A POPULAR family-run salon is literally rising like a phoenix from the flames and is back in business just days after its distraught staff watched it burn to the ground.
Elizabeth Louise Hair and Beauty Salon was one of five businesses destroyed in a huge blaze that gutted a row of shops at the Triangle, in Langdon Hills, on January 4.
But less than two days later the team of dedicated stylists and beauty therapists had set up a pop-up salon in owner Tracie Norton’s conservatory, in Billericay, and were able to see some clients on Saturday afternoon.
Manager Kiera Harris, 28, who is Mrs Norton’s daughter, said the first thing they had to do was try and make contact with hundreds of clients because 13 years of customer records were burnt to a cinder in the fire.
They have been using Facebook, phone, e-mail and even put posters up around the Triangle.
She said: “It’s not going to stop us, we will continue as best as we can.
“We’re trying to look for alternative premises, but the main thing was to set up something to fill the appointments we already had.
“We are so blessed to have such good members of staff, they’ve all rallied round.”
Mrs Harris said the whole team has been “overwhelmed” by the support they have received from clients and their suppliers, as well as other salons, including Ladies and Gentlemen, in Whitmore Way, Basildon, who offered to help them out with any equipment they need.
“At first I thought we would be shut for a few days or weeks and hoped it would be just smoke and water damage, I didn’t think for a second nothing would be salvageable,” Mrs Harris said.
“If it wasn’t for these people we wouldn’t have the inspiration to carry on, we have got to do it for them as well as us.
“Not many people can say they go to work every day and smile, but we do and that’s lovely. As a building the salon was very special to us, but we can take that anywhere we go and hopefully once we set up somewhere else we can rekindle that.”
The salon’s base at Mrs Norton’s home is just a temporary arrangement while she and Mrs Harris search for alternative premises.
They are also planning to talk to Basildon Council, which owns the Triangle, about any help it can offer.
If any clients want to check an existing appointment or book a treatment they should call 01268 418977, which is the salon’s old phone number but it is still in use.