Bew Shanaran Blossom Spa Tongwynlais
Bew Shanaran, owner of Blossom Spa in her newly refurbished salon. (Image: Poppy Atkinson Gibson

Beautician chooses to open her dream salon over buying a home

The business is breathing new life into the heart of Tongwynlais

BEAUTICIAN BEW Shanaran realised her business dream when she opened her own salon in Tongwynlais at the start of January.

Ms Shanaran, 31, said the cost-of-living crisis had forced her choose between buying a flat or starting her own business and she decided to invest in Blossom Spa.

“I just decided to go for it, everyone has dreams and my dream was to have my own salon,” said Ms Shanaran.

The Morganstown businesswoman completed a level 3 NVQ in Beauty Therapy at Cardiff and Vale College while working in housekeeping in the University Hospital Wales.

After finishing the course she worked two jobs in the hospital and at a beauty salon to save up enough money to open her business a previously disused unit.

Bew Shanaran at work in Blossom Spa

Business is starting off slowly.

“You have to keep your chin up. When you first start everyone is struggling, you need to take your time,” said Ms Shanaran, who is giving herself six months to make a success of the business.

“All my family are supportive. They said ‘just go for it, a house can wait but the business has to be now’,” she added.

Remodelling the Merthyr Road shop took three months. Ms Shanaran invested £18,000 of her own money and a £15,000 loan from Business Wales to get her started.

The remodelled interior of Blossom Spa on Merthyr Road, Tongwynlais.

Jim Portsmouth, the landlord of Blossom Spa as well as neighbouring Thai Takeaway and The Fire and Stove Shop, has owned the unit for 20 years.

It had been occupied by several estate agents, including Palmer and Gunn, before being transformed into a holiday home rental business run by local councillor Marc Palmer.

However, following the Covid lockdowns, Mr Palmer shut his business in August 2022 and the unit stood empty before Miss Shanaran took the keys in December.

Blossom Spa on Merthyr Road, Tongwynlais

Mr Portsmouth said there had been other interest in taking on the shop, including a proposal to open a candle shop, but all suggestions fell through.

“I always wanted to renovate the place and then Bew came along and after a three-month renovation she opened,” he added.

If all goes well, Ms Shanaran hopes to employ other beauticians and expand the beauty treatments and holistic massages she offers.