Nail technician 'overwhelmed by support' having opened salon in her back garden after 27 years in Northampton
'I think it's going to be the best thing I've ever done'
Working from home has become the norm because of Covid but a Northampton nail technician is only just getting a taste of it.
Corey Jade Stockwell has built a nail salon in her back garden in Pitsford from scratch to become the new home for her business and training academy.
Nail Techniques was based in hair salons around Northampton, mainly Melanie Day Hairdressing in Kingsthorpe for the last 15 years.
But the multiple lockdowns over the past 13 months gave her the push to strike out on her own and improve her work-life balance.
"I think it's going to be the best thing I've ever done - I don't know if I would have done it if I didn't go through the last year but you've got to do what you need to to survive," she told the Chronicle & Echo.
Corey set up Nail Techniques in 1993 aged 21 in a hair salon, the first in Northampton to offer nail art to clients, and moved a few times before settling in Melanie Day.
She hired four members of staff and also teaches prospective nail technicians in the salon but everything went up in the air when coronavirus hit in March last year.
"The first lockdown was horrendous as we didn't know when we were going back but we picked ourselves up and the second lockdown came round," she said.
"I wasn't entitled to any help from the government as I rented the space and paid towards everything but because I didn't pay the business rates, I couldn't get grants.
"I did get money for being self employed and for furlough but that was at the tail end of everything."
Corey said she had often thought about having her own salon, with many friends in beauty having done the same and enjoyed success, but was not sure she should.
The single mother started looking into it more towards the end of last year, getting quotes for the work and figuring out if it was financially viable - all without telling anyone in case it did not happen.
But the lockdown after Christmas was the final straw so she took the plunge and had the salon built at home, where she lives with her 18-year-old son Jayden and mother Lynda.
"We started work on February 19, it was delivered all flat packed and we opened when were allowed to two weeks ago but I was a labourer for the past month," she laughed.
The studio's theme is of a garden with lots of natural light, bright white walls with a big mural on the back wall full of flowers, birds and butterflies.
She believes it provides many benefits for clients as it is much more peaceful than her old salon in Harborough Road, they do not need to see anyone else and there is free parking in her drive.
It is also suits her as she no longer has to commute, she can work whenever suits her and there are fewer restrictions on what she can do in the salon.
Her work as an educator for HD Nail Artist Academy can also continue with plenty of room for her students to learn.
Corey said the worst part of it all was telling her clients as she was worried about losing them but she was overwhelmed by the support she has had.
"All in all it's been a good decision, I was really sad at first but it's just a big change and hopefully it will mean my work-life balance is better as well," she said.
For more information about Nail Techniques, visit nailtechniques.co.uk or call Corey on 07523 986288.