David Thomas and business partner Tracy Rees have set up a successful hairdressing business in the heart of Macclesfield and, thanks to the apprenticeship scheme at Macclesfield College, they have been able to grow their business and share their knowledge and passion with a new generation of hairdressers.

Having worked as professional hairdressers for 26 years, of which the last five as colleagues, David Thomas and Tracy Rees decided to pool their experience and knowledge of the business and make the bold move into setting up their own salon.

After many months of property searching and a few sleepless nights of soul searching they found their perfect location at 110 Chestergate. The former salon premises were taken over, and the business was started straight away in October 2008 with a first plan of re-design to suit their needs.

Now the really hard part started of growing the business in the middle of the banking crisis and ensuing recession. The challenge was to find a cost effective way to recruit the right calibre of staff locally that could be trained to David and Tracey’s own high standards. Tracy summed it up:

“We wanted talented people that would share our culture and ethos not just people looking for a job. Hairdressing is an intensely personal business so we needed people who were committed to a professional career.”

David and Tracy attended the Patrick Cameron Celebrity hairdressing event at Macclesfield College in June 2009 and were impressed with the facilities and interested in the Apprenticeship scheme. After discussion with Rachel Bishop, Employer Engagement Leader for Creative Studies they decided that the apprenticeship route met their criteria for training people to their own standards as a platform for growing the business.

“Our original apprentices Dan and Emily have done really well. They have moved onto the Advanced Apprenticeship, they have progressed to colours, highlights and cuts and are building their own clientele. Since then we have recruited another Apprentice, Steph, the team works really well  and we would like to recruit another Apprentice soon.” David Thomas