For the hundreds of clients Debbie Redford of Hairs and Graces has ‘beautified’ over the years, she needs no introduction.
Moreover, as they all know, Debbie is definitely a deserving winner of the Grantham Journal’s Business Customer Care Award. Debbie told us more about why she has the best job in the world.
When and what made you decide to set up Hairs and Graces?
I set up Hairs and Graces eight years ago. Hairdressing is creative and shouldn’t be rushed – clients need to feel they are the only important person in the world when they get their hair ‘beautified’ (as I like to call it!). People enjoy a one-to-one service – not passed from pillar to post. It was a client who suggested I go alone, and eventually I took the plunge. I also needed a work/life balance. My family consists of Michael, my better half, Ki our German Shepherd,three cats, an ex-racehorse turned dressage star, a Mbu pufferfish... the list goes on! I needed time, but an income too! It just so happened that the week the Journal had the very bottom of the front page free, I took it! If you were stood at a check-out, browsing, looking, all you saw was my face and my phone number – it worked! And it has gone from strength to strength.
You go into people’s homes to do their hair – why do you think it’s important to offer that service?
I go into people’s homes purely because most of them hate mirrors! I’m lucky enough to not have to rely on a mirror for styling. Most of my clients have commitments such as work, children, horses... lives in general! I fit my diary around their needs. And because I know them so well, I know what times they like. Ninety per cent re-book and Christmas is filling up already, but no-one will ever get left out. They will be beautified for their event or outing etc, and all 157 of us are a team. I only work on recommendations – I don’t advertise, I don’t put my work on social media (unless the client does it themselves). Work is private and client confidentiality is private.
In what ways do you provide the best care to customers?
As well as the above, because I’m not tied to a salon with their stock to sell, I can advise on products for someone’s budget. I use brands that suit them. I don’t have wastage, I don’t have overheads and I can keep my prices competitive.
At the awards you said you have the best job in the world.
I do have the best job – I love my job, I’m good at what I do and I love the people I work with and their families. I watch children be born, grow, leave nests and get jobs and go to uni. I see good times and bad. I get to make people feel awesome. And I try and get the work-life balance as best I can – I’m 48 and need time out now and again! I owe everything to my fabulous clients who have become friends. This award was for them and not just me. I want to say thank you to them for choosing me, sticking with me and allowing me into their lives. Also to the Journal, for that front page advert. Most of all to my Michael – he is my rock. I adore him.