CUSTOMERS of a York salon decided to pre-pay thousands of pounds worth of appointments to keep the business afloat.

Dannie Lea, owner of Dannie Lea Hair & Beauty, said the support had enabled him to survive the coronavirus lockdown and he now hoped to move on - with plans to open a gin bar outside his premises on Micklegate.

Dannie, who also has a branch in Creepy Crawlies, Wigginton Road, believes he became Yorkshire’s first licensed salon of gins in December 2019 - with their gin, The Distillers Cut, on sale inside.

“I think we will be operating under strict COVID restrictions for quite a while now, but I am pleased that the business has been able to survive this turbulent period,” he said.

“We are also a licensed gin bar, so we’re hoping that in 2021 that we’ll be able to open a small outdoor gin bar outside our premises on Micklegate. Now wouldn’t that be fun?”

Dannie applied for a temporary pavement licence in August but then decided to focus on the salon side.

He is now offering people the chance to win a luxury pamper experience as a thank you for the continued support.

Recalling the day he phoned customers to reschedule appointments, following the lockdown announcement, Dannie said: “It was during one of these calls, that a customer insisted on pre-paying for her next three appointments to support the business which I reluctantly agreed to.

“I didn’t expect more customers to do the same, but they did. By the end of the week I had received nearly £4,000 worth of pre-paid appointments which relieved a lot of worry during the lockdown period.”

Dannie who started hairdressing more than 20 years ago bought the business from his former employer in 2002 and rebranded it Dannie Lea Hair & Beauty.

He now employs a team of seven and recently won the bronze award for his colouring skills at the Wella TrendVision UK & Ireland Finals.

The team is now offering the luxury pamper treat.

“The experience is worth about £400 and includes everything from a haircut and colour to a massage and from a makeup tutorial to receiving complimentary hair and cosmetic products.

"So, whether you want to say thank you to a keyworker, neighbour or a loved one, we would love to hear from you why they deserve to receive the pampering experience," said Dannie.