In Dec 2006 I bought Scruffs and Toffs which was at the time a posh barber shop run by a lovely lady called Kerry.

I had never been interested in buying a business before but when I went to work for Kerry, the moment I walked in the salon I knew it was eventually going to be mine.

So when I finally plucked the courage to ask her if she would sell, she said “I might be moving out of the area and will give you first refusal”.

Six months later I went to see a recommended accountant who advised me not to buy it as in his opinion, it would fail. Of course I didn’t listen, (surprisingly I did not make him my accountant) and JAM HAIR was born.

shop front

Hair salon shop front

However I was blissfully unaware of how hard my first years as a “  business woman” were going to be, which was probably a good thing, as believe me if I had known what was coming to me in those first years, I wouldn’t have done it.

Up to then I had a pretty great life with my husband and two kids. I worked as a part time hairdresser and a club D.J at night, life was fun but I needed a new challenge.

My poor dad became my mentor and company secretary, all for the love of his daughter. He got to hear all my complaints of all the difficulties that comes from running a business and I can tell you there were many.

The JAM team

I became exhausted; working long hours, cutting hair, managing staff, contracts, tax, pay, ordering, stock, recruitment, figures, marketing… the list was endless! How was I going to learn it all? I was completely overwhelmed.

I soon realised if I was going to succeed I had to change, so I embarked on course after course and spent fortunes on my personal development.

The salon was never quiet but the real turning point was when I had it refurbished. Everything was starting to click into place. The salon suddenly got really busy, my team was strong and all the courses I had been on were starting to have a very positive effect on me.

Jacqui on reception at Hair salon JAM HAIR in Croydon

Jacqui on reception area at JAM HAIR Sanderstead

I believed in everything I was doing, it was all going in the right direction. Customer service has always been my personal strong point as I genuinely want my clients to enjoy coming to JAM. It was the one thing that was easy for me. As hair stylists our job of making people feel and look good makes you feel happy.

I now accept that there are always going to be massive challenges in business, with burglaries, staff leaving, sickness, V.A.T ,taxes etc…  I can tell you about these stories another time, but I am still really enjoying the journey. There is always something new and exciting to learn.

In life, when you step out of your comfort zone, amazing things begin to happen.  

 Jacqui Marola   salon owner of JAM HAIR