Independent Hornchurch salon, The Vanilla Room, reaches its 25th anniversary this week and will celebrate in style having cut over half a million heads of Hornchurch hair.
Salon owner Kerry Larcher aged 46, has grown the business from her childhood passion for hairdressing, it was all she ever wanted to do. Having worked as a Saturday girl in salons from the age of 13, Kerry opened The Vanilla Room’s first salon on North Street in 1995 and began the most incredible Hornchurch business success story.
Since then the salon has;
– Cut over 350,000 heads of hair, woven more than 1 million highlights and styled over 25,000 Friday & Saturday nights out.
– Trained some of the best new hairdressing talent in Havering
– Raised thousands of pounds in support of local charities
– And won many awards – most recently, Best Salon in Essex 2019
Looking back over the past 25 years, Kerry said “When I look back it’s not the list of accolades that makes me most proud. It’s the relationships we’ve built with clients and team members through the decades, and the reputation we have for kindness, professionalism and incredible hair.”
The past six months have presented Kerry and her team with the toughest challenges yet. However, in true TVR style the business has gone above and beyond, investing over £20,000 in a COVID safe renovation, and implementing new processes to make every client visit ‘Spaciously Happy’!
Kerry continued: “Our 25th anniversary year has presented unprecedented challenges but as I look forward, I’ve never felt more positive or exited for what is to come. Thank you to our Hornchurch community for an incredible quarter of a century. I feel proud to be a family business, providing a safe service and creating quality jobs for local people.”
Julia Lopez, MP for Hornchurch & Upminster congratulates the local business, saying this, “Kerry’s story as a local entrepreneur is such an inspiring one. Not only has she built a fantastic business and expanded it over the course of 25 years, but she has provided training and fulfilling jobs to countless employees, won awards, served happy clients, and raised money for charity. That takes huge energy, resilience, and commitment, particularly in these difficult days. I had really hoped to be able to celebrate the Vanilla Room’s anniversary in person, but I nonetheless send my very best wishes and congratulations to Kerry and the Vanilla Room team and thank them for the many ways they have served the Hornchurch community since 1995. Everyone knows that salons are not just there to make people look great but to act as a social hub of friendship, advice, and support. As we try to move beyond the pandemic, it will be people like Kerry and her team who will help make communities smile and feel good again.”
The Vanilla Room, which now employs 46 people and serves more than 450 clients every week, first opened in 1995 on the premises of a former “iconic” salon in North Street with only three members of staff, including Scott and Jenni, who still work there today.
Within three years, the business had grown quickly, and Kerry invested in a second shop a few doors down the road. Then, in 2005, The Vanilla Room moved to its current flagship location on Hornchurch High Street.
From the very start, the salon had computerised booking (a technological wonder back then) and so has been able to record the number of cuts, blow-dries, and hair styles made over the years.