Laura Deakin, 34, runs Mane Attraction, in the Old Co-Op Building, in Eden Street, Horden, and says the newly opened business has boomed after she considered giving up on hair dressing during the pandemic.
The single mum-of-one had to stop doing mobile dressing due to Covid restrictions and says she struggled with her mental health, as well as financially, over lockdown.
"When that happened, it was destroying. I was self-employed, I wasn’t entitled to any benefits either, which was horrific,” said Laura.
She added: “I think we were all really disheartened. I was going to try find a job just in a factory or in a call centre and give up what I love because I was that disheartened.”
But she managed to find motivation in the passion for her job and put her mind to opening her own salon once she was able to work when restrictions were lifted.
Laura, from Peterlee, said she “saved every penny” and put it all in the salon – even taking up a second job at a takeaway in the run-up to Christmas.
The salon opened just five weeks ago, but it has been so successful already that barber Sam O’Donnell joined the business recently.
Laura, who wanted to have her own salon since she was 15, said: "I feel like it was a little miracle. I wasn’t looking for it. The opportunity to rent it just came up. I thought, it’s now or never. I either do it or I don’t.”
She continued: “It’s just boomed. It’s probably been one of the best things I’ve done.
"I’ve turned my life around completely. It’s given me a new focus and something to get my teeth stuck into, and just to make something work after your life’s been empty for a good few years.”
Laura also organised special events for young children at heavily discounted prices during the holidays to help them and their parents out.
She added: "You just have to try, and keep going and you can’t give up. You’ve got to believe in yourself. You’ve got to try. You can’t give up.”