Doncaster salon owners nail award win

After being made redundant from their nail salon jobs Jessica and Illex were left wondering what the future would hold.

Tuesday, 19th March 2019, 2:51 pm
Updated Tuesday, 26th March 2019, 7:33 pm
Another satisfied client at The Nail Gallery

But determined to take hold of their own destiny the duo decided rather than wait for another job opportunity they would start their very own business venture.

And just eight months after opening The Nail Gallery in Bawtry the business owners are celebrating after winning the prestigious ‘Nail Salon of the Year’ award at the English Hair and Beauty Awards in Manchester.

The fledgling salon was shortlisted for the highly acclaimed award after being nominated by their loyal client base and then selected as winners by a panel of industry expert judges.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

L to R: Illex Wood and Jessica Haith of The Nail Gallery

Salon Co-Owner Jessica Haith said: “We didn't think we'd win, at the award ceremony we were sat right at the back of room and we just didn’t expect it.

“It was so lovely to be shortlisted so to win was just it was amazing, we were in shock, especially seen as though we’ve only been open eight months.

“We have really loyal clients who nominated us and they all so happy that we won. It’s so nice to be recognised for all the hard work we’ve put in and to see that it has all paid off.”e salon salon.

It certainly wasn’t all plain sailing for Jessica and her business partner Illex Wood who had just two weeks to transform the run down Bawtry building into a state-of-the-art swanky salon.

The Nail Gallery, Bawtry

Jessica said: “After being made redundant in January of last year we moved to a room in my best friend’s business The Vanilla Rooms in Bawtry and were doing nails from there as we had no where else to go.

“Within two to three months we were getting so busy and needed to expand so we started looking for somewhere in Bawtry.

“After finding the building we had just two weeks to do all the work and move in. It was horrendous the building needed completely gutting, we had to have new flooring, nail desks made and installed, all the front was run down and needed painting.

“It was so stressful trying to turn it around so quickly. My dad headed it up and we had a team of people in working to get in done in time.

Nail art at The Nail Gallery, Bawtry

“We wanted the salon decor to stand out from the crowd and be a bit quirky so we went for navy and yellow colours and a lot of wood, quite an industrial vibe and the feedback has been amazing.”

Since opening in August the Salon has gone from strength to strength and now has a team of six working there.

The team specialise in in nails offering a range of services including Acrylic extensions and design, Gellish and Polygel.

Jessica added: “There is no where else in Bawtry that offers Polygel, it’s a new hybrid gel and acrylic product that will result in less lifting and breaking and can offer a more natural result.”

As well as a nail treatments the salon also offers a range of lash, brow, make-up treatments and aesthetic treatments are available in monthly clinics with registered nurse Jayne Willcock.

Alongside the treatments the salon is also a training academy with master educator and award winning nail artist Illex Wood.running a range of training sessions including Gellish and acrylic on Sunday and Monday in the salon.

Jessica and Illex have found running the business together to be a winning formula but say starting your own business isn’t for the faint hearted.

Jessica added: “Opening a business is definitely very stressful and lots of hard work but for us we just compliment each other so well.

“We both have different strengths and things we enjoy so for example Illex handles the training side of things and the staff and I deal with the day to day business and social media, it just works.

“I definitely think if anyone is thinking about opening their own business they need a clear business plan and something that is going to make them stand out from other similar businesses.

“We wanted to go for a really quirky look in the salon to make us stand out and I also think the atmosphere in the salon is something that our clients appreciate, we really make clients feel welcome and I think that is one of the things that made clients want to nominate us. I have been into salons before where you aren’t made to feel welcome or you are ignored and we wanted to really focus on customer care and salon atmosphere as it makes such a difference ”

The Nail Gallery, 14, The Courtyard, Bawtry is open Tuesday 10am to 5pm, Wednesday 10am to 6pm, Thursday 1am to 7pm, Friday 9.30am to 5pm and Saturday 9.30am to 4pm.

Contact 01302 981370 visit, or search The Nail Gallery on Facebook