A HAIR and beauty salon owner in Chepstow has shared her thoughts on life after reopening last month, including “bizarre” phone calls where customers have pretended to be someone else in the hope they will get an appointment.

Siobhan Taylor, who started Quayside Salon at the Severn Quay apartments in 2019, has also said she felt she would have to pack in her dream venture until she received the news she would be able to reopen last month.

“We opened towards the end of 2019 and absolutely love it here,” she said. “We’re so lucky we have managed to gain some really loyal customers, who have helped us get off to a great restart.

South Wales Argus: Siobhan Taylor. Picture: Siobhan Taylor

Siobhan Taylor. Picture: Siobhan Taylor

“It’s been a busy time, and quite stressful, but the days are going very quickly.”

She says she hasn’t been surprised that many people have rang to ask for a tan, which she can’t do until April 12 under Welsh Government rules.

“I’m not surprised because it’s very confusing,” she said. “There are constant changes and even we take some time to get our heads around what we can and can’t do.

“After explaining the dates people can come for a tan, we’ve generally had no trouble. People understand and thank us for letting them know.”

But that hasn’t always been the case, and last week the single mother of three felt compelled to take to social media to share stories of a handful of rude people who have called and abused her and her staff for simply sticking to the rules.


And it isn’t only people being rude. Weirdly, she’s also had someone call numerous times putting on different accents in the hope they will get an appointment for a tan.

“It’s completely bizarre,” she laughed. “I know it’s the same person because it’s the same phone number every time.

South Wales Argus: Quayside Salon. Picture: Siobhan Taylor

Quayside Salon. Picture: Siobhan Taylor

“I just think they don’t understand the rules and think I’m making a conscious decision not to give them a tanning appointment.

“I completely understand it’s confusing that I’m open and I can’t yet provide a full service, but it’s no excuse to be rude.”

The news she would be able to reopen last month caught her by surprise, but she said she was relieved.

“It meant so much to us, because as a new business we’ve had next to no funding since the start of the pandemic,” she explained.

“Much of that was down to a delay in the council giving us a business rates number, meaning we couldn’t apply until the summer last year.

“Our rent is £16,000 annually, and I think we’ve taken around £3,000 in funding. Luckily I was able to furlough my five staff, but it certainly wasn’t sustainable, and another lockdown would almost certainly finish us.”

Despite the horrendous financial pressures the pandemic has brought, she says she’s tried to remain calm and enjoy time with her children.

South Wales Argus: Quayside Salon. Picture: Siobhan Taylor

Quayside Salon. Picture: Siobhan Taylor

“Since opening the business in 2019 I’ve been really focused on it and it’s taken a lot out of me,” she added. “The pandemic has given me a chance to step back and appreciate time with the kids. Although home-schooling has been a nightmare!

“I’m lucky my older daughter, who is 14, is extremely bright and often helps me with the home-schooling.

“It’s great to be getting back to normal. I’ve got a new wind behind me, I’ve got some new training for my staff, and we can’t wait to improve together. I’m really optimistic about the future.”