THE owner of a successful beauty business has said the secret to her success is hard work and dedication.

Helen Cass, who owns Total Beauty in Hexham, celebrated her 22nd year of trading earlier this week.

“I am really proud of what I have done but it has has not been easy,” Helen said. “I have worked really hard, when you are self employed you have to be dedicated to what you do.

“I have always tried to be on top of my game.”

The business first operated from a small room on Priestpopple the town, but demand and increased investment allowed it to expand.

Now operating from Battle Hill, the business has been instrumental over the years in contributing to the greater wellbeing of the community.

Over the past few years, the business has appeared on TV and radio advocating skin care and the dangers of skin cancer, while also advocating safe tanning

And Helen is full of high praise for Hexham despite the increase in empty shops around the town centre.

She said: “The people in Hexham don’t realise how amazing it is. It’s a town lovely and it’s going through positive changes.

“We have been in our current premises for 15 years now and the fact that I now own the building when I started out just owning a room is great.”

Working alongside Helen is beauty therapist Lauren Westgarth, who has worked at Total beauty for 16 years.

“Lauren is an integral member of the team and has been a massive part of our journey.”

Looking ahead to the future, Helen recognises that the beauty industry living market and is keen to expand her clientele base.

In doing so, she hopes to travel out and improve her interaction with members of the community.

“I want to get out and see people who can’t make it into Hexham more.

“I love my job and I like to make people feel loved and happy in my company. Having been open for 22 years is something to celebrate.”