No regrets for Wigan mum as business she opened during pandemic reaches first anniversary

A Wigan mum who left her job of 16 years to open her own business during the coronavirus pandemic is celebrating a successful first year.

Friday, 24th September 2021, 4:55 am
Sarah at The Sanctuary

Beauty therapist Sarah Morris has had to contend with two lockdowns and the continued uncertainty surrounding the pandemic since opening the doors to The Sanctuary in Pemberton.

But she has no regrets and is continuing to see her business go from strength to strength.

The mum-of-two said: “I had worked at a salon for 16 years. I had no intention of ever going on my own. It just seemed a really big thing to do.

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“I was working part-time while the children were young and I knew when they were older I would probably go full-time with work.

“Having been there for 16 years, I was ready for a change but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do.

“I felt I needed a challenge but didn’t know which avenue to go in.”

Sarah, who lives in Orrell, enjoyed spending more time with her family when she was furloughed from her job during the first national lockdown.

And it was during a head-clearing run that she decided it was time to leave her job and set up on her own.

Her mum Debbie Beardsmore runs Debbie’s tanning salon and shop on Ormskirk Road in Pemberton and had space for Sarah to open a beauty room there.

Sarah handed in her notice in August and launched her business in September, despite uncertainty around the pandemic.

She said: “It was scary because I did have the security of work and being furloughed if we went into lockdown again. A few people asked if it was silly to make this decision then, but I didn’t know how long it would last and I felt it wasn’t going anywhere soon.”

The Sanctuary was only open for a few weeks before another lockdown was imposed, forcing Sarah to close in November. After reopening in December, she had to shut again until April.

During this time she offered letterbox gifts, which proved to be popular and are being relaunched to mark the first anniversary.

Since then the business has been growing, with more clients going to Sarah for massages, facials, waxing, pedicures, gel nails, eyelashes and spray tanning.

A hairdresser is also based at Debbie’s, creating a one-shop shop for customers hoping to pamper themselves and allowing the businesses to support each other.

Sarah, 36, said: “It’s working really well having the three businesses together. I will recommend clients to Hair by Kerry and vice versa.”

She believes it is important to support other local businesses but also people in the community, so has launched two initiatives to make a difference.

Through Brighter Better Orrell, she asks for nominations each month for someone who deserves a treat and provides a free half-hour treatment.

She is also working with My Time in Wigan to offer a one-hour session every three months to a carer.

Sarah and her mum Debbie recently held a raffle which raised £1,130 for charity 4Louis, which supports bereaved families with infant loss. Debbie also took part in the Great North Run to support the charity, inspired by her granddaughter Scarlett, who was stillborn in December.

And despite a few bumps along the road, Sarah is pleased that she decided to forge ahead on her own.

She said: “I definitely don’t have any regrets.

“I am really grateful for my 16 years at my old job and the training I got. It’s going to the next stage now and growing my career.

“It was probably a crazy decision and people thought it wasn’t the best time to be doing it.

“But sometimes you do need a change and a bit of fear.”

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