Jackie Ellison has worn bobs, curly perms,long and short hair and now sports a spiky cut.
Jackie – often the first face clients see when they arrive at Steffens hair salon in Spalding – has seen styles, and stylists, come and go during the 25 years she has been there.
In that time, almost every hairdresser at the salon has had a go at creating the perfect look for her.
For her part, Jackie looks after reception, does the accounts and sorts out wages, as well as helping upstairs with rinsing perms and shampooing hair at particularly busy times in the salon.
She says: “I have enjoyed my 25 years and I have no thoughts of giving up. I don’t think they would let me if I wanted to!”
Jackie’s career at Steffens goes back to the relatively early days of the business, which was launched by Steffen Louth above Longstaff’s office on New Road in 1970. The salon was moved to the Sheep Market in 1985.
Jackie was approached by Steffen and his former wife Jane in 1991 when their receptionist became ill and they needed someone to help – and she’s been there ever since.
Jackie says: “The customers are all nice that come in here. You get to know them over the years, especially the regulars who come in every week. I am lucky I enjoy my job because not many people do.”
Customers have got to know Jackie as a person and take an interest in her life – she lives in Spalding with husband Leigh and their two dogs. Customers have also followed the progress of Jackie’s two daughters, one of whom works in the travel industry in Egypt, while the other lives in Lincoln and has a daughter of her own, called Sofia.
There have been changes in the salon through the years, most recently Steffen’s sale of the business to one of his former employees, PJ King, last year. Now, PJ’s son Arnie Crowson manages the salon for his mother.
Arnie was trained by Steffen in the days when he ran a City & Guilds training centre within the salon.
Jane – who introduced Jackie’s spiky look a few years ago on the basis that it would be easier for her to manage – worked at the salon until just before Christmas.
Steffen is still involved in a consultancy role.