From cutting hair after school, to Queen of her empire in Cambridge

The queen of her own empire, Henriette Mathiesen owns and operates three business in Empire Street.

The queen of her own empire, Henriette Mathiesen owns and operates three business in Empire Street.

A small business in a back street has grown into several as reporter Mike Bain found out in our series on Business Matters.

Trends in hair styles come and go, but keeping to the basics is what has made Cambridge hairdresser ​Henriette​ Mathiesen​ a success.

Mathiesen was 22 years old when she opened her firs hair salon, Henriette's​ Crew, in Cambridge.

She learned how to cut and groom hair as a teenager working in her mother's hairdressing business on Victoria Street.

The opportunity to start her own business came when a premises on Empire Street opened up.

"Back then it was a bit of a dead back street, but I backed myself and signed a 12-month lease," the 34-year-old said.

 It was a huge gamble as the competition was right next door with the Empire Street Hair Salon.

The gamble paid off for Mathiesen​ as Cambridge started to grow, Empire Street became busier.

The owners of the building she occupied were looking to sell and offered her the opportunity to purchase it.

"It wasn't the right time for me so I declined, but told the new owners when they wanted to sell, I wanted the first option."

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Building a reputation and now employing a staff of six, her business flourished.

Henriette's​ Crew don't make appointments and a couple of days of the week, you will find a queue waiting on the streets for the salon to open.

When the building came back onto the market, she didn't hesitate and purchased it.

The opportunities kept coming for Mathiesen​ as she eventually acquired her competitor's business next door.

Rather than combine her two salons, she continues to operate both as separate entities.

"I know it's kind of strange, but both salons work quite differently," she said.

"At Henriette's Crew, we cut hair on a lot of heads and every time its different but the basic principles remain.

"Next door at the Empire we spend time with the finer details of hairdressing."

Always looking for an opportunity,  Mathiesen​ observed Cambridge expanding.

She wanted to offer the health conscious a place where they could get natural food and juices.

With this in mind, she spent some time looking for premises, which became available just metres from her two hair salons. 

Crave Juice Bar opened recently and fulfils the needs for a healthier eating style.

Serving fresh juice, Crave also offers healthy alternatives for breakfast and lunch.




 - Stuff

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