Photograph by Catherine Smyth

A CHANCE walk down Warner Street in Accrington led beautician Carla Chatburn to make a decision to ‘follow her dream’. That was nearly 15 years ago and now Carla is Managing Director of three salons under the Pure Perfection umbrella – in Accrington, Barrowford and Clitheroe. She said: “I was 21 and I had just lost my Aunt Joan to breast cancer. Her dying words were, ‘You only live once, follow your dreams.’”

Last year, after being a finalist twice at Hyndburn Business Awards, Carla was shocked when her Accrington salon walked away with the MicroBusiness title against strong competition. This year she is giving back because Pure Perfection (Accrington) Ltd is sponsoring the first ever Health and Beauty Business Award. She employs 12 therapists across the three salons and three are apprentices.

Carla said: “I am a people pleaser and started work in a hair salon at 16 as a Saturday girl. I did an apprenticeship so know how important they are and so I am pleased to be able to offer that opportunity to others starting out. I love making people feel good about themselves, especially because I was bullied in my younger years so I know how important that is. When I first opened the salon I worked 12 hours a day for seven days a week. It was hard work and I remember on one day I only had one client.”

Her determination to succeed gave her strength and she built up a strong team in the salons who share her passion and ethos. Carla said: “After I won, I was approached about sponsoring an award. At first, I said no because I am not confident. Then I thought about how the health and beauty business is one of the largest growing industries and I realised that it deserves its own category. I am so excited about reading the entries because I find it inspiring to see how people do things differently.”

Pure Perfection has embraced all forms of social media and uses them to post demonstration and treatment videos, staff blogs, offers and reviews. Carla said: “We use the tagline #enhance natural beauty and at first I didn’t know how it would be accepted, but I always want to be honest and transparent with my clients. “I aim to help clients achieve a natural beauty and a sense of wellbeing.”

She now goes into schools to talk to students considering a career in the industry.

Nominations for the 2019 Hyndburn Business Awards are open until April 16 and the awards ceremony will be at Accrington Town Hall on Tuesday June 18.

Story by Catherine Smyth Media