‘People like it because we’re not posh here’ - Hairdresser celebrates 40 years
- Credit: Archant
A hairdresser with rheumatoid arthritis wants to show anything is possible after celebrating 40 years in business.
Diane Goldsmith, from Thorpe St Andrew, opened Hair by Diane on South Hill Road at the age of 23.
But just five years later, she became crippled with pain that left her unable to walk for periods of time and was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.
The 63-year-old said: "It was very severe then and I was in chronic pain. It has been a struggle at times and at first the news is distressing and debilitating. The pain is so intense but you've just got to work through it."
Doctors advised her to slow down after spending a year in and out of appointments at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.
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"But I knew I had to keep continuing with the salon," Ms Goldsmith said. "I love coming into work and being with people."
Now Ms Goldsmith wants to send the message to anyone with the same diagnosis to keep going, saying her 40-year business proves anything is possible.
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She added: "You have just got to take each year as it comes."
Ms Goldsmith works full-time at the salon and credits the success to her part-time staff, Zoe and Julie.
She said: "Some days can be grim but my staff are absolutely excellent and so loyal and they know if I'm having a bad day and will help me out.
"I'm extremely lucky with the pair of them. Julie has worked with me since the salon opened."
Ms Goldsmith describes the salon as community-based and has cut the hair of some clients for all the time she has been there. One client, from France, returns to the salon when she is in England.
Ms Goldsmith said: "My clients are my friends and I have some who still come in every week for shampoos and set blow dries. I love all our ladies and I can't thank them enough for everything.
"People like it because we're not posh here. Everybody gets a cup of tea in my shop and a biscuit."
Ms Goldsmith decided to become a hairdresser when a stylist passed her rollers while she was accompanying her mum at a salon.
She said: "I was just fascinated by it all. I've now been a hairdresser for many years and I still love it although so much has changed over the years. I remember when everyone wanted perms."