The owner of a new tanning studio has thanked friends and family for their help after the opening was almost ruined by vandals.
More than 250 eager residents turned up to the opening of Diamond Tanning in Ardsheal Road, Worthing, on Saturday, which was presided over by Celebrity Big Brother alumnus Calum Best.
But it could have been a different story according to owner Lois Hallett, as two hooded men threw bricks at the salon the night before.
Lois, 33, from Broadwater, thanked her family and friends for rallying round in her hour of need and getting the shop ready for the grand opening.
She said: “I want to say a massive thank you, because it wouldn’t have been possible without them.
“The amount of Facebook support we have had is fantastic. It shows that actually a lot of people want to support local businesses, especially when things like this happen.”
Regarding the vandals, Lois said: “We just thought: ‘No, don’t let them ruin our day’ because that is what they were trying to do.”
The incident happened at around 10.30pm in the evening, Lois said. She first heard a ‘really loud bang’ and thought the electricity had blown in the building.
She then saw a brick on the floor, which had smashed one of the front windows and almost hit her husband Sam, 30. Another brick had bounced off the window and damaged a Range Rover parked outside.
The glass was cleared and the broken window was boarded up by family and friends. A new vinyl sticker was printed in Horsham to cover the wood just hours before the opening.
Lois said many people did not even notice the window was broken, and added that the opening was ‘a massive success’.
She said Calum Best was ‘a really nice guy’, and ‘took the time with children and the elderly ladies’: “He is a bit of a boy about town; all the ladies love him. But he was lovely, and really down to earth.”
Lois started the salon after her success with Diamond Fitness gym in Broadwater Road, which she has run for three years and has 400 members.
The salon has specialist light therapy sunbeds to treat a number of skin conditions and complaints. Beth Sayers, who has styled the eyebrows of stars from The Only Way is Essex and Made in Chelsea, and make-up artist Mia Clark are also part of the Diamond Tanning team. Lois said her goal was to make the salon a ‘one stop shop where all the girls and boys come for their beauty needs’.
For more information, call 01903 200 877.
Lois has reported the crime to Sussex Police. Police have been approached for a statement.
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