Nataalia Stych, a refugee from Ukraine now living in Carlisle, started working at Chloe’s Beauty in November 2022.
The salon is owned by Chloe Warton, who discovered Nataalia’s talents through a customer.
She said: “I had a client who was also from Ukraine, and she came in with me for a treatment, she had these amazing nails. I said, ‘your nails are nice who did them?’.
“She said it was one of the Ukrainian girls who did them, but she was just doing them from where she was living, but that she was looking for a job.
“I asked her to give me her number to arrange a meeting, and she came in and did my nails.
“She’s amazing, a completely different standard.
“When she left Ukraine she worked in Poland, but she didn’t have a formal qualification, so I had to train her up officially.”
Despite having obvious talent, she required an official qualification to begin working under Chloe’s insurance.
Three months later, and Nataalia has her qualification in manicures, pedicures, and nail work.
Most of the theory work is done online, and the practical work was done at the salon itself, under Chloe’s tutelage.
It wasn’t completely smooth sailing throughout the process with the language barrier, as Chloe explained: “There were some difficulties, but every time we didn’t understand each other we used Google Translate.”
Nataalia has now settled in well to the salon, and Chloe said she’s got a fair few regular customers who ask for her specifically.
“It’s hard because some of out clients want to chat but she doesn’t speak much English, but people recognise that, and it’s down to personal preference.”
Nataalia has been taking English lessons in the city since her arrival, and can now speak basic conversational English, but is