FEW hairdressers venturing out into their first business have the luxury of starting up in a building designed and built especially for them.
But for Hannah Miller and Laura Hillman, The Mill Hair Salon is a cut above the rest. It has views over the East Sussex countryside and a decked terrace, where clients can sit in the sunshine as they wait for a hair treatment to work.
Over the past three months, the building in Rushlake Green, near Heathfield, has taken shape to their specifications after the land was provided by Hannah's parents, John and Mandy, who live next door.
At John's suggestion, the couple had a garage demolished and engaged Hannah's partner Shaun Nicholls, of Heathfield-based SN Carpentry, to construct the new building and carry out carpentry work, and then architect Massimo Brooks, of design agency BlueNine in Old Heathfield, to design the interior.
The specialist hairdressing fittings were paid for by 24-year-old Hannah and Laura, 26, who are both qualified stylists.
“It's absolutely lovely,” said Hannah. “It's unique. We only opened a couple of weeks ago and it's still all a bit surreal. I almost feel like we're playing shop but it is real.
“The surroundings are idyllic, with an outside wooden deck for clients to relax on, and views over a pond, where wild ducks live and you can hear peacocks.”
Laura, who's also a qualified beautician and carries out Indian head massages, added: “We want clients to feel pampered while they're here. Having your hair done is a necessity for most women, and beauty treatments are a treat.
“We wanted to make clients feel that having their hair done is a treat, too – that's why we wanted the terrace, so they can have a gin and tonic and relax.
“I think it's amazing.”
The two businesswomen say the salon is a stepping stone to establishing themselves on the high street.
For details about The Mill Hair Salon, visit themillhairsalon.com