A new African-centric beauty and hair salon has finally opened in Northampton after the owners got the keys on the first day of the coronavirus lockdown.
Flowey Beauty Parlour offers women’s and men’s hairdressing as well as a range of beauty treatments inspired by the heritage of the owners, sisters Rutendo and Florence Nyatsine.
The Wellingborough Road business opened on July 6, when hairdressers were allowed to start again but it has been a long time coming for the pair.
Rutendo said: “Having to wait was very difficult for us because we had put up the money to start the business and buy the equipment we needed to start trading so it was devastating.
“Also, because we are new, we didn’t qualify for some of the loans and grants that were available so that has been really hard.
“But we’ve been patiently waiting, we’ve started now and I’m excited to use the skills I’ve learned in the UK.”
As well as the standard hairdressing and beauty stations, Flowey’s treatment room is decorated like a typical African salon where massuers will use techniques passed down from their grandmothers.
Rutendo said they wanted to bring some of their culture to the therapy industry and the town where it is not as well-known as others like Asian massages.
“Northampton is a cultural town but I don’t think African ways of doing massages and therapies is well-represented so I wanted to show that,” she said.
The salon owner believes having an African focus will help people with links to the continent embrace their heritage and provide something new for others.
“Memories are very therapeutic, it’s something we believe is good for their wellbeing, and good for others who have not had the experience of being in Africa,” she said.
Rutendo said the first week has been encouraging with lots of interest, while the government’s phased return of treatments has helped them to get started gradually.
The salon is a ‘dream come true’ for Rutendo as she had the idea while studying beauty therapy at Northampton College, graduating in 2012.
“I never lost hope as all the time we hear bad things about starting a business but I had the faith as we had a lot fo support from the government and council,” she said.
“So having hope is a thing that is amazing for people who want to start a business and I had that from the beginning at college.”