Salon in the Spotlight: Arabella Beauty and Training, Hitchin

Clare Hunt qualified in beauty in 2016 as a mature student, following the birth of her daughter. “Before I was a nail tech, I worked full-time as a college lecturer, teaching window dressing. I decided on a career change during my maternity as I wanted to do a job that could would work around my daughter.”

“I studied beauty at Oaklands College in Welwyn Garden City. I think being a mature student it made me more determined, as I knew it was what I wanted to do.

“I then did day courses at various local companies in my specialist treatments,” Clare shares. “I studied in gel with Bio Sculpture, which was amazing and I learnt so much.”

“I initially worked as a mobile tech at the beginning of my career, then rented a room above a hairdressers for six years,” she reveals. “I then took the plunge and opened up my salon.

“The salon was originally a clothing shop. It’s based down a small alley way called West Alley.”

“I would love to expand in the future, but at the moment, I’m happy with my little salon.

“In the salon I offer nail art, builder gel, gel extensions and gel polish,” Clare notes. “Gels are the most popular treatment, but I do lots of nail art too.”

“I use The GelBottle for gel polish,” she says. “I’ve used a range of brands over the years – I think it’s import to move with times and try new products.

“I’m loving The GelBottle as it compliments so many nail types. I still love Bio Sculpture, too.”

“I have two nails techs that work with me in the salon on a part-time basis. Marie specialises in gels and Becka does advanced nail art, gel extensions and gels.

“Hitchin is a small town. All my clients love to shop at independent stores, so therefore a lot of my clients like to support their local town,” Clare smiles. “We have lots of surrounding villages too, so we get a lot of people visiting Hitchin.”

“The décor is very unique. There’s no other salon like mine in the area.

“We don’t have any more than two clients in at a time, so the salon is intimate,” she says. “Clients feel like they are important and not rushed when they visit.”

“I based my theme on my branding,” Clare observes. “It’s very botanical and has a London-feel, with the black shop front and accessories.

“My nails bars were custom made using scaffold boards to give a rustic feel. My salon is also inspired by my house and the decor is very similar.”

“The décor is a huge talking point – I get compliments on the decor by passersby all the time.”

“I love my window. I used to work as a window dresser in London, so I know how important visual display is and how people love to see you work,” she enthuses. “It means I have to keep the salon spotless at all times though!

“I’ve thought about every feature- what the tables are made from, the lights! Everything has a purpose.”

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By Editor