Three friends who feared they would face unemployment have praised the Hartlepool firm which came to their rescue - and kept them together as a team.
The new Collier and Wood hair and beauty superstore has opened at Advanced House in Wesley Square.
And the team of staff who are running it include three women who were facing redundancy from their previous workplace. Manager Marge Smethurst plus sales assistants Ann Williams and Elaine Henderson couldn’t wait to get started at the new shop which will serve both the trade and the public.
Marge said she worked with Ann and Elaine at a previous beauty business in town but all three were told they could potentially be made redundant.
But then, Rob Collier of Advanced Retail Solutions offered them all posts at the new shop he was planning to open.
“Before we left, we were told about this place,” said Marge. “It is ideal because it means we can continue to work as a team.”
It is ideal because it means we can continue to work as a teamMarge Smethurst
Rob said: “We took three people on and we employed them instead. They have a fantastic relationship with the salons and beauticians.”
“We have seen a market in our area and we have a lot of exclusive professional brands. It is exciting and the location is key.”
Collier and Wood stocks products ranging from hair colours to wax and nails to eye lashes.
Marge added: “It feels so welcoming to be here and we have already had a lot of interest from the public.”
The shop is the latest addition to the facilities at Advanced House which is the home of Advanced Retail Solutions in the former Hartlepool Mail offices.
Advanced Retail Solutions is based on the ground floor and Rob spearheaded the conversion of the rest of the building.
Rob’s firm, which supplies major retailers all over the UK, including professional hairdressing services, hair care products, hair colouring and associated sundries, has also diversified into premium office letting.
Both he and director John Wood have now also opened the new shop.
The Mail is now operating from Scarborough Street. Contact a reporter on (01429) 865475.