After completing a degree in photography Kayla, 23, worked as a freelance photographer and part time graphic designer. With her trained hairdresser friend Toria, 36, she turned to PNE Enterprise for a business start-up course, hoping to launch a studio.
Kayla says, “Toria and I used to work on shoots together. We always struggled to find the right working space, there was either a good space for photography or a good space for hairdressing but never both.” They wanted to do something different through creative hair and photography, so decided to set up a business together and find the right premises.
Kayla and Toria approached PNE Enterprise as Toria had had a good experience of working with them previously, and they offered support through one to one advice and mentoring. The PNE Enterprise adviser helped the partners to write a business plan, plan out their finances and find the right premises. They also provided the partners with a business loan of £12,500 each, with Kayla and Toria investing £10,000 of their own money.
The partners began trading as a creative hairdressing and photography studio in August 2014, growing to employ one member of staff and include another stylist through a “rent a chair” arrangement. Kayla is clear that without PNE Enteprise’s support they were unlikely to have got started. “Our business adviser was fantastic, she went above and beyond to help us and is now one of our customers.”
The premises in Dean Street was very important in helping them to realise their dream. “We can now offer everything we want to – makeovers, boudoir shots, weddings, and we also do the more ordinary hairdressing.
“Our customers include actors, models, and musicians as well as just people who want good hairdressing and photography.”
In 2014 Kayla and Toria won the Enterprising Newcastle and PNE Group Business Award.