Sophie Smith Owner of Hair24 grows her business and her skills during lockdown with the help of St Helens Chamber

28 Oct 2021

Startup Business Jobs/Apprenticeships

Sophie Smith, Mobile Hairdresser and Owner of Hair24, started her business in July, but decided to use her time in lockdown to boost her business further and ensure she had all the skills she needed to take her company to the next level.


Sophie explained: “I’d already started my business before I approached the Chamber about the Business Start Up course, but I felt like I needed an extra push to really help my business take off. That’s when I decided to do the Business Start Up course which was offered remotely during lockdown.”

Sophie offers a wide range of services to clients across Merseyside, and is completely mobile so clients can enjoy treatments in the comfort of their own home.

Sophie continued: “I offer all mobile hairdressing services to clients; including colouring, barbering, hair extensions, and Keratin blow dries. I work across Merseyside but can go further afield too. I can arrange my time so its efficient, arranging bookings for people who live in the surrounding areas, so I make the most of my time. Its great to have the freedom to do work how I want to.”

Hair24 began when Sophie was made redundant from a previous hairdressing role. On finding out about her redundancy, she decided to take a different route and started a role in a bank delivering customer service.

This new career direction didn’t suit Sophie’s ambitions, so it was time to rethink her career options.

Sophie explained: “I’d been a hairdresser in a salon and was made redundant. This was a really difficult time and made me doubt whether hairdressing was really for me. I then went to work for a bank for a year, which was really regimented and didn’t suit me at all.

“The role in the bank made me realise that my passion was hairdressing, but I wanted to work for myself and take control of who I book in and set my own hours.”

During the lockdown, Sophie used her time to build her skills using the remote courses provided by the Chamber. After building these skills, Sophie saw the opportunity to reach more customers who were still working from home after lockdown was lifted by offering her mobile services.

Sophie commented: “When lockdown was lifted, many people were still working from home, so it was a great time for me to start offering my mobile service. It meant that people could enjoy treatments in the comfort of their own home, and they could fit in services with their workday.

“I would recommend the course to anyone; I was worried about the support during lockdown but it was just as strong. I’ve stayed friends with a few people on the course even though we only met on Zoom, and we stay in touch and do business together.”

The New Enterprise Allowance is funded by the Department of Work and Pensions and the European Social Fund.

If you are unemployed and thinking of starting a business, speak to your Job Centre Plus adviser for more information about the New Enterprise Allowance Scheme.

Through the New Enterprise Allowance, Sophie accessed support from St Helens Chamber’s Business Start Up team with everything from funding to writing a business plan.

“The support was brilliant from the Start Up team and it’s still ongoing. I’m still in touch with Cath, and she’s always there if I need any help. I also got further support from the Chamber through the free AAT accountancy course with Emmanuel.

“I found the AAT course really useful to get myself organised, it was so beneficial, and I wouldn’t be where I am without it. It was hard, but Emmanuel was there always replying straight away and getting me up to date if I missed anything. He gave extra work if you were struggling too which was helpful. It fit in well with my work too which was great.”

Sophie’s business continues to from strength to strength, and Hair24 has loyal clients across Merseyside. Starting up a business has allowed Sophie the freedom to set her own hours and work in a way that suits her needs.

Sophie added: “I’d recommend starting a business to anyone. I set my own hours and have more freedom. I don’t have a bad word to say about the Start Up support from the Chamber, the team are always there to help when you need it even when you’ve already started your business.”

To find out more about Hair24, visit:

To find out more about St Helens Chamber’s Start Up support, visit: