A supportive new salon has opened in Bicester that aims to provide a space for professionals to build their businesses.

More than 60 people passed through the doors of the new Orea Salon on its opening day, all to undergo one of the beauty, hair or aesthetic treatments on offer from the 11 businesses based in the building.

Orea’s owner Angela Connelly has a background in aesthetics, owning three more clinics across the county, and wants to give other professionals the chance to kickstart their business.

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She said: “When I set up the salon, I didn’t want it to just be about me. I could see there were a lot of brilliant, employed beauty professionals out there, who wanted to be self-employed.

“We have three clinical rooms, two beauty treatment rooms and a separate hair salon. I believe we’re the only place in the area that offers everything under one roof, and we do it by allowing well-qualified people to work within our hub.

“We help to support, mentor and guide these professionals to give them the self-belief that they can too be their own bosses.”

The salon – thanks to its variety of specialists – offers a range of treatments, including hair extensions, eye lash extensions, spray tans, laser hair removal, tattoo removal, Botox fillers and more.

Speaking about her passion for supporting others to achieve their self-employment goals, Ms Connelly said: “We support businesses and individuals with expertise and marketing, and we also introduce them on our social media and share what services they offer.

“The aim is to support, mentor, coach, and encourage growth.”

Ms Connelly, who runs her own business Secret Surgery Aesthetics within the premises, also hopes to encourage younger people in and around Bicester.

She said: “I’ve already contacted local colleges, offering work experience to people studying on hair and beauty courses.

“We’d love to help train apprentices. Not only in hair, beauty or aesthetics, but in business. Running a business isn’t just about nails and massages, it’s a lot more than that, and we want to help young people become well-rounded business people.

“We’d be delighted to nurture them for two to three years until their college course comes to an end, by which point they may have built up a client base too.”

Ms Connelly went on to talk about the future of the salon and why she enjoys her work so much.

She said: “If the salon continues to grow as fast as it has already, then we will open more across Oxfordshire.

“I really don’t see this as work. I gain so much pleasure seeing people become a success in their own right.”


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This story was written by Matthew Norman, he joined the team in 2022 as a Facebook community reporter.

Matthew covers Bicester and focuses on finding stories from diverse communities.

Get in touch with him by emailing: Matthew.norman@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter: @OxMailMattN1