After working as a butcher’s assistant and a bus driver, Denise Blanchard, decided to start her own beauty salon.
Forever Young has been established for 22 years initially based at home for the first three years then 19 years in its present location in The Green, Scotter.
Owner, Denise, 59, said: “I had always had beauty treatments myself and decided that it was the job for me.
“I returned to college as a mature student for two years and immediately went into business as a one person band.
“My previous jobs had been a butcher’s assistant and a bus driver.”
Denise says her proudest achievement was buying and converting a former bank into the Forever Young Salon.
She said: “It was so exciting seeing the transformation, yet daunting as success is not always guaranteed.
“The salon is a wonderful place to work, many of our clients feel like family and we have a relaxed enjoyable atmosphere with lots of laughter.
“Also clients can relax and have time for themselves as we’ll as looking as good as possible.
“I have a brilliant team of qualified therapists who put customer care and quality of service as the top priority.”
Denise is married Marc and has a daughter, Claire, 35, who lives in Cleethorpes.
Denise said: “Claire teaches PE. She has never been interested in doing beauty and was always bound to be a teacher.”
They all live in Hemswell which Denise describes as a quiet retreat after a long and busy day at work.
She said: “The views from our home are spectacular.”
Denise comes from a family of nine children and her parents split up when she was five-years-old.
She said: “My father took me and we lived from lodging to lodging for many years and life wasn’t easy.
“I idolised my father but sadly at the age of 63 he died.
“I was only 22 and I vowed I would one day make him proud of me.”
Denise ambitions are to continue working for as long as possible. She has already extended the salon as much as she can so there no plans to expand her business.
When she is not at work Denise and her husband enjoy cruising.
She said: “Our best cruise was to French Polynesia and the beautiful island of Bora Bora it was like a paradise.”
They also enjoy socialising with friends and Denise loves watching The Chase on television and has even applied to be a contestant on it.
Denise says the highlights have been the anniversary parties that have been thrown for the salon.
She said: “There have been two parties I threw for the 10th and 20th anniversary of opening. They were both themed and the first was a black tie dinner for 72 friends and clients and the second was a Caribbean themed night.
“The room was decorated beautifully and everyone got in to the spirit of the night and dressed accordingly.
“The biggest surprise of the night was that my staff had been secretly collecting from clients, 147 of them contributed and one of the clients has her own jeweller in Hong Kong and they had me made a beautiful sapphire and diamond necklace. I was stunned and whenever I wear it, I think of them.
“My eldest client is 90-years-old and is such a lively lady she loves to be told jokes.
“And we have a number of male clientele who come too. One of them is single and he calls us his harem.”
Denise also donates to charity. She said: “I do like to donate to my favourite charities which I do for my late sister. This is kidney related and also Mind for mental health. When I retire I would like to be a volunteer with mind.
“This sounds sombre but when my time comes I would like to be remembered as someone who always had a smile and loved a joke and my epitaph would be ‘remember me as a sunny day’.”