Amy Harris had always wanted to be a beautician.

And the 18-year-old from Monmouthshire was at a critical stage of her college course when the pandemic hit earlier this year, leaving her furloughed from her part-job at a salon near her home on Caerwent, outside Chepstow.

However, her handyman dad Andy – who’d also seen his workload drop off during lockdown – wasn’t going to let his little girl’s career chances be cut to the quick by coronavirus.

So he instead built her a beauty salon of her own from scratch in the family’s back garden.

Now Amy, who recently qualified from her studies, has her own ready-made business on her own doorstep and has already started welcoming clients.

“I know I’m really lucky because there are lots of people my age who are facing really uncertain times right now, job-wise,” she said, adding that she previously used to hone her beautician skills on friends and family members in the spare room of the house she also shares with her mum Becky.



a man standing in front of a building: Andy Harris built the salon for his daughter Amy after she was furloughed from her part-time job


© Mark Lewis
Andy Harris built the salon for his daughter Amy after she was furloughed from her part-time job

“But then Covid-19 came along and we were a bit wary of having people coming to the house in order for me to do their nails – whereas now they can go straight round into the back garden, which is great.

“I’ve had a few in recently already, so it’s going really well.”

She added that just two weeks after her mum suggested the idea of a DIY salon to Andy, he’d built the entire thing from the ground up for £2.5k.

“I think he was a at a bit of loose end himself, but he still managed to squeeze in a few other paid jobs whilst doing it – it’s amazing.”



a person standing in a room: Amy in her backyard beauty salon


© Mark Lewis
Amy in her backyard beauty salon



a large brick building with grass in front of a house: The whole thing took about two weeks to build from scratch


© Mark Lewis
The whole thing took about two weeks to build from scratch

But Andy, who runs a local house renovation business, said that he hadn’t done anything most fathers wouldn’t for their kids.

“I just knew I had to do whatever I could to help her out with things being as messed up as they are at the moment,” said the 49-year-old.

“Although, I must admit I’ve impressed myself because I’ve never attempted anything like this before.

“This is certainly the most personal project I’ve ever worked on.

“Hopefully now Amy will go from strength to strength – I’m really proud of her,” he added.

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