Darcie Dolls, owned by the hardworking Natalie Evans, is a thriving business in Radcliffe, providing a plethora of treatments,  from hair to nails. Since opening in March 2020, the business has been awarded bronze in the 2021 Hair and beauty awards as “Salon of the year” and the owner has been awarded gold as “nail technician of the year”. However, as covid 19 swept across the UK 12 days after the business opened, Miss Evans and her team faced some challenges. She expresses, “being closed for 9 months out of a working year, it was quite daunting, as I’m self employed with a new business, and I don’t have another job”


Nevertheless, this didn’t prevent Miss Evans from expanding her business. Along with the business, an academy has been set up by her for any aspiring beauticians to access the training, experience and qualifications they need to kickstart their beauty journey. From one day to three days, these private courses are given to students in a certain field in particular in the industry. This academy has been a great success, with an impressive pass rate, and taking off more after covid restrictions were lifted. However during covid restrictions, theory based classes were online until face to face classes were permissible. The entrepreneur states, “I think it was important to gain knowledge in the field I’m working in because the beauty industry is everchanging. And the knowledge I gain can be passed onto my students.” In addition, she also participated in online classes herself, to anticipate how her business would change after covid restrictions were eased. She expresses this by saying, “Especially for during covid, online classes were useful to see how the industry would change. This is so that when we would open, I would be ready to serve my clients.”


After the first lockdown, when businesses were allowed to open again, the whole year of 2021 was far busier than expected at Darcie Dolls. Miss Evans suspects that this is because of a changed mindset, because people of the public strived to support small, local businesses, as this was promoted by the government at the time. Also, the number of clients increased at this time because of promotion deals and money saving offers that the salon provided to customers. 


Since the pandemic, some treatments have changed. Some in ways that more time is added to appointments, to give a more relaxed feel to the customers. In other ways, patch testing for hair treatments has more regulations such as a patch test has to be mandatory, and the period of time to wait after a patch test has been extended, differently to before the pandemic. 


As a development plan of rebuilding Radcliffe town centre has been approved by the council, this will update the town and enable more popularity. With this, there will be a boost in clientele amongst many businesses, which will include Darcie Doll’s.