A FRIENDLY atmosphere and loyal clientele is the secret to success of one Market Rasen business that celebrates a significant anniversary this month.
Hilda Boast has been running Top Knot Hair Salon for the past 20 years, first in Union Street and then at its current location in the town’s Queen Street.
The business started as a hobby – doing friends’ and neighbours’ hair – then Hilda decided to go to college and do her training.
But it was a legacy from her father that gave her the means to set up her own premises in town.
Top Knot offers a traditional hairdressing service for all ages, including men, and Hilda prides herself on the warm and friendly atmosphere she provides.
Customers old and new can always rely on a friendly welcome and a cup of tea – even when they just pop in for a chat and don’t have an appointment that day.
“We have a very nice clientele and we keeping adding new customers as they move in to the town and find out about us,” said Hilda.
“It is important to make everyone welcome and listen to the problems people want to share.”
And for Hilda, it is the business and the customers that have kept her going since the sudden death of husband Frank 18 months ago.
“I would like to thank all my customers for the support they have given me over the years. I love doing what I do and am not planning to retire yet.”
Hilda is also keen to pass on her skills to young people and has received awards for the work she has done offering training placements and work experience to would-be hairdressers.
Currently, 21-year-old Alie Mettam is Hilda’s apprentice, benefiting from the one-to-one tuition Hilda can give.
Over the years, Hilda has seen businesses come and go, but says at the moment there is a “nice community of traders at her end of town, who always help each other out.”
Although she says she doesn’t have any solutions to boosting trade in the town, one thing is certain – a good tidy-up is needed.
“I always sweep the front of my shop every day and keep the shop front tidy–- if everybody did that, things would look a lot better.”