A BEAUTY business owner whose salon was plunged into lockdown within a month of its launch has been named a finalist in UK industry awards.

Karla Capes was shortlisted from thousands of applicants for the UK Hair and Beauty Awards 2021 for three categories: best new talent, entrepreneur, and semi-permanent make-up artist of the year.

She said the recognition was all the more meaningful after she had braved setting up her dream business, only to be forced to close three times within 12 months.

Karla, who has previously worked as a dental nurse, decontamination technician and care worker, said she had always hoped to own her own business.

She set up Lasting Impressions Beauty and Aesthetics in February 2020, renting space within The Tanning Lounge, in Huntington, York.

The following month a national shutdown was announced in a bid to curb the Covid-19 pandemic.

It was a tough blow and Karla admits she felt like giving up at times.

However, she said her husband, Andrew, and mum, Tracy Chadwick, helped her through the bad days and supported her as she undertook further training to enhance her skills and knowledge to keep busy.

“I took home some products when the lockdown was announced and continued to practice on myself or fake skins to keep my work fresh in my mind for my return to work,” she said.

“I learnt some new micro-blading patterns and put them up on my socials.”

It was while she was on social media that Karla found out about the awards and secretly entered without telling her family. She said she was ‘over the moon’ to be selected as a finalist in three categories.

“Just coming this far in one short year proves to me that I am where I am meant to be, doing the job I was born to do.

“I put my clients at the heart of everything I do, making sure their service is unrivalled from start to finish and that they are in safe hands,

“There is nothing more beautiful then making others feel beautiful. At Lasting Impressions I only use pharmaceutical grade products from legitimate source. My clients know they are in safe hands.”

Karla also paid tribute to Wayne Foster, owner of The Tanning Lounge, where her business is based, for his support over the past year. “Waiving my rent whilst closed helped me so much as I still had other overheads to pay.”

The Hair and Beauty Awards finals are on March 31.