They were unlikely business partners born a generation apart who've found so much in common they now consider each other nearly family.
Trish Howden, 49, and Jenna Gore, 26, hatched a five-year plan to open a business together while learning nail technology at South West TAFE last year.
Less than four weeks later they were signing a Liebig Street lease and starting to plaster and paint the site and journey across the state to buy equipment and furniture.
"We dove head first into the deep end," Ms Gore said. "We are both as stubborn as anything"
The result is their salon Darlings of Beauty, a hub for relaxation that radiates the duo's favourite colour purple. There's nail painting, massages, skin tanning and waxing and plans for hairdressing and spa baths in the near future.
"It is probably strange to meet someone half your age and to be friends with them," Ms Howden said.
"It was spending every day together since this time last year that made it happen."
Now the duo complete each other's sentences and have a bold plan for a top-to-toe day spa and beauty salon where they envision clients relaxing in bath robes with wine.
"There aren't many of those places around," Ms Gore said.
Ms Howden had been out of work for seven years following an accident but a recovery prompted her to retrain last year.
"We were going to buy a business in town, but it just didn't suit our needs, and from there we just thought lets find a place of our own and just do it," she said.
But Ms Howden admits starting a business has been rocky. She says staff are difficult to find and keep, and there are challenges building up clientele during the pandemic. But Ms Howden said the business was gradually building a loyal following who she hoped would return after the latest lockdown.
"Beauty salons are those things that if you get up and you have a bad hair day, you want that there and then, you don't necessarily plan for it," she said.
"Every day gets better and better."
The salon has opened at the northern end of Liebig Street where Hip Pocket Workwear vacated about five years ago.
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