A salon owner with a passion for styling has expanded her business into new premises.
Paula Rylance never thought for one moment when she launched her barbershop in Horsley Hill, South Shields, 15 years ago, she would one day need bigger premises.
But after her business – Fusion Hair – took off and she included a ladies’ salon into the shop, the need for space became more apparent.
After contacting South Tyneside Council, she was eventually offered the former rent office building in Horsley Hill Square.
As well as a salon, barber’s and beauty salon, the premises also boasts a coffee shop.
Paula’s new business was officially opened by the Mayor and Mayoress of South Tyneside, Coun Richard Porthouse and his wife Patricia, last month.
It’s great to be part of such a fantastic communityPaula Rylance
Paula, from South Shields, who has been working in the hairdressing trade for 23 years, said: “I have been in Horsley Hill for 15 years now and I love the area.
“I started off with a barbershop and then added a hairdresser’s and everything just took off from there.
“Eventually, I realised I needed bigger premises, but I wanted to stay in Horsley Hill.
“I had asked about the offices upstairs but the council came back to me and asked if I would be interested in the old rent office, and it just escalated from there.
“The council have been really supportive throughout.”
The doors to Paula’s new salon opened in May with six staff working within the coffee shop and seven stylists – a mixture of employed and self-employed – on her books.
Paula added: “Since the doors opened we are doing all right. It has helped create more jobs in the area and we have lots of plans for the future in relation to the coffee shop.
“It’s something a little bit different for the area. I love working in Horsley Hill, it’s a really nice area and the people here are great.
“It doesn’t have the same stigma it once had years ago. When I was looking for new premises, I didn’t want to move out of the area.
“I’m glad I’ve been able to find somewhere as it’s great to be part of such a fantastic community.”
In the future, Paula hopes to create a breakfast club for families to come in and have their breakfast before school or work, as well provide a meeting place for parents to come and enjoy a cuppa once they’ve dropped their children at school.
Paula said: “The coffee shop is here for the community and I would love to see more people come in and use it.”
The coffee shop is open between 7.30am and 5pm Monday to Saturday.
The salon offers a range of hair care services for men, women and children, including hair extensions.
It is open Monday to Saturday 9am until 5pm with late-night opening on Fridays. For more details, call 0191 420 2525.