Jessica's salon has the A-list touch
After tending to A-list celebrities travelling first class with Virgin airlines and working on yachts in the Cayman Islands, beauty therapist Jessica Earl knows a thing or two about making her clients feel extra special.
The 24-year-old was just 18 when she came up with the idea of launching her own luxury nail bar and barbers and pitched it to none other than her boss at the time, Richard Branson.
Although he didn't take her up on the offer she didn't give up and with the help of another backer, her dream has recently come true with the opening of her own business – Earl's & Co.
Jessica, who is originally from south east London, wanted to set up in the Cotswolds and fell in love with Cheltenham when she was touring the area looking for inspiration.
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With the help of her fiance, Nicholas Cowling, she has transformed the premises in Regent Street, which used to be occupied by an opticians.
On the ground floor at Earl's & Co it's all about men with a saloon-style bar and traditional barbers side by side so clients can enjoy a complimentary whisky as they get their hair cut.
On the first floor, the masculine reds and dark browns give way to duck egg blue walls, glass chandeliers and cream sofas where women can escape to get their nails done and enjoy beauty treatments such as aromatherapy massage and eyebrow threading.
For an added wow factor, all nail treatments include a complimentary glass of Champagne.
Jessica says: "It's a different experience. "We still have everyday beauty treatments but not in the environment that people are used to. It's a little bit more special."
Earl's & Co use OPI and Leighton Denny polish and it can be booked for exclusive use for wedding parties, baby showers or birthdays.
with a dedicated team of therapists and refreshments provided such as cheese and dessert plates.
Jessica previously worked for Virgin for two years, she was the youngest employee to join them as an in-flight beauty therapist, and is still in touch with Virgin boss Richard Branson who has been offering her business advice.
"I've been told he will be visiting, as he only lives in Oxford," she says. "He is notorious for never making appointments so will probably just turn up unannounced one day.
"He has been brilliant from the word go and has given me a lot of encouragement, especially when he found out that it was a new concept, trying to change the way people experience salons and not feeling like they're on a conveyor belt.
"You don't get a lot for your £20 sometimes but if you come to us it's different. He thought that was a really great idea."