Middlesbrough is proving to be the right place for Mariam Kuna to pursue her ambitions in both education and business.
She moved here three years ago to study Fashion part-time at Teesside University and is now opening a specialist hair salon, thanks to the help from Dundas Market’s Enterprise Scheme.
IM Hair Design will be the first African Hair Salon to take residence in the Dundas Indoor Market and one of the first in Teesside. It will provide customers with hair styling, hair products and accessories.
Mariam – who originally from Nigeria – approached David Harris, the manager of Dundas Market, after hearing about the support he provides for new retailers.
“It’s very conducive for businesses starting up,” said Mariam. “The rent is very reasonable – it really helps.
“The idea is to get it off the ground and get more clients, get established, understand the business and – in the near future – hopefully move forward. I’m really excited because I’ve wanted to do this for a long time and I’m also a bit nervous…but that’s only human.”
Mariam is more than half-way through her university course and her ultimate aim is to provide customers with the benefit of her expertise and experience in both fashion and hair.
In the meantime IM Hair Design will join the other hair and beauty businesses based in the market as well as another new arrival.
The Alt Box, run by Mark McNaughton from Thornaby, sells T-shirts celebrating 50 of history’s most popular rock bands and singers. It started trading earlier this month and has also benefitted from the Enterprise Scheme which offers new retailers a shop for an initial three months at the cost of just £10 per day.
“The first few months for any retailer can be really tough. That’s why we are so happy to help,” said David Harris.
“It’s great to welcome both Mariam and Mark to Dundas Market. Their businesses couldn’t be more different, but they share a real enthusiasm and commitment. What we and our independent traders have created here is a unique experience for shoppers. I can’t think of anywhere like it.”