Newport salon owner rose to the challenges of lockdown with style

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Thousands of weddings have been postponed or cancelled across the UK because of COVID-19.

For each bride, having to move their big day is a hugely stressful experience.
That’s why award-winning Newport hair and beauty salon owner Jenna McDonnell has been on hand to help.

“This has been very difficult time for all my brides,” she said.
It has also been a hugely challenging time for salons and business owners like Jenna.

“When lockdown hit, I was living with my elderly parents and saving to buy my own place. However, as they have underlying health conditions I moved out and into the closed salon,” she said.

“Whilst staying in the salon I had someone break into my car outside the shop and scared another burglar off who was in my garden.

“After three weeks of isolating here, my sister has now put a bed in her living room for me.”

The salon’s eight staff were furloughed and Jenna, who was awarded the Guinness World Record for the fastest bridal hair styler in 2016, decided to make the most of the situation in lockdown.

She redecorated and revamped the shop which she bought two years ago and put her business in the best possible place for re-opening.

She also understood that the pandemic was taking a huge toll on people’s mental health. So, she decided to boost morale with giveaways and some amazing makeovers on social media.

Jenna’s make-up skills saw her transform into reality TV stars like Tiger King’s Carol Baskin and Joe Exotic, and celebrities like Rob Brydon, Tom Jones, Kim Kardashian, and Madonna. She has even transformed into Boris Johnson and Donald Trump.

“I was inspired by seeing people like my brides in crisis, knowing how much they needed cheering up,” she said.

Jenna established her business in 2014 and her salon on Chepstow Road was named the best salon in the city within a year of its opening. Since then, Jenna has won Best Regional Hair Stylist at the Welsh National Wedding Awards in 2015 and 2016.

That success has been matched by her commitment to raising funds for local charities. She has raised more than £15,000 over six years.

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