Who are you?

Elaine Muir hair and make -up artist. Mum, wife, sister, aunt.

What does your business do?

Hair and make up, hair loss integration systems. Wig services, supplying, fitting, cleaning and resizing. Bridal parties. Trans make up I have done a bit of work with cancer charities, this brought home how many people are coping with hair loss, after researching this, I found that at any given time, around a third of the population have to deal with this and some really struggle, I hope to be there to help get them over this hurdle.

Where are you based?

Brick Lane, Paisley. PA3 4DW I am in the centre of Paisley, but in a side street for privacy, hair loss and trans clients can come and go without being obvious. Bridal parties can come and basically take over the place!

Trans women can be given a hard time by some members of the public, so discretion and safety is all, by being based here, it gives my clients a safe haven. I spent a long time looking for this location, I wanted it near the station and main bus routes for ease of access.

How did you get started?

I used my redundancy money to invest in my business. I took redundancy to help look after my elderly mother, she died last year and then my brother died on Hogmanay, I just thought, let’s give it a go, life is too short to hang about and I love working and trying to help people feel better about themselves, so this is ideal for me.

What is your background? I started as a junior in Paisley in “Bernards”, he was a fantastic hairdresser, it was the place to go in the seventies. This gave me a great start, I then worked in various salons eventually becoming a manageress in a salon. I was always interested in make up too, so when a course came up, I applied , did my HND a I’ve been a hair and make- up artist since 1997.

I did a lot of theatre work then went to BBC Glasgow. At the same time, I also worked in Scottish Opera wig department, I then taught in college for eighteen years, took redundancy then went on an intensive course in Oxfordshire to fit integration pieces. I am an undergraduate with a Teaching Qualification in Further Education from Aberdeen uni. I have City and Guilds, HNC, HND and assessor awards. I am currently studying for an honours degree in Psychology with the OU.

What is your top tip? Get trained by a reputable college/company. Qualifications matter. Keep studying, keep learning and keep current.

How long has your business been running?

Just over four months.

Has anyone helped you get started and how?

No, I am self- financed. My husband has been great with all the DIY, he made a fabulous mirror, huge surrounded by lights, very theatrical, like me. My sons are planning to be my Saturday boy every other weekend, not sure much help will be forthcoming.

What was your first deal?

My first client was a young mother who has male pattern baldness, this appears to be on the increase, unfortunately, the hair does not regrow with this condition. She had an integration piece fitted and feels much more confident!

W hat would you do differently?

I really should have asked agencies for financial assistance. Cash flow is always an issue with any new business, back up would have been good, any millionaires out there? I’d love to hear from them!

Who was your inspiration?

My mum was my inspiration, she would have loved this place, she was always proud of me and would have told me I should have done this sooner. I’ve always been a late starter. I had my first child at 41 and my second at 42. I am hoping to be my sons’ inspiration, teach them to not take no for an answer, look at different routes, not just the straight road ahead, and do what you do to the best of your ability, and always respect other people’s point of view.

Where do you plan your business to be in five years time?

I hope to have a healthy well- rounded clientele, catering for people with wigs, still be doing weddings, supplying theatrical services, teaching hair and make -up skills in house, and of course, hair and make- up. I’d love trans clients to continue feeling happy with services provided. Maybe have a business partner, it would, of course, need to be the right person.

Useful contacts- Renfrewshire enterprise run workshops. Business gateway are very helpful and run free classes, there are a number of these available on a rolling programme, and there will be one to suit your needs.