After 17 amazing years of running Reef Salons in Durham, it has come time for owner, Leanne Gillespie to hand over the reins and move in a new direction in life. Change is always good and comes at the time it is needed most…
In the coming year of me turning 40, I have decided to part ways with Reef Salons after 17 hardworking but rewarding and unforgettable years. This has been a choice I haven’t made in haste, but one that has been made with Reef’s best interests at heart. At the mere age of 22 with a lack of life skills but enough passion to spur me on, my business partners and I opened the doors of Reef for the first time. With no knowledge of what I would learn, who I would meet or what was in store for the future of this little salon it became my life. Reef never standing still, I have tried my upmost to seize every opportunity thrown the salons way. This is evident in the journey that this little business has taken over the years, from the original salon based in Bannatyne’s, opening with only four members of staff and little experience, to the current 5-star award-winning salon located in one of the most prestigious hotel and golf clubs in the north east. In total, we have been lucky enough to establish ourselves in four rewarding locations over the years, with Ramside being a venture that took both my career and Reef respectively to another level. To be heavily involved in the design and building of Reef at Ramside was an experience that I will never forget, and will be forever grateful for the opportunity to take the business on a new venture.
Despite a fulfilling career and the fear of the unknown, I feel it is time for change. The hard decision to leave Reef has ironically been one made with ease, due to the comfort of knowing I have taken on board all I possibly can and feel it is now time for someone else to guide the salon and to hopefully learn some of the life lessons that make me who I am today. This career and this salon have been vital to my person, however it is time to share my knowledge and allow Reef to grow. The people I have met whilst embarking on this 17 year long journey have made it what it is. Every client to walk through the doors and every member of staff I have had the pleasure to work with have left a mark on my heart and shaped me into the person I am today... through it be either listening to the clients or the staff. I must make it known that nothing that has come to me has fallen upon deaf ears and every experience has been a journey that I have learnt from and taken with me to help myself and others grow. For so many years Reef, the staff and the clients have been my forefront and now I feel it is time to focus on my family (and hopefully a little time for me) and allow Reef to grow. I am confident that Joanne has the knowledge and skills to take the salon to new heights, but also to nurture the foundations that Reef has been built upon. – Leanne Gillespie
A personal heartfelt thanks from Leanne and the Reef team also goes to former business partner, Cheryl. Due to personal family illness, Cheryl left the team at Reef early on, but was a huge key factor in the opening of the salon and building the brand into what it is today.
We wish Leanne all the luck she truly deserves in her new ventures in life.