CRIPPLED by the recession, hair salon owner Lynne Webster was forced to close her business and reconsider her options.
But more than two years on, the 47-year-old from Billinge has reinvented her business and is nominated for an award in recognition of her determination to bring something new to the community.
She has been nominated for the entrepreneur of the year category in the Fusion Awards for re-establishing Shimmers Salon, Boundary Road, in St Helens.
Lynne started working at the salon in 1985 and bought the business in 1997.
But she had to close at the beginning of January 2010 as a result of the recession.
Undeterred, she reopened after two weeks, with a new look and aim.
She said: “The town was hit by the recession and my salon suffered financial losses,
“I had to terminate staff employment as the future of the salon was uncertain.
“I needed to think out of the box and take drastic measures – I was literally down to my last penny.
“If this didn’t work, I had nothing.
“I wanted to create an edgy, right-on-trend salon that would out-rival any other competitor within my borough so I decided to rebrand and reinvent my salon using vibrant colour schemes and Tigi products.
“I wished to bring the feel of the luxury of a London city salon into St Helens so that people would feel empowered.
“And due to its success I have secured employment for three staff members which I am proud of.”
Lynne’s new look salon was featured in The Hairdressers Journal, earning her great acclaim in the industry.
Her refurbishment design was also used by REM, a salon furniture supplier from Lancashire, for its marketing publications.
Lynne added: “Winning this award will put the stamp of recognition on all of my achievements that will add clarity and integrity for my further business enterprises.
“It is amazing to be nominated, especially as I was only a small business, squeezed by the recession and I have been taken to new levels I never dreamed of.”
The Fusion Awards, which are held at Ewood Park in Blackburn on May 26, acknowledge the region’s unsung heroes and incorporates people from all walks of life, with categories including community groups, youth leadership and public services.
Lynne has also been nominated for three categories in the British Hairdressing Business Awards 2012 - salon design of the year, manager of the year and the marketing award.
The winner will be announced in September.