Four into one does go, as a new, multi-faceted business in Darlington is proving. Jenny Needham talks to the friends who have pooled their resources and expertise in a new venture
After a decade of being committed to family life and pursuing alternative career paths, four friends have brought their new business ventures together under one roof to create Forty7. Their motto is “It’s all about you”, and they aim, through their complementary expertise in different fields, to help women to be beautiful, inside and out.
“We feel we've got something quite special,” says photographer Tracy Kidd. “We're all friends and have worked together in the past very successfully. We all changed direction and had our families and now we feel we're ready to reignite. It's so exciting.”
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Joining Tracy is experienced hairdresser Charlotte McClean, who is opening Forty7 The Salon in the very building where Tracy had her own salon ten years earlier. “She was my right-hand woman,” says Tracy,” an amazing hairdresser and employee. She’s had children since, as we all have, and is now ready to take over the world again.”
Elizabeth Gange Carrigan also worked with Tracy and Charlotte at the salon and is returning to open Gange Beauty, introducing Bio Sculpture to Darlington. “As far as we know, no one else is using it here,” says Tracy. “It's a product for nails that concentrates on keeping them healthy as well as polished. It's a very high-end product, yet affordable.
The fourth member of the Forty7 team is Julie Charge, who is opening The Therapy Room. “She is there to heal, listen, massage and make all better in the world,” says Tracy.
Although the women are all separate business, they will be running Forty7 as a team. “We loved working here ten years ago and have always kept in touch. Now we're back together,” says Tracy. “It's all funny how it's happened all at the same time. It's almost as though the building has called us back.”
• Located at 47 Coniscliffe Road, Darlington, within walking distance of the town centre.
• Forty7 The Salon and Gange Beauty. T: 01325-240024; E: firstname.lastname@example.org; W: forty7thesalon.co.uk
• The Therapy Room. T: 07971-870228; E: email@example.com
• Tracy Kidd Photography. T: 07966-213410; E: firstname.lastname@example.org; W: tracykiddphotography.zenfolio.com
Tracy Kidd Photography: Tracy Kidd
I'm opening an extension to my existing photography business, a studio where I can have an inside base for beautiful portraits of women especially, but also men and children. I'll be doing business/ social media profile images, product shots and small pet photography. I won't be giving up my equestrian and location work as I absolutely love that side of my photography. This is just to give me more options and widen my opportunities and to have a base to work from.
Forty7 The Salon: Charlotte McClean
After 11 years of freelance work (and two children), I decided it was time to pull out all the stops and open a salon of my own, ironically back in the salon where it all began in 1998 working for and eventually managing Tracy Chipperfields. From the age of five I would cut anything that had hair, dolls, the antique rocking horse’s mane, my own! It’s in the DNA. Apparently hairdressers have the most job satisfaction. I couldn’t agree more. I wanted to create a tranquil place to relax and this lovely Georgian building lends itself to this beautifully.
Gange Beauty: Elizabeth Gange Carrigan
I have been a fully qualified beauty therapist for 22 years, since opening my business in Tracy’s salon in 1999. I worked alongside Charlotte and Tracy for many years until I took time out to focus on raising my two beautiful daughters. It’s only a few months since Charlotte contacted me to ask if I would be interested in coming back to the business to do it all again, and I didn't hesitate; it feels so organic. Our friendship is a good and long one.
I'm looking forward to meeting old and new customers and am tailoring my treatments to what I am good at and love to do, including make-up, waxing, manicures, pedicures, gel nails.
I recently invested in the Bio Sculpture nail system which I'm passionate about. It’s the number one nail gel in the world, delivers lasting non-chip colour and is easily removable without damage to the nail. It has no harmful chemicals and is not tested on animals.
The Therapy Room: Julie Charge
After working as a groom and in business administration, I owned and ran a couple of businesses. It was becoming a full-time mum to my son, Jack, that really allowed me to explore my own self development and what in life inspires and intrigues me. I love working with people, looking at how life and life events shape and mould us and how resilient we are as a race. I started to look at holistic therapies and how these can help soothe the body, mind and spirit. I’m trained in massage, sports massage and Reiki and am also a trained counsellor. I want to offer clients a sanctuary in their busy lives. There are so many demands on us, at home, at work, in the gym and in our relationships with our families and friends. We don’t often take the time for ourselves, take that much-needed respite that can make all the difference to say, easing a tired, aching body or soothing a frazzled mind. The Therapy Room will give people the place and time to do that.