Oliveen Kelly Alternative Hair Solutions
Oliveen Kelly, founder of Alternative Hair Solutions, based in Draperstown, Co L/Derry has worked in the hairdressing industry for 28 years. During that time, she has catered for an increasing number of clients who have suffered from hair loss caused by medical conditions such as alopecia or as a result of cancer treatments. Oliveen wanted to establish a dedicated service for this and sought funding from the NI Rural Development Programme to develop a purpose-built clinic.
Oliveen was very aware that clients coming to her for advice on hair loss, caused by illness or medical conditions, wanted a discreet service where privacy and confidentiality could be respected. The limited space within her own salon did not always allow for this meaning she was often having to see clients on Sundays, early mornings or late evenings when her main hairdressing salon was less busy.
Alternative Hair Solutions was awarded £30,000 from the local LEADER Action Group to convert a ground floor basement in their Hair and Beauty Salon into a dedicated treatment area to deliver one to one consultations and treatments. Renovation works were completed in September 2017.
Alternative Hair Solutions is now able to provide dedicated, confidential therapies to their clients who travel from all over Ireland to avail of the service. Positive feedback has been received from existing clients and the business has expanded through word of mouth and signposting from other agencies/organisations and referrals. Three full time posts have been created as a result of the investment and through the delivery of this service.
“The availability of grant assistance was the key driver which influenced my decision to take the project forward and it is fantastic that rural businesses have the opportunity to benefit from initiatives such as the Rural Business Investment Scheme. The application process required a significant amount of business planning which did prove beneficial to my business in terms of thinking about staffing arrangements, publicity and even contract management” commented Oliveen.