ONE of Wisbech’s best-known businesses is under new management this week.
Sheena Hartley, owner of hair and beauty salon Top to Toe, was devastated last week when a number of staff resigned and then failed to complete their notice, leaving her in the lurch.
But despair turned to delight at the weekend when Sheena, who has run the award-winning business for more than 25 years, was approached by husband and wife team Paul and Sarah Davies with an offer for the Hill Street salon.
Sheena, who announced her intentions to sell the business as a going concern and retire at Christmas, said the loss of so many staff was a bitter blow.
But she was over the moon when Paul and Sarah, who run the equally well established Bliss hair salon at Sutton Bridge, stepped in to say they wanted to buy Top to Toe.
“It all happened so quickly. I was absolutely devastated when the staff handed their notice in.
“But then Paul and Sarah said they wanted to take over the business and I was overjoyed.
“ I have known Paul for more than 20 years and I know he will do a good job.
“He and Sarah will inject new enthusiasm into Top to Toe and will give it a new lease of life,” said Sheena.
She said the changeover had happened ‘so quickly’ with discussions over the weekend resulting in the signing of documents on Monday.
“I can’t believe how fast it has all happened,” said Sheena, who will continue to work with Paul and Sarah for as long as they want her.
Paul said: “We have two sons who are now getting older and don’t need us as much, so we have more time on our hands.
“We have been looking for a major project. Top to Toe is a fantastic opportunity for us, it is really exciting but also scary.
“We will be keeping on the staff and will continue to run it as it is, although we will be introducing some new ideas including fish pedicures.
“We would be really foolish to take on such a successful business and then change everything. I will be so proud when I put the key in the door for the first time.
“This is Sheena’s legacy and we will be proud to continue that, although we hope to make it more relevant for more people,” said Paul, who said Top to Toe would be the couple’s flagship business, which will spell the end for the Bliss salon, which the couple have run since 1995.
They are also hoping to develop a training programme for youngsters.