Local hairdresser started apprenticeship aged 45 and is bagging awards
Little Bird Hair Design on Maxwell Road has only been open a few months and is already getting put forward for awards.
Jill, 50, has been dedicated to her little store, and despite living in Huntingdon, spending most of her life in Peterborough encouraged her to launch it in the city.
She dreamt of having a salon since she was young, but her dreams were crushed by a school teacher, but aged 45, she went back to college to do it all again.
She said: "I've done all sorts of jobs before, but I've always loved hairdressing. From a very young age I decided I wanted to own a salon, but when I was in school I was ridiculed by my maths teacher for going to one on work experience.
"I was in all the top classes, so he thought it was below me, and for some reason, I listened."
She added: "Five years ago, something changed for me and I made the decision to be successful in my own way, which meant happiness.
"I joined Peterborough Regional College to do Level Two hairdressing, and eventually I did an apprenticeship.
"Five years later, I opened my salon just before my 50th birthday – and things already seem so different."
Jill has already been nominated as a finalist to win the Step Up And Shine Award, which will enable her to win tuition and a training plan from Debbie Gee, a well-respected hairdresser in the industry.
Jill said: "I hope I'm a finalist because I've shown that no matter what your age you can re-educate yourself. Although I have a love for hairdressing and am quite good naturally, I hadn’t had any training at all.
"I went back into it at the age of 45 at college with 16-18 year olds and started from scratch again, it doesn’t matter what age you are you can achieve whatever you want."
Although Jill has made a success of herself, she's admitted it was challenging to take the leap.
She said: "It was challenging going from a full-time salary to nothing and starting from scratch with no clients is a huge risk to take, but it was one I was willing to do.
"It's my passion and I wanted to make it work no matter what. I’m heading toward 100 clients so far, it’s been a process getting up to that but it’s growing all the time."
Along with other challenges about being a small business, Jill has been faced with the added difficulty of the coronavirus. However, it's not affected her too much yet.
She said: "I haven’t been affected by coronavirus yet. I had a cancellation, but then straight after someone booked in! It’s okay, I’m always cleaning anyway so I stay on top of things."
Jill will find out if she's been successful, allowing her to take on further education, on April 6.