Prudhoe Salon Owner's Dream Come True.
Sophistikaty's Katie Denton tells us how she's had her salon's name picked out since childhood...

A young girl’s SOPHISTIKATY’D dream come true – Katie Denton, Sophistikaty’s

A lot of people dream about opening their own business, but not everyone gets to live that dream. Katie Denton literally had her salon’s name picked out when she was a child.

Prudhoe Front Street is a great place to get your hair done. But one of the street’s salon owners is fulfilling a lifelong ambition. Andrea and Gavin visited Katie Denton at her salon and we chatted to her about her business.

PB: How long has Sophistikaty’s been based on Front Street? KD: Sophistikaty’s took over from previous salon that was based here, called Reflections. We opened our doors in March 2022.

PB: Are you from Prudhoe yourself? KD: I was born in Newcastle, but we moved to Northumberland when I was two and a half years old. I went to school in Whittonstall, Corbridge, and then Hexham.

PB: Have you always been in the hair and beauty industry? KD: Yes, I knew from a very young age my dream was to become a stylist and open my very own salon one day. I even had the name for my salon picked out since I was a young child. I left school after completing my GCSEs and was offered an apprenticeship in a well known 5 star salon. I remember the phone call being offered the job and how unbelievably ecstatic I was to start my dream job! Thinking back to that day I still get butterflies and that excited spin in my stomach. I felt incredibly lucky to have been given the opportunity, especially in such a lovely salon, with a hugely supportive boss who I have upmost respect for. I have worked alongside and learned from the best throughout my career, and along with that I have been given opportunities to enter huge UK and Ireland competitions, graduate programmes, work with the best international professional brands, many workshops and everything else that has come with this dream. What makes this journey even more special is that my whole journey has been in this very salon. The very place I started as an apprentice at 16 is now my salon with my name above the door. It would have always been special to me, but given my journey it will always be extra special. Coming to the salon has never felt like work, and I am so lucky to be able to do something I absolutely love every single day. I couldn’t imagine doing anything other than hair and beauty.

PB: What services do you offer at the salon? KD: We offer an extensive range of all hair and beauty treatments, from cutting and colouring to extensions and event hair, from massages to facials of a wide variety, and from non-invasive aesthetic and injectable treatments to waxing, nails and absolutely everything in between.
The full treatment list can be found easily on our website sophistikatys.co.uk, along with prices. We also have an online booking system which is updated constantly with new treatments, treatment of the month, discounts, offers, packages and promotions.

PB: Tell us about your team… KD: They are the most passionate, caring, skilled, professional and friendly team I have ever had the pleasure of working alongside. They pride themselves on making every client feel at ease and welcome from entering to leaving feeling amazing after having received the best possible service.
My team is like a little family, and we receive a huge number of reviews which mention how the staff make them feel welcome, that they are very friendly and professional and that the salon has a lovely atmosphere, which brings me huge joy and pride.

We have three different levels of stylist, offering three different price brackets – from senior stylists, to design directors. The stylists work alongside a beauty therapist and skin specialist, a nail technician, a receptionist and two incredible apprentices. They are the best bunch if I don’t say so myself, it’s an honour to work with such an amazing team.

PB: What’s been your biggest highlight since running your own business? KD: Honestly, the biggest highlight is actually just coming to work every day with a fantastic team and seeing so many lovely clients. Aside from that, we were nominated and received a small business award from Guy Opperman in November 2022 and in September 2023 we won North East Hair And Beauty Salon Of The Year which, to have even been nominated for, was an honour, so to have won was just a dream come true. We are still on cloud nine.

PB: And the biggest challenge? KD: The biggest challenge, naturally, is the ever growing cost of everything. Just one of our many, but one of our biggest, suppliers has had three large price increases in just 18 months. As a business owner you want to be able to keep prices as low as possible, but with every supplier increasing their costs it’s hard to keep this sustainable. We did have a very small price increase of a pound per service in May 2023, which was a hard choice to have been forced into. Since then, all of our suppliers, bills, wages, water, gas, electric etc has gone up. Some of our suppliers have increased their prices twice since we had our small increase. The other challenge from a personal perspective was having a huge salon refurb whilst remaining open. The worry of whether our clients would like the complete new design, and the fact it felt like a building site which felt almost impossible to be able to offer clients our usual relaxing, luxurious treatments to the standard we usually do. All of our clients who visited us during this spell were hugely understanding, supportive and were very excited to see the outcome. We were incredible grateful to them! And it definitely felt worth it seeing the end result. The amount of compliments we have had about the salon, how lovely it looks, warm and inviting, and classy, how it stands out really is just lovely!

PB: You’re a finalist at the North East Hair and Beauty Awards again this coming September, how important is recognition like this? KD: Recognition like this is hugely important to us, because to us the fact people have taken the time out to nominate us is just an amazing feeling for us all. To know people think we deserve a nomination and then a place in the final is just incredible. Without all the votes received we wouldn’t have reached the finals. So we are just truly grateful and thankful to everyone involved, from nominating to voting and supporting us. It is also still an incredible feeling to say we are an award winning salon, Hair And Beauty Salon Of The Year 2023, and finalists for 2024’s huge competition.

PB: The theme of this issue is ‘use it or lose it’ and how we should all support local independent businesses – what can your customers do to help Sophistikaty’s and what makes your salon different? KD: We are beyond grateful to all of our clients for their continued support and loyalty. We wholeheartedly understand that hair and beauty is a luxury, not a priority, which during tough times is the first thing many have to sacrifice in order to prioritise where money is needed and best spent. It is tough being a small independent business during trying times. But we pride ourselves in being a one stop hair and beauty award winning salon, who will always go above and beyond to ensure every client has an outstanding luxurious service, but more than that, we pride ourselves in doing whatever we can to help anyone in need. Whether that be being a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, shopping for someone who may be vulnerable, elderly or just someone needing a helping hand, we are more than just stylists, therapists and technicians – we are friends our clients often rely on. To know we can help in so many more ways than just the obvious is heart warming. They know we are there, they can ask, and we will do. We spend a lot of time doing charity work, including 2 hugely successful Christmas Angel campaigns for Action For Children. This enabled thousands of vulnerable children to open a gift on Christmas Day. We also had an incredible family fun day last summer, which we are doing for a second year running this year – with huge thanks to Prudhoe Town FC and everyone involved for making this possible.

We like to play a huge part in our community by helping, being involved wherever possible with local events, charitable work and fundraising, donating or anything else we can. We love being part of and feel very lucky to be part of an incredible community.

"I knew from a very young age my dream was to become a stylist and open my very own salon one day. I even had the name for my salon picked out since I was a young child."