Surprise of her life for business woman and community stalwart Kellie

A very surprised Kellie Hughes. 'Photos by Kirsten Platt Photography.
A very surprised Kellie Hughes. 'Photos by Kirsten Platt Photography.
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A Whalley business woman and community stalwart got the surprise of her life on Saturday when friends and colleagues organised a party to celebrate the 20th anniversary of her business.

Kellie Hughes arrived at her surprise party at Whalley Golf Club under the pretence that she was attending a charity night, but colleagues had really spent weeks planning a party to celebrate Kellie's 20 years in business.

The surprise party for Kellie Hughes.

The surprise party for Kellie Hughes.

Many friends, relatives, clients and members of staff were ready to surprise Kellie at the bash with the well known popular local hair dresser and salon owner in a state of utter shock when she entered the golf club.

"It really was the biggest surprise of my life," said Kellie. "To work so closely with all the girls and for them to plan such an amazing perfect party was just incredible.

"Normally I’ve eyes in the back of my head but maybe I’m loosing my touch. I’m still getting over the amazing surprise and just perfect night.

"I just kept pinching myself. I felt I was in a dream. All the people I love and adore all in one room. It was just mind blowing! I had the best night of my life and I can't thank everybody enough for everything they all did and all their kindness. I am absolutely blessed."

Kellie started her career at Sharon Rawson, a Clitheroe salon, before taking on her own salon on King Street in Whalley in 1998 opening for business on Valentine’s Day.

Over the years the salon has won many awards and Kellie expanded her business to three salons in the village before having a huge refurbishment on the main salon.

The grade 2 listed building, which has many original features and a garden, houses the hair salon on the first floor while the second floor is dedicated to beauty. Kellie, meanwhile, now lives on the top two floors.

Sadly the salon was badly affected by the Boxing Day floods of 2015 meaning it had to be completely refurbished.

However, instead of closing Kellie, her staff and clients did everything they could to keep the business up and running. Kellie not only fought to keep her own business going, she also helped other businesses and families affected by the floods in the area. Her dedication and kindness resulted in Kellie, alongside other community stalwarts, being recognised by David Cameron at 10 Downing Street.

Kellie, whose 23-year-old daughter Lucy works at the salon, also has a four-year-old granddaughter Harlie and a Westie dog called Poppy, who can all be regularly seen around the salon.

Many of Kellie's 22 members of staff have worked at the salon for a long time - some as long as 18 years - and she has put more than 17 members of staff through apprenticeships and training courses.

One of the senior stylists at the salon Rebecca Fenton said: "Not only is she the most amazing boss, but she’s a fantastic friend. She goes above and beyond always treating us with amazing staff parties and nights out. There's even treats at work from bouquets of flowers to McDonald’s! She is always there for everyone - helping with house moves, driving lessons, baby sitting, advice and disposing of horrible ex-boyfriends. She has even let employees' pets come to work!

"Kellie is such a bright and bubbly person and has the biggest heart. She donates to many charities and always helps clients when they are running charity events.

Many clients have even been coming to the salon for as long as 20 years!"

Kellie said that she is eternally grateful for the continued support of all her staff and clients over the past two decades and she hopes it continues for more years to come.