Gemma Forsyth was thrilled to be able to open a training academy at her Hidden Gem Salon earlier this month – a year after she first contemplated the idea.
Based in Broomhill Road, the newest dimension of the business launched on September 1, meaning the next generation of beauticians can train there, develop their skills and learn from Gemma, who is a former Scottish Nail Technician of the Year winner.
The traditional hairdressing stations and nail booths remain in place, however, the building itself has tripled in size.
Gemma said: “I now have a proper training academy with nail rooms and a hair side, so it's a lot bigger.
“It was a decision I made in September last year because my neighbours told me they were moving, but then the second lockdown put a spanner in the works – but I got there eventually!
“I’m a nail technician to trade and I’ve owned the business for four years but I’ve been doing it for seven years.
“I lived in Spain for a wee while, came back and opened a salon in Denny and won Scottish Nail Technician of the Year in 2018.
“I’ve now become an educator because I want to start teaching people how to do nails. I currently have six members of staff, it’s about to be seven.
“We’ve been really lucky – after the second lockdown we were unsure how it was going to be but business just came back. It was crazy!
“It was really, really busy.”
Despite a recent rise in Covid case numbers in Scotland, Gemma insists business has remained relatively steady.
She said: “It has been difficult because the numbers have gone up again, but we’re riding the wave at the moment.
“Every day has gone really well. Everybody is totally loving the new space. It’s a much more relaxed atmosphere.
“It’s a very different vibe – my premises look like a house. When you walk in the front door there are two separate sections.
“People have said it’s nice that it’s so specialist.”