Hayley Milner already has a fistful of competition certificates that underline the success of her business.
Now her salon, Autumn House hair and beauty, is once again in the running for two awards.The Derby Road business is up for best hair and beauty salon in the East Midlands in The English Hair and Beauty Awards and is among the regional finalists in the best for blonde category in The UK Hair and Beauty Awards.
In 2018 the Chesterfield salon scooped gold and was named national winner for customer service in the British Hair and Beauty Talent Awards at a ceremony in which Autumn House also won silver for best new business.
Autumn House won second prize for best hair and beauty salon in The English Hair and Beauty Awards 2019.
And in 2021 Hayley’s salon was awarded sixth place out of the whole of the United Kingdom in the best for blondes category of The UK Hair and Beauty Awards.Hayley, 29, said: "The one I am most proud of is coming second in The English Hair and Beauty Awards. I was one of only ten in the whole of the East Midlands to get to that point….and I got to wear a nice dress. The English Hair and Beauty Awards is a black-tie event and one of the most well-known in the industry."The salon boss will be dressed to impress once again when she attends this year’s ceremony on March 20 at the Nottingham Belfry Hotel. Hayley will be accompanied by her husband John, who is a scaffolder, her best friend Carmen Hayward, who is a mobile hairdresser, and Kerry Gore, who worked in hairdressing at Autumn House before she retired.To qualify for The English Hair and Beauty Awards, a salon has to register and then be nominated by clients. Hayley said: "If you get through you have to send supporting evidence on why you deserve to win, what makes you different, pictures and videos and then it's decided who is in the top ten and who wins."Salons pay to enter the UK Hair and Beauty Awards, a competition which attracts thousands of entries. Judges select a shortlist of 50 who get an honourable mention, the top ten receive a certificate and from those a winner is chosen. Last year's awards event was held online and the format and date for this year's ceremony have yet to be announced.
Hayley, who lives at Crown Road, Chesterfield, said: "To be a finalist and just to get the recognition is enough – I love being part of it."
Her success is testament to the hard work that she has put into her business since its launch nearly five years ago.
Customers come from as far away as Oxford and Derby to get their hair done at Autumn House, where Hayley works alongside stylists Pip Driver and Kelly Jaggers, who were both previously employed at Honeycomb Hair and Beauty in Staveley.There is a beauty salon on the upper floor and also a room which Hayley has earmarked for training. She said: "I teach hair extension courses at the minute and I want to expand more into training. I've smashed all the plans I've ever had so now I just go with it."I couldn't imagine doing anything else."Not bad going for someone who admitted that hairdressing wasn’t on her radar when she left school.
Hayley said: "I never wanted to be a hairdresser. I did a beauty course at Chesterfield College and had my son Oscar when I was 19. I didn’t know what I wanted to do so I went back to college to do hairdressing where I realised I was quite good at it and really enjoyed it. I went self-employed straight off the back of it and worked in Honeycomb Hair and Beauty. I had no other option but to make it work.”