Nurse Hayley changes career to set up her own nail salon
- Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND/Archant
Ipswich mental health nurse Hayley Bradford changed career and set up her own nail salon, only to be hit by lockdown.
So far, she has spent more time with her salon closed than open, and is now looking forward to when she can welcome customers back again.
"It's a very big change, but I felt the time was right to do it now that both my children, Layla and Riley, are at school," the mum said.
"After over a decade of being a mental health nurse, my passion for nails grew stronger and stronger until I finally decided to leave my ward.
"I have always been interested in nails. It might seem like a funny time to start a business during a pandemic, but I didn't want to wait any longer for my dream."
The new salon, Last Night's Nails specialises in acrylic design. After leaving Ipswich Hospital, Bradford opened her business on October 30, moving into premises with Skinwear Tattoo Studio in Brunswick Road.
"I started off by doing Halloween-themed nails. After just a few days there was the November lockdown and we had to close, so I went back to help out at the hospital again," she said.
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She opened up again in December and got busy doing Christmas-themed nails, but then she and other staff at the two businesses tested positive for Covid and had to close again.
"I was lucky, I was only ill for about a week and in bed for three days," she said. "We are all fine again now."
Mrs Bradford added: "Altogether I have only been open for about a month. It was really busy - and I'm already booked up for the first week when we can open up again."
Nail salons are currently planning to open up from April 12, the first possible date in the government's roadmap, although this is still to be confirmed.
Mrs Bradford went into nursing at the age of 18 and said, after 17 years, she felt the time was right for a change. However, she added: "I am keeping up my registration as a nurse - I'm keeping my hand in."
Over the last few years, the 35-year-old has been working part-time as a nurse and part-time in nail salons.
She trained at East Anglian School of Beauty and with other experts, and then worked at Hair Ministry and WildGinger salons before starting her own business.
Although the two jobs might seem completely different, she said: "As a mental health nurse, I was always talking to people for two hours at a time, and I still have that vibe when I'm doing people's nails. I am a good listener."
During the latest lockdown, Mrs Bradford has been busy doing online courses to learn even more nail design techniques.