Kettering hair salon celebrates 50th anniversary
Willow Hair Salon has been open for half a century, making it one of the longest running hairdressers in the area
A Kettering hair salon is celebrating its 50th year of business, making it one of the longest running hairdressers in the area.
José Forsdyke, 75, said she thought Willow Hair Design was the longest open hair salon in Kettering and said: "I think by far, I don't know of anyone else that's still here."
She opened her salon when she took on the converted corner shop in Willow Road where she's been running her hairdressing business ever since.
José still has clients from before she even opened the salon and said: "I actually started as a mobile hairdresser about eight years before and I still have some clients that I did as mobile on my books.
"Some of them are 89 and they still come. I haven't taken new clients in the last 20 years but of course my team do."
José has a team of 16 hairdressers in the salon ranging in age from 18 and upwards.
She said her clients reflect this: "It's not an older ladies salon, it's a real cross-section of ages."
José said the secret to running such a long-lasting business is loving what you do.
"I have some pictures on the ceiling of the shampoo room and one does say, to keep doing a good job, you must love what you do.
"I love it and I love the contact with people. The team I have got are absolutely wonderful, we are like an extended family."
José added that hairdressers should try and keep up with fashion and look forward.
For her, the best part of the job is the clients.
José said: "Personally, I love to change people. You know, if you get people that have had a bad time in their life, perhaps a divorce, to give them a restyle or a new colour, giving them a new look and seeing the pleasure in their faces."
The salon is closed on a Monday so they used the free time this week (March 16) to get together and celebrate their 50th anniversary.
The girls had some champagne, flowers and balloons.
José was taking her team to London on Tuesday to celebrate, but unfortunately, they had to cancel their plans amid the coronavirus crisis.
She said: "I was taking all of us to London to see the Tina Turner Story, the show. Of course, that's had to be cancelled.
"We close on a Monday but the show doesn't run on that day, so I said we will close for the first time in 50 years and then of course it cancelled anyway.
"We have had everything, extensions, building work, and every time we have always opened but not today."
José said the salon will be open as usual until there is advice otherwise.
She said: "At the moment, we are getting calls from people saying, 'I hope you are still open'.
"We are cleaning like mad and we are spreading the chairs out much more."
You can find Willow Hair Salon online here. It offers a full range of hair care services and has a beauty room with treatments such as facials, reflexology, tanning, body massage, lashes and brows, and more.