Salon celebrates 40 years

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Whether it’s a ‘cut above’ or a case of ‘hair today, gone tomorrow’, the owners of Salon 34 in Mansfield Woodhouse have heard all the clichés before.

And it’s not surprising really, the family-run business marks its 40th anniversary this month, and is thought to be one of the longest-running salons in the town, if not the longest.

To say it’s a family-run business is an understatement.

It was opened by Barbara Bentley in 1974, and is now run by her daughter Louise Butler.

Not only that but Louise’s father, Gordon, still helps out with handyman tasks, while Barbara, still takes care of the paperwork, despite both being beyond retirement age.

Meanwhile, Louise’s sister Lynne was also her business partner up until four years ago when she passed away after sadly losing her battle with cancer.

But it’s the family values that Louise insists is the reason why the salon keeps going, through good times and bad.

She said: “There are so many salons now in Mansfield and everybody has fallen on hard times but we pride ourselves on our customers being part of the family, and they keep coming back.

“We went through the miners’ strikes and the recessions but we just keep going!

“I have customers who have been coming here since I started in 1986. It’s a proper family business and we’ll keep going for as long as we can.”

Business-minded Barbara bought the property in the 70s, not originally as a salon, but as the family home.

They had lived just a few doors down the street, and bold Barbara took the decision to buy number 34 Woodhouse Road.

And when the family fell on hard times after Gordon lost his job, Barbara took the decision to train as a stylist.

She then decided to use an area of the house open the salon, launching the business with just £50.

“She really meant business, and it just grew from there,” said Louise.

“We had less and less room as time went on, we lived in two of the rooms in the middle floor, so we had to move out!”

The recent celebration also doubled as a fundraiser for John Eastwood Hospice, with £90 being handed over to the valuable cause.

But the salon is certainly no stranger to charity work, having hit the headlines earlier this year when they offered to regularly cut the hair of the homeless at Mansfield’s YMCA.

“It’s an ongoing thing,” added Louise.

“It’s something that’s important to us and we want to do what we can.”