A BASINGSTOKE businesswoman is celebrating after being shortlisted as a finalist at the UK Hair and Beauty Awards.

Amie Boyle, 26, opened her salon Dolled Up, in The Old Coach House in Farleigh Wallop, in February 2020 just before the nation went into lockdown for the first time.

So after a challenging first year, news that her business is up for the accolade of 'Hair Extentionist of the Year' has come as a welcomed boost.

"My business was set up at the beginning of 2020 after taking the huge step of having my own space and being a sol trader but sadly it was cut short due to the pandemic and everything was put on hold," she said.

Amie said she has always had a passion for the beauty sector but previously worked in education helping children with additional learning needs.

"I loved [my job] and will never forget it but there was always something missing," she said.

Becoming a mum in 2018 was the boost Amie needed, she said. "For me, that was the realisation that I needed to do something for myself to support my daughter and spend my life doing," Amie told The Gazette.

So she threw herself into learning the beauty trade. "I did many a course and spent many an hour and late night with sweat and tears - quite literally - working and practicing to build up my portfolio. I slowly built up my clientele and the business took off from there.

"In February 2020, I took the full plunge and rented out my own space that I could put my flare on and make my own mark and I've not looked back since."

Amie took over The Old Coach House and has transformed the space into a pink paradise complete with fluffy furnishings and a bright sign.

"It's now a beautiful pink salon room with positive girl vibes everywhere," she said.

Reflecting on the news that already she has been shortlisted for an award, the beauty owner said: "Hard work definitely pays off.

"I am so grateful for this opportunity and I wouldn’t have been able to do without the support from my amazing clients that have been there every step of the way despite the pandemic over the past year.

"There’s light at the end of the tunnel, this past year has definitely shown me that you can be anything you want to be and you can achieve your dreams."

Amie added that there are "bigger things" to come yet and she will be soon offering aesthetic treatments too.