Wanting to create a salon space to reflect the professional and friendly services she prides herself on offering, Gemma Brown styled her salon using a grey, white and silver colour scheme, creating an elegant and contemporary feel.

Leaving school in 2001, Gemma completed her Beauty Therapy NVQs at Levels 2 and 3. After qualifying, she worked in a salon for seven years, before branching out into education. “I worked in private education apprenticeships, in a school with its own salon and in a prison teaching beauty,” she reveals. “I was also an educator for Isabelle Hammon working in the northeast and on its stand at the beauty shows.

“My last education post was at Darlington College, where I supported students in the hair and beauty department with social, emotional and academic studies. Along the way, I have trained in a lot of extra courses including reflexology, Indian head massage, Eve Taylor, and much more.”

Having been unwell with Covid and out of work for ten months in 2021, Gemma returned to work at Darlington College. “I was under the long Covid clinic, and I needed a lot of support to make this return happen. I did get better, but I was very fatigued and wiped out at times.”

Around this time, the room above her best friend’s hair salon became available to rent. “She’d been begging me to set up in that room for five years by that point, but I never took plunge. When the room became available, my family said it was time to do something for myself that I loved doing. My husband, son, and family were very supportive and helped me set it all up. I handed my notice in to my job of 8 years and proceeded to plan my new venture.”

Gemma opened Sérenity in April 2022, offering a range of services, including acrylic nail extensions, I-nails, builder in a bottle, gel overlay, nail art and pedicures. “I use Naio Nails for acrylic, builder in a bottle and gel overlays – its a local company, I love the look of their products, and I love the look I can achieve on application. My clients are rebooking and my feedback is very good and consistent,” she shares.

Gemma also offers eyelash lifts and tints using products from Hive, and offers facials using products from Eve Taylor. “I use Eve Taylor for facials as they are a UK-based company with a lot of environmental benefits, along with being a professional, affordable salon range.”

Gemma describes her typical clients at Sérenity as being friendly and supportive of local businesses. “My clients are very down to earth, and enjoy the experience they receive at Sérenity,” she smiles. “I have a couple of clients that have returned to me from when I worked in my first salon in 2005!

“My salon is unique to me and my personality. I decorated it all myself, expressing my own sense of a calm, relaxing atmosphere. I chose to use grey, white and silver. I feel this is a clean, crisp and contemporary look, creating a welcoming feel to my room.

“I wanted to create a relaxing and elegant space where people can come to relax and unwind, whilst receiving a professional treatment.”

“My favourite way to present my salon is when my room is set up for facials or massages, with the lights dimmed, spa aromas in the air, and relaxing music is playing. It’s so peaceful!

“I love my salon because of the sense of achievement I get when I look back at how hard I’ve worked to bring this together,” Gemma enthuses. “That feeling you get when a client walks out of your salon feeling a million dollars is something you can’t beat.”

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By Editor