A beauty treatment voucher sparked a new career for primary school teacher Karen Paine. She was leaving to have her third child and she used the voucher to have a pedicure.

"I realised that it was going to be difficult to give the dedication I wanted to to teaching, and my family. I was nervous handing my notice in, but I thought I could always do supply teaching," she said.

While having the pedicure, she had a moment of inpiration.

"I had always been interested in the beauty business and when my grandma passed away a few years ago, I used the money she left me to train at the Oxford International College of Beauty.

"It was more of a hobby at the time, treating friends, and it was only when having the pedicure that it occured to me that I could make a business out of it."

She set up Karen Paine Beauty Treatments last June, working from her home in Combe, and started offering 'pamper parties', where a group of friends join for an evening of beauty treatments. Then one of her clients asked if she could do the same for a group of children.

"After my first children's pamper party, I realised I had found my perfect job. It combines my skill as a qualified teacher with my career as a beautician."

She set up a new company, called Children's Pamper Parties Oxfordshire, and she put together four different options — hair, make-up and nails for six to ten-year-olds; facials, face mask and manicures for girls aged eight to 15, and a manicure and pedicure party for ages nine to 15.

Then one mother asked for something more educational, and she created 'The Ultimate Beauty Lesson'.

"I teach girls aged 11-15 how to look after their skin, hands and nails, and we look at make-up. I try to teach the girls that make-up should be a tool to enhance natural features, and often less is more.

“Hopefully, the skills the girls learn at this young age will encourage good skin-care routines into their adulthood.

"We have a lot of fun at the parties and no two parties are the same. I love the variety in my job. I can be with a group of 12 six-year-olds crimping their hair and adding sparkle to their faces one week, and with 12 13-year-olds the next, answering questions about correct make-up and how to use cuticle massage cream."

With three children aged ten, eight and one, Mrs Paine knows that the thought of putting on a children's party can be stressful.

She provides invitations and permissions forms, and makes party bags. She has teamed up with other local businesses, including photographer Ben Molyneaux, cake-maker Laura Snook and personalised chocolate bar supplier Ally Jones, to offer optional extras.

She said: "I feel I have found my ideal job. I can be there for my children and enjoy running my own business."

n Contact kaz.paine@virgin.net. Website www.pamperpartiesoxfordshire.co.uk