Shona Bradley, owner of Doll Beauty and Aesthetics in Horsforth, is up for the Best New Salon and Nail Technician of the Year categories.
Shona's journey into the industry began when she was just 15 after she launched a makeup blog. Soon after, she was booked for a wedding.
“I’ve wanted to work in beauty since I was 14," Shona, now 21, told the Yorkshire Evening Post.
“And being part of that day and seeing how happy the bride was how it all started.
“I love to make people feel better, it’s really rewarding knowing that you’ve done something that’s made their day."
While she was working at Vanity Fair in Pudsey, her boss praised her entrepreneurial spirit and it lit a spark in Shona which pushed her to follow her dream of opening her own salon.
She opened Doll Beauty in November 2020, one day before the second lockdown was enforced in England.
Despite the set-back, Shona has been flooded with bookings since reopening her salon in April this year, offering nails, brows, lashes, waxing and facials to a growing customer base.
“It was difficult at first," Shona, of Bramley, said.
"But I had a really good day and because it’s my first business, I couldn’t stop smiling all day. I tried to stay positive.
“Through lockdown, rather than giving up, I tried to learn new things.
"I did nails for Captain Tom which got more than 2,000 shares and tried to keep up-to-date with social media.
“I was taking bookings every day so when I did finally reopen, it was like I’d never gone into lockdown.”
Shona prides her salon on its friendly customer service and said she has had "amazing" support from the Horsforth community.
She added: “You often expect going into a beauty salon to be a formal experience, and what I offer is very professional, but people say they feel like they’re sitting with a good friend and someone they can open up to about things at home."
The virtual Hair and Beauty Awards Grand Final will take place on March 26 and Shona is thrilled to be among the contenders in two categories.
“I was blown away," she said.
"You have to know that your business is good and have confidence in it, but it’s always nice to see that other people recognise it.
“People expect the beauty industry to be competitive, but during Covid everybody has come together."
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