New Sandys salon pulls in customers from St David’s
Amanda Jones started her first salon in a spare room in her house.
It was a tough time. At the end of her maternity leave she discovered her former employer no longer needed her and, as hard as she looked, she couldn’t find anyone who was willing to allow her to bring her baby to work.
And so she started Highlights Hair Salon in her home in Sandys as a way “to just get us over the hump”.
“It became so busy it was ridiculous,” she said. “My husband was coming home and smelling perms, or he would come home and there would be someone in the salon.”
Seven years later she decided to branch out. At first she rented space in other salons and then opened her own, on Hook & Ladder Lane, in 2013.
Customers kept calling and the business grew. In September, Ms Jones moved into the MarketPlace Plaza on Somerset Road.
Just a few minutes from her previous location, the new salon has more floor space which has allowed Ms Jones to expand her services. Highlights Hair and Beauty Salon offers waxing, pedicures and manicures in addition to a range of hair services.
“Even though I started off small I always had a vision I would like to do a one-stop shop for my clients so they could get their nails and feet done also,” she said.
The pandemic gave her pause but ultimately, “I said to myself, you just have to do it”.
Moveable work stations help customers stay socially distanced; to limit potential spread of Covid-19, magazines, once a staple in most salons, are nowhere in sight.
“We have to space out our clients more,” she said. “But people have been very patient waiting for the client ahead of them to finish.”
In addition to her regular customers Ms Jones gets a lot of walk-ins from the surrounding businesses.
“People are seeing us more,” she said.
She has some customers who drive in all the way from St David’s. Things are going well enough that she is on the lookout for a fourth staff member – another beauty stylist or nail tech.
She has found that natural hairstyles and short styles are popular right now.
“People are looking for less maintenance,” she said. “The less people have to do with their hair, the better.”
Mrs Jones is originally from Oxford, England
The fourth of six children, she played with her three sisters’ hair so much that it irritated them.
“Every time they sat down I would put my hands in their hair,” she said. “I liked to practise braiding. It definitely annoyed them.”
When she graduated high school, an apprenticeship position opened up at a salon near her home. After working there for a bit she did her City & Guilds hair dressing examinations at the Oxford College of Hair Dressing.
She found the beauty industry suited her well.
“I am a people person,” she said. “I have a lot of energy. I knew I never wanted a job that I would be sitting down.”
After getting her qualifications, she worked for a bit in Oxford and then moved to London to work. It was from there that she came to Bermuda to work, in 1982 but after three years she went back to England.
In 1992 she returned to work for Renaissance Hair, Skin and Body Salon on Queen Street in Hamilton.
She met her husband Stephen Jones, the bishop at Beulah Tabernacle on Scotts Hill Road, when she rented a one-bedroom apartment from him.
“I moved in for six months and then we became friendly,” she said.
Recognising that she was far from the stereotypical minister’s wife, she at first had some reservations about marrying into the ministry.
Back in the 1990s she dyed her hair such a bright shade of orange her friends dubbed her ‘Jaffa Cake’, after the English cookies with a layer of orange jelly on the inside.
“At that time everyone was going crazy having different hair styles,” she said.
But she prayed on the issue, and read up on what it was like to be married to a man in the ministry.
The couple celebrated their 21st wedding anniversary on March 13 and have two children: Mya, a student at the Bermuda College, and Stephan, 16, who is in England in boarding school.
“I have been able to blend being a hair dresser and being a minister’s wife,” Ms Jones said. “I think I have been able to blend it so I am not too outrageous, but I am not too limited. I can complement the two, without being trampy. But that is not to say that a minister’s wife has to be frumpy.”
Her own hair is a little more conservative now.
“When natural styles started to come into fashion I got rid of the perm,” she said. “One day I got my hair completely off. When my husband saw it, he said goodness, what have you done. It took a good few months to grow it out. In the end it was definitely worth it.
“Now it is shoulder length, blond and naturally curly.”
For more information on Highlights Hair and Beauty Salon: firstname.lastname@example.org, 234-6460 or 504-6460