Business venture

Derry woman’s pandemic business venture thrives a year on

Donna Wilson Scott Hegarty, owner of Donna VIP Hair & Beauty Studio on Derry’s Carlisle Road, took a leap of faith and opened her salon during the pandemic last year.

The Derry wife has been in the hairdressing industry for 35 years and spoke to Derry News last year as she launched her new business.

Donna saw the pandemic as an opportunity to take a different direction in her career and finally open her own space, Donna VIP Hair & Beauty Studio.

A year later, the salon is booming and Donna says it’s the best thing she’s ever done.

“It’s definitely the best decision I’ve ever made in my life,” Donna shared. “Thank God it got stronger and stronger.

“I can make my own decisions, I can put my own stamp on everything, I love that.

Donna opened her own salon last year during the pandemic and has seen her risk pay off over the past 12 months as the salon goes from strength to strength

“I was worried. Hairstyling is a treat and during the pandemic I felt like it was more of a transaction than a personal experience.

“But now we’re starting to properly interact with people, especially our older clients, they need their little social outing and conversation while blow-drying.

“Hairdressers and beauticians should have been considered part of the essential services for people’s mental health because I have seen how important it is for my clients.

“We love to chat with our customers and get to know them personally.

“We also like to be on the same page as our clients and have a 15-20 minute consultation, we really want to know what they want.

“Now that the clear dividers are down and everything, we can do it right, it makes such a difference.

“We can chat with everyone in the living room and keep the conversation going. It’s like we’re getting ready for a night out here, the only thing missing is a bottle of wine,” Donna joked.

The businesswoman has been inundated with dates over the past 12 months from Derry, Donegal and further afield.

Donna says she enjoys getting to know her clients and providing them with the best possible experience and results with the help of her team.

Donna added: “I have the girls who come to help me at the weekend and we’re all here to listen and chat and laugh, we want everyone to leave happy.

“A client of mine says that whenever she feels down, her husband tells her to ‘get down to Lourdes’ because Donna is a miracle worker,” she laughed.

Donna and the girls are at Donna VIP Hair & Beauty Studio at 69 Carlisle Road, BT48 6JL, Derry.

You can call the salon on 028 7137 0131 or visit the Facebook page @HAIRBYDONNA