Lily's Journey from Kleek Apprentice to Salon Owner - Q&A

  1. What prompted you to pursue a career in hairdressing, and how did you begin your apprenticeship with Kleek?

Lily: I've always been drawn to the creative aspect of hairdressing and the opportunity to make people feel confident and beautiful. I began my apprenticeship with Kleek in October 2019, when I joined a salon in Surrey that partnered with them for in-salon training.

  1. Could you walk us through the challenges you faced during your apprenticeship?

Lily: The pandemic definitely threw a curveball into my apprenticeship journey. We had to switch to online training via Zoom, which was challenging, especially for hands-on skills. I then got transferred over to their Maidstone Academy so I could continue in person training until I eventually qualified in September 2021. Upon reflection I think it was a blessing in disguise as it helped me feel more confident to go straight onto the shop floor.

  1. What inspired you to take the leap from being an apprentice to becoming a salon owner?

Lily: As I gained confidence and skills through my apprenticeship, I realised I wanted to create my own space where I could provide personalised services. I was finally able to open in February 2024 and Allure Hair and Beauty now offers a wide range of services such as hair colouring, cuts, extensions, manicures, pedicures, facials, massages, eyelash extensions, brow shape and tints, LVL and brow lamination.

  1. What was the hardest part of opening your salon?

Lily: Negotiating the lease was a daunting task, especially since I had limited experience in property matters. Having my uncle, who owns an estate agency, guide me through the process was immensely helpful. Understanding lease terms and ensuring they aligned with my vision for the salon was crucial.

  1. As someone who has navigated through apprenticeships, what advice would you give to aspiring hairdressing apprentices?

Lily: I would encourage aspiring apprentices to embrace every learning opportunity, both in the salon and through online resources. Make the most of all the free education available online. The internet provides so many amazing free platforms where you can learn about hair and beauty. Obviously you need to learn all the basics on an apprenticeship however I also learnt so many new and different techniques from stylists online.

Building a strong foundation of skills and continuously seeking knowledge will set you up for success in this dynamic industry.

Also create your social media profiles as soon as your start your apprenticeship. Nowadays most clients reach out and book in online so the sooner you start showcasing your work the greater chance you have of getting clients booking in.

  1. How did Kleek Apprenticeships and your educators contribute to your growth and development as a stylist and entrepreneur?

Lily: Kleek provided comprehensive training and support throughout my apprenticeship journey. My educators, especially Ashley Bear, played a pivotal role in shaping my skills and confidence. Their guidance and encouragement fueled my ambition to pursue salon ownership. One of the reasons I did my level 3 is so that in the future I can go on to teach hairdressing and I hope one day I can be as great of a teacher as Ashley was to me. 

    1. What aspects of salon ownership do you find most rewarding, and what keeps you motivated?

    Lily: Being my own boss and creating a welcoming space for clients to feel pampered and confident is incredibly rewarding. I love how confident I can make people feel through their hair. Seeing the difference in my clients from when they arrive to leaving my salon is amazing to watch.

  1. I think having a trade like hairdressing is great as you can go down so many avenues whether that’s becoming self employed and working for yourself or teaching others to help them follow a similar route.

    1. Looking ahead, how do you see apprenticeships helping you build your salon team in the future?

    Lily: While I currently don't have apprentices, I recognise the importance of nurturing young talent in the industry and have taken on a young girl doing work experience. I hope to provide mentorship opportunities and create a supportive environment where aspiring stylists and beauticians can thrive and grow just as I did when I was doing my own apprenticeships. I would love to eventually have an apprentice as I remember when I was training how hard it was to find a salon that actually wanted to help me grow as a stylist so I hope one day I can help someone else with this.


    Lily's journey from apprentice to salon owner exemplifies the resilience, passion, and dedication required to succeed in the hair and beauty industry. Through her experiences and insights, she inspires aspiring professionals to embrace the challenges, pursue continuous learning, and follow their dreams with determination.

  3. If you want to follow in Lily's footsteps and pursue one of the many careers an apprenticeship in hair and beauty can unlock apply today to start your journey.