The Sunderland mum who helped set up a business during pandemic - while nine months pregnant

Two Sunderland entrepreneurs are enjoying a great start to business life – a year after they began trading in dramatic fashion.

Lucy Richardson and Lauren Richardson made their dreams come true when they launched Peachy Studio as a hair and beauty studio – but they did it during the pandemic.

But that was not the only challenge as Lucy was nine months pregnant when the business opened.

Now the business has celebrated its first birthday and so has Lauren’s daughter Thea.

Peachy Studio which has been nominated for a Sunderland Echo Business Excellence Award.

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One year after opening, Lauren looked back and said: “My little girl shares her birthday with the salon.”

She may have been nine months pregnant but Lauren helped business partner Lucy with preparing the premises for opening. She worked for two weeks before taking time off and said: “The salon was totally renovated.”

The spruce-up often saw the business partners toiling until 11pm or midnight but they now have their dream of a salon they love as well as a place where people who are ‘starting out can enjoy working’.

If that wasn’t enough, the business is in the running for the new-look Sunderland Echo Business Excellence Awards and Lucy said: “We would be over the moon to get somewhere in the competition, but it is about getting our name on the map.”

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Mckenzie Draper, mum Lauren Richardson with baby Thea who is 1 year old, and Lucy Richardson.

The Peachy Studio team includes owners and ‘best friends’ Lucy Richardson and Lauren Richardson, hairdresser McKenzie Draper, Nadia Atkinson on lashes, beautician Sophie Rooney and Lauren Matuszek on nails.

The nomination for the Norfolk Street-based business said: “We have had the best year of our lives and only plan on growing bigger and bigger each year.

"The pandemic hit self employed hairdressers and beauty therapists really hard so it was such a risk opening in July 2021 but it has turned out to be the best thing we ever did.”

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Peachy has been nominated in the Best Independent Business category of the awards which is new for 2022.

Peachy Studio which has been nominated for an award.

This year’s competition, now known as the Sunderland Echo Business Excellence Awards, has a whole host of fantastic backers, including Sunderland City Council, who are our partners in the competition and are the headline sponsors.

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Also on board are the North East BIC, Chilli Mangoes, Marelli, Harrison and Brown, and Sunderland College. We thank them all for their outstanding support.

The awards will culminate with a glittering finals night in November at the Stadium of Light but if you want to be in the running, get your entries in nice and early.

Inside the salon.

The search has begun for this year’s contenders and we have already had an encouraging start.

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Sunderland’s businesses are among the most ambitious, innovative, and hard-working in the world but is your business the best in Wearside and County Durham? Why not enter our awards and put yourself in the running to be a winner.

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'There's no better way to celebrate success' - so get your entries in for Sunder...

To enter, take a look at the categories, choose the most appropriate for your business, and nominate using the link below.

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You can nominate your own firm or a company which you think deserves an accolade.

Mum Lauren Richardson and baby Thea.

For further information and to enter, visit the awards website at www.sunderlandbusinessawards.co.uk

Closing date for entries is Friday, September 23. Judging will take place shortly after the closing date and the shortlist will be announced in early October.

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The categories:

SME Business of the Year - (Sponsored by the North East BIC).

Large Business of the Year - (Sponsored by Chilli Mangoes).

Best Independent Business.

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Social Enterprise of the Year - (Sponsored by the North East BIC).

Retail, Hospitality & Leisure Business of the Year.

Apprentice/Trainee of the Year.

Sustainable Initiative of the Year - (Sponsored by Marelli)

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Business in the Community Award.

Employer of the Year.

Entrepreneur of the Year.

Lifetime Achievement Award.

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Business of the Year (Sponsored by Sunderland City Council).

Business partners and best friends, Lucy Richardson and Lauren Richardson.
The Sunderland Echo Business Excellence Awards.