SETTING up your own business is a massive undertaking but for Sammie Elliott it’s a dream come true.
The inspirational 21-year-old opened her first hair salon – HashTag Hair – yesterday.
The occasion was marked with a visit from the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Cllr Frank Jonas, who cut the ribbon at the newly-refurbished premises in Winter Road, Southsea.
Sammie, of Knox Road, Stamshaw, said: ‘I was offered the opportunity so I grabbed it, I thought I would kick myself if I didn’t take it.
‘I have wanted my own hairdressing salon since I started hairdressing when I was 14 so I grabbed the bull by the horns.’
Luckily for Sammie, who studied at South Downs College, her granddad Keith Read, from Leigh Park, helped her to gut the former builders’ office and transform it into a slick salon.
Keith, 57, said he was proud to see his granddaughter do so well, and that he was more than happy to pitch in.
He said: ‘It was eight weeks of solid work but it is brilliant. A few years ago Sammie was totally different person, very shy, but she’s really come out of herself now.
‘Six months ago she said she wanted to have her own salon and now we are here.
‘I’m sure she will make a big success of it.’
Sammie, whose nickname is HashTag due to her love of Instagram, worked at Garbo’s for the past five years.
She was named runner-up in the Apprentice of the Year category at The News’ Hair and Beauty Awards in 2014.
Now she has her sights set on bigger things, and is hoping to enter this year’s awards as Best Start-Up.
She said: ‘It’s brilliant. This is just the beginning, hopefully it will grow and grow.’
The News’ Hair and Beauty Awards are set to return on July 2 at Portsmouth Guildhall. Details on how to enter will be released later this month.