A HAIRDRESSER who took up a post at a salon as her first ever job has marked 25 years behind the brush.
Paula Bainbridge had left Boldon School and begun working at the then-new Rossi as she studied at South Tyneside College, becoming its first junior.
The 41-year-old from Wilton Gardens is marking her anniversary with the business and is now its boss, running it on behalf of Joanne Pears.
Paula, who is mum to Sophie, 11, and Ryan Bewick, and lives with partner David Berwick, 43, hosted a celebration in recognition of the milestone.
She said: “I left school, got an apprenticeship and went to college in Hebburn and I’ve been here ever since.
“I’ve built up quite a big clientele over 25 years and we get stylists in now who know the styles for the younger generation.
I left school, got an apprenticeship and went to college in Hebburn and I’ve been here ever since.Hairdresser Paula Bainbridge
“It’s great to reach the anniversary.
“I think it’s a massive achievement and a couple of clients have been there since the start and it’s grown over the years and it’s nice to see younger people coming in.
“I can’t believe it and I’ve loved every minute of it and these people are by best friends.
Paula began to lease the shop, in the Pages Building, Boldon Colliery, when Joanne set up Leftfield Vintage and Retro two years ago and had rented a chair in the salon for the two years before that.
The business employs four staff and is due to take on apprentice Sophie Atkinson, 15, after the team were impressed with her skills when she visited on work experience.
Paula added: “She’s been coming in on Saturdays to do a few hours here and there.
“We’ve been teaching her a few things to help when she starts her training and it’s great to see someone coming in who was just like me.”
An additional styling station has been added to the salon to help it handle the demand for custom.
The shop hosted a tea party to mark its birthday, which featured demonstrations, a raffle, goodie bags and bubbly.
A massage therapist also offered guests therapies.
The shop supports a series of charities and sponsors Boldon ABC boxing club.
The shop welcomed its first customers in February 1990, with Paula joining the team in the spring.
Paula hopes to expand the shop in years to come.