Hair today, Las Vegas tomorrow

VIVA LAS VEGAS: Janice Auton (sitting) with her staff (left to right) Gemma Balderson, Lauren Owens, Brian Kerr, Sam Rollinson, Dann Rose, Tracy Bourne and Katie Bird
VIVA LAS VEGAS: Janice Auton (sitting) with her staff (left to right) Gemma Balderson, Lauren Owens, Brian Kerr, Sam Rollinson, Dann Rose, Tracy Bourne and Katie Bird

A SALON boss is jetting off to the casino capital of the world on an all-expenses-paid trip after her team scooped the top title in a prestigious national competition.

Janice Auton, director of the Poppys hair salon in Victoria Road, Hartlepool, will fly to Las Vegas, in the USA, on Thursday after her eight-strong team won a sales competition in conjunction with the Paul Mitchell hair products brand.

The business beat off tough competition from scores of other salons across the country to boost sales and awareness of the product.

Janice believes the success of her team in re-training for the competition, which substantially boosted sales, has helped to secure their jobs in the current financial climate.

While at the glitzy Nevada resort, Janice will attend a hairdressing convention called Paul Mitchell: The Gathering, and will get $500 to spend and free time in Las Vegas.

Excited Janice, 56, who is also director of a Poppys branch in Stockton, said: “To win a prize like this is amazing.

“But I couldn’t have done it without my team, it’s absolutely fantastic.

“It’s a shame I couldn’t take all my team.

“They are amazing.”

Working with Paul Mitchell consultant Richard Mather on the three-month challenge, staff were trained to educate clients on using the right products on their hair helps them have salon-style hair every day.

Janice said the challenge saw the team changing the whole concept of their consultations and how they deal with clients.

Janice, who is originally from Hartlepool but lives in Castle Eden with her engineer husband, Jim, said: “I just think it’s great that a salon in Hartlepool can be recognised and it wasn’t just about our sales, it was percentage of sales pro rata per business. “You could have had a salon in the centre of London winning, but our victory was after winning percentage-wise.”

Janice, who has 39 years experience of being a hairstylist and cut her teeth at the salon in Binns in Middlesbrough, hung up her scissors at Easter to concentrate on the business aspect of her career.

The mum to James, a teacher at Northfield School and Sports College in Billingham and Jonathan, who works for a call centre in the Phillipines, said: “I felt it was the decision to make – I’m not going to let this recession affect our business.

“We are going to drive through this and come out the other side.”