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We hope you’ve all had a great Summer holiday in Torbay! We’re usually quite busy during this time, so we don’t have time to post as much. We do, however, still celebrate local business people by posting a business man and woman of the month.

This month’s winner of the woman’s award is Melissa Claire Hood. Melissa owns the fantastic Kudos Hair and Makeup Studio on Abbey Road, with amazing stylists and makeup artists to make you look great! Kudos is approaching their first birthday and have done amazing in their short time as a business. Here’s a link to their Facebook page.

I recently asked Melissa some questions about running her business, and despite being really busy she managed to answer them in great detail. Here’s what she said…

How did you get into starting the business?

I previously worked at Portobello, Tor Hill Road. When it closed, I tried working at various other salons but never felt as happy and creative as when I was at portobello.

There was always a warm and friendly atmosphere where we all encouraged each other.

Portobello had a certain edge to it. The creativity just flowed, and I always felt inspired when I turned up for work as we never knew what we would be doing that day.

I was keen to start my own venture and recreate some of that spirit where we push each other to think outside of the box and break down the boundaries.

I had a vision of a creative space, and did not want to call it a salon, as I didn’t want create just another new salon, but a place we could be artists and create hair designs tailored to each clients individual needs and I could inspire and motivate others who are newer to the industry.

That was when the idea for Kudos was born. Although it was approximately 6 months from start to finish and opening the doors. It was all worth it.

What is the most rewarding part of running your own business?

Arriving to work each morning and knowing that what I see, what was once a vision, is now a reality and I did that.

Apart from having my two wonderful children, the studio is the best thing I’ve ever created and I’m very proud of it.

What has been the most difficult part of it?

During the renovations it was definitely keeping my sanity. I didn’t realise the minefield it was going to be to set up my own business. I had no idea where to start and somehow muddled though, with the help of friends, family and the professionals.

Now i would say it’s keeping the balance between work life and down time.

Sometimes I feel so passionate about my job that I can end up lying awake at night with a 100 ideas running though my head.

Then I make notes in the middle of the night so I don’t forget them for the next morning.

Any plans to expand in the future?

I understand the best method for expansion is to collaborate.

We have some ideas lined up for a photoshoot with Vicki Boulter , an amazing, prize winning photographer, although this will be a shoot with a difference.

After recently seeing an inspiring ad campaign from a very well known makeup brand, we have been inspired and have currently invited a handful of models who represent a true cross-section of today’s society to take part in this shoot and hopefully come up with a really strong set of images which moves away from the stereotype Kardashian image, which, let’s be honest, has become really boring now.

And brings more problems with unrealistic images helping to pray on our insecurities and even adding to the anxiety of social acceptance.

And that’s just for starters.

So we would like to break the mould.

But you will have to wait and see how the photos turn out before I can give any more away.

We are also looking to make inroads to expansion possibly into a nearby city. Although it is very early days.

Any advice to young people in the area looking to start a business?

I would say planning from the outset is so important.

Set realistic goals in the first 6 months and get good financial advice. And don’t ever take your foot off the gas!

Business is definitely not for everyone but seeing your business grow is the most rewarding thing we could ask for.

What’s your favourite thing about Torquay?

Its diversity and its views.

I’ve never lived anywhere before where I always choose to take the scenic route.

I’m always overwhelmed by the views we have in this pretty town.

Thank you so much to Melissa for taking the time to answer these questions. We hope our readers find it as interesting as we did. Congratulations for all your success so far!

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