'It's not okay to disguise it as healthy competition' - Salon owner to tackle bullying in the industry
PUBLISHED: 10:20 26 October 2019 | UPDATED: 10:36 26 October 2019
A salon owner has spoken out after facing "negativity and unnecessary attacks" from other women working in her industry.
Now the owner of Elle Belle's Beauty Salon, Kay Willmott, is demanding a change and has launched a new initiative from the Dereham-based business.
The 29-year-old has developed Norfolk's Salons 4 Salons, an online group to help bring together make-up artists, beauty therapists and hair dressers in one safe and supportive place.
The idea came about after she faced criticism and was "personally attacked" by other salon owners.
"I've always believed that you should be the bigger person and not retaliate because things will always work out," the mum-of-two explained.
"But if I have a problem, I'm the kind of person who likes to do something positive about it.
"It is strange that in an industry where we like to make other women feel good about themselves, we are putting each other down.
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"The more you speak to people in the industry, the more people say they have experienced the same things as me."
Mrs Willmott wants to stamp out what she is describing as one of the biggest problems in the industry today. She hopes that the Facebook group will have an impact and will unite individuals working in the beauty industry together.
She added: "From experience, I know that if professionals are openly discussing other professionals in an offensive way, it is putting some people off from coming into salons.
"I see it as a form of bullying. It's not okay to disguise it as healthy competition.
"Salons work better if they work together. There are enough clients for us all as we are working in a growing industry."
Mrs Willmott said she has actively welcomed other salon owners to the town in order to "build up relationships" and she hopes that by attracting more members to the Facebook group that ideas, advice and information can be shared about new treatments and products, as well as appointment availability opportunities.
"It's easy for people to say ignore it but if you feel you've been victimised, come and join the group and let's talk about it."
Mrs Willmott is no stranger to helping others, and earlier this year opened her salon, based at Aldiss Court, to breastfeeding mothers who need a safe place to feed their babies.
You can join the Facebook group, Norfolk's Salons 4 Salons here .