A celebrated stylist who was forced into bankruptcy during the financial crash has made a remarkable comeback.
Paul Stafford, from Northern Ireland, scooped one of the industry’s biggest awards after he was named UK Salon Stylist of the Year by the magazine HAIR.
The title was bestowed on the Belfast businessman just five years after he lost a fortune in property investments, an experience he described as “absolutely horrific.”
A £2million debt left him with no choice but to go into bankruptcy.
Although his salon business – which had built up a loyal clientele, including a number of celebrity customers – was bought up, the stylist and his wife Leisa were grateful to be kept on as employees.
“It was a tough time and we had to put creative things on hold and concentrate on survival,” Mr Stafford told the Belfast Telegraph.
“This is a great accolade to get, not just because it is judged by other hairdressers, but by the public and it is an indication that we are back in people’s vision and trying to promote Northern Ireland hairdressing at a higher level, which is what I have always wanted to do.”
Mr Stafford started out as a stylist some 25 years ago and has picked up a raft of accolades during the course of his career.