A mum-of-three has entered her business into the first WOW awards to get recognition for its success and the battle she went through to build it up.
Kelly Preston, 33, has put The Sanctuary Spa, in Seahouses, in the running for the independent spa/hairdresser category in the Northeast Press WOW awards.
Organised by the publishers of the Northumberland Gazette, in connection with Tweeddale Press’s Berwick Advertiser, the awards have been launched to celebrate Northumberland and the businesses which make it a brilliant place in which to work and visit.
And Kelly’s business is the proofof the pudding.
It opened last year and has gone from strength to strength.
But it almost didn’t happen.
Six months into the process of renovating the building, Kelly was diagnosed with a tumour on her ovary.
She had what was supposed to be a routine operation, but ended up with an infection and in intensive care for three weeks, with doctors not knowing if she was going to make it.
“After that I was more determined than ever to get the business going,” Kelly said.
“Something like that makes you realise what you have got and that you only have one life.
“I have always wanted to get a salon so I went for it.
“And we have done so well.
“There is nothing like it in the area, we are the only five-star boutique hair and beauty salon on the coastline.
“We are surrounded by hotels, but they had nowhere for anyone to go to get things done.
“Now we are the recommended salon for places like Newton Hall, Ellingham Hall, Middleton Hall and Bamburgh Castle and we are even opening up a salon at Percy Wood Country Park in Swarland.
“It has gone amazingly since we opened in October and I would just love the work that we do to be recognised which is why I entered the awards.
The spa currently has four full-time members of staff and is also looking to employ two more.
There are also plans to expand the downstairs section of the building.