We're proud to support businesses that are part of local communities across the UK every day. One such business is Darlington-based salon Forty7 The Salon, providing premium hair services. We caught up with founder Charlotte McClean to find out more.

Explain your business in thirty seconds or less

Forty7 The Salon is a luxury salon based in the west end of Darlington, offering everything from bespoke wedding hair packages to on-trend colour. My specialist team of experienced stylists and I are trained in the highest standards and work in hand with Loreal Pro UK. In Forty7 you will also find Gange Beauty, Darlington's leading nail specialists, who work with the leading and original Bio Sculpture. The Salon is welcoming and elegant - a true place of beauty.

Forty7 The Salon - StartUp of the Weekup

Where are you based and why is it a good location for your business?

Forty7 The Salon is a stone’s throw from Darlington's town centre but has a car park of its own, large enough to accommodate up to 12 cars. 

How did you come up with the idea?

The building itself is where I originally started my apprenticeship back in 1998 working for Tracy Chipperfield at "Chipperfields", where I managed the salon for a number of years before freelancing. After looking for the previous two years for a salon in the right location I'd heard that this building was going to be available. It was a no-brainer!

What stage was your business at when you applied for the Start Up Loan?

I was a 3-4 weeks into my project when I approached TEDCO and applied for my Virgin StartUp loan. Nothing had been signed and no monies exchanged at this point, but I had done a lot of legwork and research into the business. 

How have you used it to grow your business?

Virgin StartUp and our local delivery partner TEDCO has helped me financially and in many other ways, putting me in touch with various companies I use in my business including insurance, HR amd banking, support with accountancy and websites. They have opened many doors and helped me to achieve the business I have today.

Forty7 The Salon - StartUp of the Weekup

Who has helped you on your business journey?

My TEDCO mentor is Mark Johnston, and from day one he has been fantastic, helping me access various things I needed within my business as well as providing lots of help and guidance with the application itself. I honestly don't believe I'd be where I am today without his help. 

Biggest achievement so far?

My biggest achievement so far is putting Forty7 The Salon on the map!  Believing it could be done and bringing a very tired run-down building back to life. 

What’s next for your business?

Next steps for the business... there are a few!

To succeed on social media - Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Forty7 The Salon should be THE most talked-about salon to visit. We would also like to work charitable causes, and team up with wedding venues.

Something that's working really well is collaborating with other businesses in our building. There are four separate business - Forty7 The Salon, The Gange Beauty, The Therapy Room, and Tracy Kidd Photography. We work closely together to provide the most amazing experience for all our clients. Party nights, weddings, proms, pamper days, birthdays, theatre... the list is endless. We cover everything. I knew it would work well, but this is something else!

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