Providing beauty treatment for late mum sparks mobile salon business

Gemma Burden and Kerrie Williams have set up a holistic and beauty therapy business. Picture: Sarah

Gemma Burden, left, and Kerrie Williams have set up their own holistic and beauty therapy business, offering mobile services to the Ipswich community. - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Providing beauty treatment for her late mum while she received care was the spark for an Ipswich woman to provide a mobile beauty and holistic salon.

Gemma Burden, 34, had the idea for Love of Beauty when her mother, Rosemarie, was a resident of a Felixstowe care home, after being diagnosed with Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP). 

“PSP creates a locked-in syndrome,” Gemma explains. “So, she had all her memories, and if she was able to communicate, then she would. It takes away your voice and ability to move, but she could still smile, right to the very end. 

“Mum absolutely loved pampering herself, going to spas and painting her nails.  

“I started doing that for her, just from watching YouTube videos. And then I asked the care home manager, is there anything out there that allows beauticians to come into homes?” 

The manager explained that it would be difficult and costly to get a beautician properly insured and DBS checked. 

Gemma and Kerrie offer a wide array of treatments, such as massages.

Gemma and Kerrie offer a wide array of treatments, such as massages, which can help to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Gemma and Kerrie began by offering mobile treatments to care home residents, but now offer treatments to everyone.

Gemma and Kerrie began by offering mobile treatments to care home residents, but now offer treatments to everyone. - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Gemma, Kerrie and the team can travel out to wherever clients are based, including residential homes, offices or schools.

Gemma, Kerrie and the team can travel out to wherever clients are based, including residential homes, offices or schools. - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Gemma was determined, however, and arranged for her own beautician, Kerrie Williams, to start visiting Rosemarie.

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This made a huge difference to Rosemarie, who died in August 2018 at the age of 69. 

Seeing how much her mother had benefitted from the one-to-one attention, ignited a spark in Gemma, and she and Kerrie decided to go into business, offering mobile treatments to other care home residents in 2019. 

Love of Beauty works to relieve stress and anxiety in its clients, and offers everything from holistic treatments, such as reiki and reflexology, to manicures and facials. 

They have now expanded their client base, and offer treatments to everyone, regardless of age or gender. 

“We’re now embarking on going into offices and other work establishments as well, to provide wellness days for staff and employees,” Gemma said. 

In fact, she says her staff are prepared to visit clients anywhere. 

“It could be any place, even schools. If schools have a PD Day, we could be in a spare room somewhere, and teachers can come along and take a moment to themselves. 

Beauty Director Kerrie Williams. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown

Beauty Director Kerrie Williams used to be Gemma's beautician. The pair went into business together, after Kerrie visited Gemma's mother in her care home in Felixstowe. - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Gemma Burden has set up a holistic and beauty therapy business. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown

Gemma Burden is passionate about offering clients a bespoke service, travelling to meet them and finding treatments to suit their needs. - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Gemma and Kerrie founded Love of Beauty in 2019.

Gemma and Kerrie founded Love of Beauty in 2019, and have loved meeting new clients in Ipswich. - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

“So many people were affected by the pandemic, and coming back to work and being surrounded by other people can cause so much anxiety. 

“We've all been through things, and had our own journeys and experiences. We’re not just providing treatments, but also a friendly face.”