a family member or have to travel out of town for that, there isn’t really a salon where they could wash, dry and braid hair.

“When I was looking initially I would have liked to go to town, but now I think I’m happy in Allenton.

“It’s a lot less stressful and a lot cheaper too.”

Monique said she was pleasantly surprised at how successful her business has been since it opened last year.

After having had to close the store several times due to nationwide closures, and after putting in place new Covid measures to protect her customers, she believes the salon has come back stronger than ever.

Monique specializes in braiding using a variety of techniques.

She said: “I would never regret it to be honest because we have always been busy outside of the times when we had to close.

“I just used this as a chance to relax because I knew when we opened up again I knew we would be busy so I don’t really think there was anything wrong about it. the pandemic for us.

“The only bad thing was the second lockdown, from January to April, because it took a toll on the mental health of many people.

“With the clients walking into the living room, it was a relief for them as they were talking about what was going on at home, their friends and family, and when you are stuck at home you can’t really talk to anyone sometimes.

“I know we haven’t worked the whole year, but it just passed. I’m really happy and grateful to the others who have worked here because without them it wouldn’t have been the same.

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