Falkirk mum of three Claire Graham is no ordinary lorry driver - and her 7.5 tonne truck does a very different job from most HGVs.
She has launched what she reckons is a revolutionary way of dealing with the vexed question of how to get the best hairdo for a hotel wedding function, and it all hinges on Charlotte Grace (the name she chose for her truck).
Called Hair at Your Venue, Claire’s truck is a mobile bridal salon that takes hairdressing straight to the wedding venue, aiming to liberate ladies from the hassle of getting their hair done at a conventional salon perhaps several miles away.
Wind, rain, and passing seagulls hold no terrors for her customers, who can enjoy their day with a “fresh from the salon” look that won’t be spoiled by the fickle fortune of Scottish weather.
That’s her business proposition, and as an idea it evolved during her time working as a housekeeping manager at venues including Holiday Inn Express Stirling, Inchyra Hotel and Dundas Castle.
Claire said: ““I repeatedly heard from customers how inconvenient it was for them to get their hair and make-up done at a salon away from their venue and having to worry about travelling in all weather conditions.
“I looked into ways I could bring those complete and full salon services to them – wash, cut, dry, hair up and make up”.
She decided to train as a hairdresser part time, and then contacted Business Gateway Scotland who helped her develop her bold idea.
Claire added: “Renovating the truck has been a great experience and it has been challenging at times - especially learning how to drive it.
“Setting up the business has been a huge learning curve but I feel very grateful as I have had a lot of support from my family and from other small businesses - a lot of them run by other women – such as Perfect Penny Marketing, Boss Girls, Party Rocks, Daisy Fay Wedding and Events, Cleaning Scotland and Kelly McNie Photography, who have believed in me and helped me in different ways. It has been very supportive.”
Having given up her full time job to focus on building her business, Claire hopes she can help other graduates get their first rung on their career ladder.
She added: “I found it challenging to get salon time when I was training so I would like to eventually be able to employ other graduates to help them gain experience, build up their portfolio and help them along the way.”