Big thank you from

Jenny Munro talks to Robyn Rycroft

ROBYN Rycroft, 37, owns Ned and Ruby's Great Kids salon in Hillsborough. She moved from Canada last year when her husband Dave got a new business contract in Northern Ireland. They have three children, Olivia Ruby, 8, Liam, 5, and Rachel Grace 2. Robyn's business is a hairdressing salon specifically aimed at children although adults can use the services too. Robyn is trained in haircutting and is a professional makeup artist.

I normally wake up at 7am, and get the children ready for school. We have breakfast and then I walk them to Downshire Primary as our house is nearby The salon opens at 9.30am so after leaving the older children at school I head to work and I bring my youngest child with me.

I look in the diary to see what the day ahead has in store and have a chat with the full time hairstylist. I'm the director receptionist and I cut hair do manicures as well as applying make-up. At 11 am I walk home and give Rachel her lunch and let her have a nap. It's a chance to clean, do some laundry and catch up on household chores. I have to keep on top of things as I work six days a week.

At 1pm I go back to the salon and let the stylist have her lunch. Then I take Rachel with me to collect Liam at 2pm from school and Olivia an hour later. The childminder comes and get the children from the salon and takes them home to do their school work and have something to eat.

Throughout the day I'll mainly be managing the salon .and cutting hair.

We offer 'groovy ruby do's' for little girls. this consists of twists and crimps, plaits and funky up do's. There's fun styles for the boys too and they love the coloured hair gels. It's a really fun experience for the kids.

At every station there is a tv/dvd. This helps the children stay still for us to cut their hair. The building is bright and cheery and although it is a period building, inside is really modern. There is a play room for the children to go into when they are waiting to have their hair done and the theme of the room is changed regularly.

A lot of parents make appointments for their children on their birthdays. Maybe a group of 8 -10 young girls will be booked in to have their hair and make-up done. A room can be rented for a birthday party celebration afterwards.

The birthday parties are great fun - the children watch each other getting pampered and they have a great time in the play room - the atmosphere is just brilliant.

We also offer 'mum and me' manicure packages. Both mum and daughter sit beside each other and have their nails done. Dads and their sons can also have their cut together too. It just makes the whole haircutting experience more pleasurable.

The salon closes at 5.30pm most days or 8pm on Thursday and Friday When the last appointment is finished the salon is tidied and everything put back in its proper place I head home and hang out with the kids and have some dinner.

After bath time. it's story time and then I spend the rest of the evening with my husband catching up on our day.

When I have the chance I enjoy going to yoga classes as this helps de-stress me. I also like hanging out with my girlfriends and reading interior designs magazines to get new ideas for my house. By 11 I am ready to sleep.

Ulster Star