A Massive Impact on MK’s Popular Well-being Businesses

Lockdown restrictions are easing but it will take a long time for many of our local well-being, hair and beauty businesses to overcome the impact of the lockdown. Our local businesses continue to suffer but the owners remain strong and determined to succeed.

Although Welsh hair and barbering businesses re-opened by appointment from 15 March. Hair and beauty businesses based in England must wait until 12 April. Reopening, however, depends on the success of the vaccine rollout and the number of COVID-19 cases.

From mid-April salons and spas will hopefully re-open. Although that’s great news, the government still restrict some of our favourite treatments. Let’s hope that the 3 local businesses we are highlighting today will get past the impact.  

Nails by Lahn

Lanh’s Nails opened, 9 years ago – in fact on one of our slightly cooler days in January 2013. It was the British weather that actually helped her to make the decision to set up.

Picture of Lanh Mee, Director of Lanh's Nails, Stony Stratford.

Lanh Mee was working as a nail technician in Bedford. After marrying her husband Ray, she endured a busy daily commute to work. The mornings saw her catching the bus and every evening Ray would make his way over to collect her. On one particularly cold, snowy evening the journey was worse than ever.

It was at this point that they both realised they’d have to open their own salon to stop the dreadful daily commute. Lanh is the perfect owner. She loves working in the nail industry and just loves being with and chatting to her customers. Luckily they love her and her treatments as much as she loves them. This is her business – getting to do all the things she loves to do!

Before setting up in Stony Stratford, Lahn and Ray spent a long time looking for the right premises in the right location. As soon as they saw, their Stony property, they knew it was the right place to be.

It wasn’t all plain sailing though. They began by renting the property but soon realised that purchasing the property was the best option for the business. One of her biggest challenges was getting the money together for her deposit to buy the premises. Now, Lahn and husband Ray are proud owners and directors of the shop.

Prior to lockdown, Lanh’s Nails was one of the busiest in the area. They not only offer long opening hours, 9.30am-7pm, they are also open six days a week. With six manicure tables and pedicure chairs, customers don’t have to wait long for their treatments. Customers can even enjoy a relaxing massage in the state-of-the-art pedicure chairs. Staff are all fully trained and offer manicures, pedicures, acrylics, gels and Shellac. They also provide creative nail art.

Since lockdown, Lanh has taken every precaution to keep customers safe. The number of customers in the salon at any one time has also reduced. These extra precautions do have a great impact on small businesses and so more than ever they need our support.

The salon is Lanh’s life – she lives, breathes and thinks work. On the rare occasion when she is not working she loves nothing better than a trip to the shops. Lockdown has taken this away from her. However, we can’t wait to see the results from her new found hobby – knitting! If her nails are anything to go by, she’s likely to be just as creative!

You may not always realise that Lanh is in the shop, as she normally calls herself Thuy. If someone takes extra special care of you, this lovely discrete person is likely to be the owner! And, luckily many of Lanh’s and Ray’s customers can’t wait for them to reopen.

You may not always realise that Lanh is in the shop, as she normally calls herself Thuy. If someone takes extra special care of you, this lovely discrete person is likely to be the owner! And, luckily many of Lanh’s and Ray’s customers can’t wait for them to reopen.

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Slimming World with Jane

Picture showing Jane Hammond MK Slimming World running her marathons showing the benefits of her weight loss

Slimming World helped Jane Hammonds to lose 11 stone in weight. Her success led her to decide to help others to achieve their dream weight and find well-being. No doubt her first-hand knowledge of what people go through was a huge advantage.

From the moment she set up in January 2017 to now, even with the difficulties of ZOOM, Jane loves every moment. She even posts regular exercise videos on her Facebook page – every one simple enough for the most unfit of us. For her, it is seeing the change in people. Somehow, the weight loss helps them to grow in confidence. Along with this, it also opens new doors and challenges.

Once her clients embrace the changes and work on the habits that contribute to weight gain, Jane knows they too can succeed. Often new hobbies come from weight loss, often activity-based. That means Park Runs that they never thought they could do, gardening that was once too exhausting and more. With that come new friends, who are more like-minded which means they can encourage each other to stay strong.

This year has thrown massive challenges – as one venue closes and she moves, that one has closed too. Even as lockdown eases, Jane is concerned that closed venues could restrict what she does too.

Like many of our other women in business, if there was one thing that Jane would do differently it is to set time boudaries. Jane is guilty of devoting too much time to her business. This level of absorption comes from her dedication to to her clients. She is beginning to realise that you need time to find balance, your own well-being and recuperate when running your own business.

While the perception of women in business is changing, Jane is only too aware that some people don’t see her as a business woman. In fact, some people think this is her little hobby. Jane’s strength and determination shine through. Her fantastic results are the only way you can judge her.

If there was anyone to ever inspire you to succeed, it is Jane. Following her 11 stone weight loss, Jane started running. When we say running, this year alone she will run 12 marathons for Alzheimer’s Research UK. So far, she has raised £2,500 and her Slimming World members are also helping. They are knitting head-warmers, blankets, make-up removers, gonks and more. Just like her weight, Jane is determined to help to make a difference. A breakthrough in the terrible disease would be her perfect result. Jane we agree with you 100%. Keep up the challenges.

Could you do with Jane’s Expertise?

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Alchemy Therapy – Passionate about Well-being

Picture of Holly Jenkins, Alchemy Therapy Centre, supporting local women in business and well-being of local people

Holly, along with business partner, Stuart, opened Alchemy Therapy Centre in Old Stratford 7 years ago.

Her motivation stems from a passion to improve people’s physical and mental well-being. She uses beauty and holistic therapy to help them to achieve that well-being. When she sees just one tiny improvement that enhances someone’s life, Holly feels she has helped. Luckily, she is a real people person and loves to meet people and hear their life stories.

Again Holly, like Jane and Lanh, is so passionate about her work that on occasion she has had to readjust the balance. On one occasion she almost allowed work to take over. Recognising what was happening she managed to find her balance. Holly, is a positive person who feels that this helped her to learn about managing time and her life. She is now able to share her experiences with her clients and help them too. Not only that, Holly can see that every experience has helped her to develop into the confident and successful business woman she is today.

Art by Holly Jenkins, Alchemy Therapy Centre

Her success is incredible. She opened the salon aged only 21 years old, and over the last 7 years she has struggled with some major health problems and gave birth. Now, she is dealing with loss of income and the other challenges that COVID has thrown at her.

Holly, is guilty of one thing! That is not always recognising her talents. About a year ago she decided to take up painting. Somehow she didn’t believe she was artistic. Now, she uses the skill as an artistic outlet that gives her precious ‘me-time’. We believe she should enter her pictures into Westbury Arts MK Open Art Exhibition. What do you think?         

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Alchemy Therapy Centre

We know the next few months are going to be tough going for our well-being businesses throughout Milton Keynes. However, behind them you will find many strong women who have the strength to carry on and succeed. Wishing every one of you success.

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