A relaxing and friendly environment is the name of the game for a lone trader in her well-established beauty saloon. 

Kathryn Hogarth, from Stanwix, has ran Bellisima Beauty on Parkhill Road in Kingstown Industrial Estate for the past seven years. 

It was never Kathryn's intention to run her own premise, but after college and receiving numerous interviews for only zero-hour contracts she decided to make the leap and hasn't 'looked back since'. 

Whilst covid was a difficult period stagnating the business, Kathryn said there has been some positives to come out of it all. 

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"A lot of people are doing more for the mental health to feel good since covid, so in a way it's made people realise you need some downtime for yourself. 

"It was really hard being on and off as well as having a restricted treatment offering, but in a way it's kind of gave people a push into looking after themselves a bit more and it's been really busy ever since and its helped my confidence a lot by being on my own, it really tested me to keep going. " she said. 

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The saloon offers treatments for everything from nails, facials, massage and threading, waxing, eyebrow treatments, children's party treatments and the most popular, lash lifts. 

The location of the business makes it quite a hidden little gem that avoids the difficulties that comes with a city centre location, such as parking and higher business rates. 

Kathryn takes pride in her ever-growing relationship with her clients. 

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"You learn about your clients and go through their life steps with them whether it be weddings, christenings and births. 

"People come in and say they are stressed from work and bills and it's just nice that they can come in for half an hour and forget about it and leave feeling good about themselves. 

"I also like the fact I can tailor the saloon to suit the person coming in, as sometimes we get some older people in and I'll be the only person they might speak to that day. 

"A lot of saloons have time limits, where as I can mark out an extra 15 minutes to not rush and almost give time to have a chat if someone's had a rough day or even a bit of crack.

"You do feel you like a have a bit of a family coming on, especially when you've known clients for such a long time. 

"I always say half beauty therapist and half therapist," she said. 

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