After training to be a hairdresser in Kent, Paris spent a further four years in the salon perfecting her skills and learning more about the business.
However, Paris was in love with the south-west, and she decided to move to Cornwall where she secured a position in a salon in Truro. She settled in well however eight months later, Covid came along and turned everything upside down.
Disruption and uncertainty
Paris said: “When the pandemic hit I was furloughed. At the time I was living in a shared house, but my partner’s family offered me a place to stay which was great…but it was in north-west Devon, around 70 miles away from Truro.”
Paris decided to leave her job at the salon in Truro for a local position with a vet, close to her new home, giving her an income during an uncertain time. This role was not ideally suited to Paris’ skills and as a result she did not enjoy it. It was a big decision to leave a secure income in such unstable times however Paris decided to seek a hairdressing role, something she was really keen to get back into as this is where her passion lies.
“Trying to find work in a salon was proving challenging while there was so much uncertainty during the long periods hair salons were closed during lockdowns,” said Paris.
“I took up working on a hairdresser ‘dolls’ hair for practice while I looked for work. I posted my work on Instagram and Facebook. A few accounts with many followers offered to share my work, which was great and really motivated me.
“It was around this time that I started thinking about becoming self-employed. A short time later I met Jacqui, a Pluss Positive People self-employment coach, who has helped me on my journey to where I am now.”
Challenges and new opportunities
The Covid-19 pandemic has been a massive challenge for Paris, in terms of the changes it brought. Deciding to start a new business during a period of so much uncertainty added anxiety, about stepping into the unknown, into the mix.
Paris explained: “I really hoped there wouldn’t be another lockdown. I had to purchase some equipment and stock. I had no savings and a low income. There’s already a number of freelance hairdressers in the area too, so I had to try to stand out from the crowd, which meant doing a lot of research.”
The Positive People programme helps people in Devon who are unemployed and over the age of 25. They provide the support that often is the very thing holding people back from making progress.
Paris added: “Positive People helped me so much. I wouldn’t have known where to start. I didn’t know about business plans and business insurance and how to overcome challenges. Jacqui was fantastic, constantly reassuring me that I can do it. I had all the help I needed to keep pushing on no matter what and I am so grateful.”
An experienced and specially trained self-employment coach works with a person who is considering self-employment, setting out a plan of action and all the various factors that must be considered.
Paris continued: “Jacqui helped me understand the tools and information I needed and encouraged me to ‘think outside the box’. I needed to learn about the business side of things. Jacqui set me tasks to push me outside my comfort zone, learning how to get the information myself. Jacqui was always on hand though, which gave me so much confidence.”
Paris is now fully registered as a self-employed hairdresser and has started trading. Her business is called ‘Parisiumhair. Thanks to her hard work and dedication, Paris already has almost 20 weddings booked for this year and next, as well as a diary filling with appointments for haircuts, colour and extensions.
“I have had fully booked days with clients which I would never had thought was possible so quickly. I’m so happy and grateful for all the support and opportunity I’ve been given with Positive People.”
You can check out Paris’ amazing hair skills by visiting her Instagram page, at: https://www.instagram.com/parisiumhair/