IT takes courage and faith to open a new business in these stricken times - especially in a sector that has been impacted hugely by the national lockdowns.

It also takes courage and faith to go into business with your life partner!

So for all of these reasons we are happy to announce that Mathew Reading and Hannah Sunderland at Hair at Number 20 in Bootham are our traders of the week.

The couple, who have two children and are getting married this summer, opened their hair and beauty salon last year just as the third national lockdown was ending.

Each week we are shining the spotlight on the independent businesses that really make York special. If you would like to nominate a York trader - or perhaps you run a local business and want to tell us your story - you can tell us more via this online form:

Meanwhile, more on Mathew and Hannah...

How long has the business been going?

Since April 2021 after lockdown ended. The property was renovated in the months before, taking the tenancy on from January. It had previously been an office, so the transformation into hair salon took a few weeks, making use of the lockdown.

York Press: Inside the salonInside the salon

What does it sell?

Hair and Beauty salon with vegan and sulphate-free hair products for sale from Australian company Evo.

Tell us why this business is special?

All stylists have trained at an internationally renowned hair salon and have many years experience between them. They have an established clientele yet are still expanding their customer base. The building is over three floors with an in-house beauty salon, and Hannah and Mathew have now recruited another two stylists to join their team, plus a beauty therapist.

How has it adapted during the Covid-19 crisis?

Considering the time the salon opened, when many businesses were closing, Hannah and Mathew saw the property in Bootham. It has been challenging for them but they have adapted through all the changes very successfully.

York Press: Reception and waiting area Reception and waiting area

Has it won any awards. If so what and when?

One of the stylists is a NVQ assessor and two of the stylists are as follows:

L'Oréal colour trophy regional finalist &

L'Oreal Colour Trophy Semi Finalist.

What is your favourite story about this business?

Mat and Hannah are not only business partners but partners in real life too! They met in their previous job and are now engaged and getting married in June this year. The couple have two young daughters, Isla and Edith. Not only are they both a great cutting and colouring team, their sheer professionalism and putting people at ease in beautiful surroundings ensures a wonderful experience.

Be our next trader of the week

If you would like to nominate a York trader - or perhaps you run a local business and want to tell us what makes you special - please get in touch. You could be our next trader of the week! You can send your nomination via this online form: