From homelessness to global session stylist

By Annie Franklin on December 28th, 2023

Annie Franklin is the proud owner of prestige Hair in Stockport. A BHA finalist, member of the Fellowship’s Project X and now an international session stylist assisting on the likes of Paris, NYC and London fashion weeks, her life wasn’t always so charmed. Annie shares her inspiring story with us.

“I left school at 14 to become a hairdresser through work experience, I had a lot of personal issues and was lucky my boss at the time took a chance on me and gave me a placement to keep me off the streets. I was homeless for a period of time and bounced between hostels and friends’ couches, getting myself into some awful situations without regard or care for my own life. Hairdressing was my rock and all I cared about at the time. I went mobile but it was really difficult without a car and no permanent home, it was just me and my suitcase! I built myself a large clientele doing this, when one day I was approached by someone with a beauty salon who asked if i’d like to share the building with her, for me to run my own hair salon.

At that point, I knew I’d go one way or the other and this was my crossroads to make a decision to change and sort myself out. So I did. I worked as hard as I could and was putting in 60-70 hours a week, often working late into the evening, working anytime I could. I employed another stylist and that’s how Prestige Hair started.

I then met my partner and we bought our first home in Manchester. After a while, we tried for a baby. After several miscarriages and two rounds of IVF, the doctors couldn’t find anything medically wrong but thought my lifestyle of working all hours and stress could possibly have been the cause. 

Lockdown hit and was fearful of the impact this would have on my business and the fear of losing my home, the thought of going back to how things were, frightened me, so I took on a job at the hospital cleaning COVID wards. With the chaos of COVID, I was offered more hours so I was then working 70 hours a week on minimum wage just to keep myself, my home and my business from sinking. I could not risk losing the only thing that I was passionate about which was hairdressing. 

I spotted Caroline Sanderson’s Bounce Back Challenge on facebook with the words ‘struggling salon owner’ and I thought I may as well join. I suffer from Dyslexia and was embarrassed about how much I was struggling but Caroline made it easy for me to understand and reassured me that everyone was in the same boat. Working on mindset, Carolines course helped me get rid of the mental blocks that were stopping me from progressing. I worked on my marketing and things began to change for me. Prestige Hair is now a mindful accredited salon.

My love and passion for hairdressing has enabled me to work on some prestigious events such as global fashion weeks, being a BHA finalist and joining the Fellowship Project X team. I was fortunate to be selected by Lisa Farrall who is now my mentor. I have been lucky enough to work for Lisa on many session styling jobs such as music videos and am now hugely grateful to have come full circle from being a member of the Project X team to now being Project X’s support for next year’s programme.

My point is that you can choose your path. I chose not to fail and instead opted for success and to further my career and follow my dreams despite my background – it’s never too late. 

I now own two houses, a successful business running now for 11 years but most importantly I’m happy. It fills me with gratitude to have a wonderful team and support network around me which I’ll be forever, eternally grateful for.

Follow Annies journey on Instagram @anniefranklinhair and @prestigehair_reddish 

Caroline Sanderson is a Salon Gold Superstar offering mentoring tips. Got a question for her? Message us here.

Annie Franklin

Annie franklin is the proud owner of prestige Hair in Stockport. A BHA finalist, member of the Fellowship’s Project X and now an international session stylist assisting on the likes of Paris, NYC and London fashion weeks, her life wasn’t always so charmed. Annie shares her inspiring story with us.

All articles by Annie Franklin

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