Karen Bolland shares her Parisian-themed salon setup with Scratch, revealing the inspiration behind her decor choices.

After graduating from university with a History degree, Karen Bolland began her beauty training alongside her full-time job in 2003. Studying at evening classes at Phoenix School of Health & Beauty in Chelmsford, Essex, Karen worked to gain her City & Guild beauty qualifications, gradually adding more skills to her portfolio.

Karen began taking clients from her living room, with her initial clients consisting of friends and family, before her business began to grow, moving her from room to room in her house. “I have always carried out my beauty treatments from my home,” she explains. “My salon is now a renovated room in my house, built especially for my expanding business.”

“My business has expanded a lot along the way. Angelic Beauty naturally evolved into pamper parties – being a mum myself, I know how important parties are for little ones. I love to make sure everything is fun and perfect, just as I would like my own child’s party to be. Every review is so important to me, I want my clients to be happy.

“I expanded further during the pandemic,” she recalls. “I set up a movie night sleepover with my children’s own teepees as a treat for them, and I posted it as an Instagram reel. It generated so much interest and I got lots of positive comments! After this, I decided to launch my second business, The Teepee Angel, as a way to help families have fun at home, safely, when we weren’t allowed to enter homes to host pamper parties. I’m a very creative person, and I love making my themes as unique as possible. I’m a perfectionist, and I hand make a lot of the props for my teepee business.”

“I love what I do, and I’m so excited to continue to grow my businesses in 2023.”

Karen works alone in the salon as a beauty therapist and nail technician, offering manicures, pedicures, luxury heat treatments for hands and feet, gel nails on natural nails, and nail art. “Nail art is my specialty. I do most of it freehand, which is my favourite way to do it. Gel overlays with nail art and facials are my most popular treatments in the salon,” she reveals.

“I use Gelish for nails, and it performs extremely well. I’ve used Gelish since I started, and I love the range of colours available. I use Navy Pro Tools for their hygiene range, and PersoNAILity for their tools. I also use products from Magpie Beauty for nail art.”

“I don’t really have a typical client in the salon. All my ladies are different and love different nail styles. I cater for children for the pamper parties from age four, up to my eldest client, my amazing Nan, who’s 90 years old. I love each of my clients individually,” Karen beams. “Most of my clients go for gel overlays and facials. Many of them are busy mums from our local school, who pop in around the school run.”

Karen prides herself on being a calm and approachable individual, and recognises this as a strength when she provides treatments for clients. “Many of my reviews mention how clients, from the children to my more elderly ladies, feel comfortable with me, and that’s what I’ve aimed for with my salon. I wanted to create a calm space for my clients to relax, while being made to look and feel beautiful. I love to take my time with clients. There is no conveyor belt here – my clients are my friends, and I treat them that way.

“I might take longer doing my client’s nails, but they will be perfect.”

“I wanted my salon to have a calming Parisian vibe. I created the Parisian theme around a beautiful tray my Mum bought me one year for Christmas. It has a lovely pink, floral design. I knew I wanted flowers and greenery in my beauty room, so taking inspiration from the floral tray, I’ve created my space to be like a cherry blossom dream from Paris!

“My salon is classy and fresh, and not cluttered,” she notes. “I have a gorgeous sink area using an antique table from a local antiques centre, and I have a special seating area at the back, where two or three clients can come for a pamper party together. I also have a specially-made pedicure station for me to carry out pedicure treatments.”

“The salon’s decor is creative, and so am I! It inspires the creativity in me even more,” Karen beams. “When I walk in, I instantly relax, which is also the aim for my clients. It’s so pretty in my salon, you can’t help but smile when you go in.

“My favourite part of the salon could be the flower ceiling, or the blossom tree seating area, or the pedicure station! I love it all – I don’t think I can choose one specific area.”

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By Editor