A hair salon in Northampton has changed its name and will reopen next week after the pandemic pushed the business to the brink of closure.
Katie Dove, 33, is the owner of what was once ‘Katie Louise Hair Salon’ in Boothville Green. She started her career as a freelance hairstylist working in a garage, but eventually opened her salon in 2016.
From then on, her clientele grew, as did her business – but she was hit hard when the first nationwide lockdown was put in place in March 2020.
Katie said: “I honestly thought the pandemic was going to close our salon. All the staff were leaving and we had been closed for about seven months.
“I think at one point we advertised the show and then a week later I thought oh my god what am I actually doing? So I contacted them and told them to pull it out. We went to the bottom but stayed through.”
The Katie Louise hair salon employed about 11 or 12 people at the start of the pandemic. They have since been reduced to a small team of three.
When the salon opened in 2016, Katie took on an apprentice called Maddy, who was 17 at the time. Maddy went from a young apprentice at the salon one day a week to a full-time role and then to a position as a senior stylist.
Now close friends, Katie asked Maddy if she would like to be her business partner after being loyal to the salon for so long. Maddy said yes and now they’ve renamed the salon to give it a fresh new look and a fresh start.
Maddy McEwan, 23, said: “I have been extremely loyal to the salon over the years and Katie and I have become very close friends.
“In 2020, the pandemic hit our living room very hard. We had no idea what was going to happen and our jobs were all at risk, but we are now building a great team from scratch that seeks to achieve what only our dreams can imagine. .
“We’ve taken a fresh approach to our salon and breathed new life into it, making it very modern and tasteful. I can’t wait for our customers to see it.”
The Katie Louise hair salon, now called ‘The Weave & Style Lounge’, is smaller as more rooms have been added to the premises so that they can be rented out to independent hairdressers and stylists.
When asked what look the duo went for for their rebranded living room, Katie said she wanted to go for a “calm, relaxed and chic look” with neutral colors, black and wood tones.
Katie said: “We want our guests to feel at home, very warm and comfortable and well looked after. We’ve gone for a different vibe than before.”
On making the salon smaller, Katie added: “The pandemic was just crazy so I think from the salon’s experience in this situation it just made me realize that not being a big salon would be much better.
“I work very well as a team because it’s good to have other people on board and to take a completely different approach going forward. I’m very excited about the new changes.”
When the salon closed, Katie and Maddy didn’t just sit and twiddle their thumbs, they took training in hair extensions and wig making and have now started their own training academy for teach staff everything they know.
They now want to work on making wigs for people with cancer, alopecia, and other conditions that cause hair loss.
Maddy said: “I have worked extremely hard over the years and am thrilled to partner with Katie and build this business together. I will also be working alongside Katie in our Weave & Style training academy to teach people all we know in extensions and give them the best start for their own business.
“I can’t wait to see what the future holds for both of us.”
Ahead of the show reopening, Katie said she was delighted that the show was already sold out for the rest of the month and most of February as well.
Katie said: “I think without Maddy I couldn’t have done it. She helped me save the business.”
The Weave & Style salon will open on Tuesday 18th January at Boothville Green, Northampton.