A DECADE of hard work has paid off for Kate Preston as she was named the best hair stylist in the country.
The dedicated hairdresser – who owns Kate Preston salon in Arundel Drive, Fareham – was awarded the top accolade at the English Hair and Beauty Awards.
Not only was Kate named top female stylist in the country, her salon was shortlisted in the Salon of the Year category and Michelle Sutton, who has only worked at the Fareham salon for five months, was shortlisted for Junior Stylist of the Year.
Kate, who took over the salon 10 years ago, said: ‘It is absolutely fantastic – fabulous news. It is unbelievable and amazing.’
The salon has been in business for 40 years, with Kate starting work there when she was 17, before she finally took the reins 10 years ago.
Kate said: ‘As it’s the 10th anniversary this year, I really wanted some recognition, not so much for me but for my team who all work so hard.
‘Some of them have worked in the salon since the beginning, and some since they were 16, but they’re all great, so I felt they deserved praise.
‘I wanted it to be an award-winning salon, so I feel it was really well deserved.’
Kate was nominated for the award by her customers, who heaped praise on the salon for its friendly atmosphere.
However Kate couldn’t attend the ceremony herself as she was at a salon owners’ conference in London so her team attended the event, held in Manchester on Sunday, and they celebrated the win on her behalf.
‘They partied until 5am, they made the most of it and had a good time,’ she said.
Kate said her secret to success is to focus on customer service and she said all her 12 staff give 100 per cent.
Joanne Sammut, who has worked at the salon for five years, said: ‘We are friendly and all get along well which makes a difference, and it makes our customers feel conformable.’
Last year, the salon was nominated as runner-up in the Readers’ Choice category of The News’ Hair and Beauty Awards.
The News’ awards are set to return again on Saturday, July 2 at Portsmouth Guildhall. More details on how to enter will be released later this month.
The salon is also holding its annual fundraising event – this year in aid of Mind mental health charity – on Friday, April 1. For more details call 01329 828235.