Teenager overcomes challenges to open award-nominated beauty salon at 18

A TEENAGER who dreamed big after leaving school early opened her own business at the age of just 18 — and has been nominated for two awards within weeks of welcoming her first customers.

Leah Hogton, who runs Leah’s Lounge on South Street in Kimberworth, switched from school to college at 14 to pursue her ambition of opening a beauty salon.

The young entrepreneur said: “During my course, I started doing friends’ and families’ hair and make-up.

“After I finished, I did extra courses, online courses.”

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Leah said she had first begun working from home but then looked to make the big leap to opening her own place.

“I opened an at-home salon from the conservatory,” she added.

“Last November, I got my premises and I opened in February this year.

“It’s going well. I’m excited.”

Leah’s hard work seems to be paying off as she has already been shortlisted for two awards — she was nominated for the “best new salon” and “entrepreneur of the year” awards in the UK Hair and Beauty Awards.

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Leah said: “Even if I don’t win, I’m happy that I have made it to the final list.

“I’m quite passionate about what I’m doing and I had a dream and made it happen — I know it sounds like a cliché.”

Leah said had her family and friends have helped her turn her dream into a reality.

“My mum (Sue) and dad (Craig) gave me the nudge,” she said.

“My boyfriend and his mum and my uncle — they helped me decorate the salon.

“They all helped me loads.”

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Leah said she had big plans, including to extend her shop and business.

She said: “In the near future, I’d like to get more clients in and in the long run I’d like to have more than one salon.

“At the moment it’s big enough — there are three hairdressing chairs, an eyelash bed and a nail bar, but one day I’d like something bigger.”

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