A HAIR stylist business has successfully diversified to combat the challenges of the pandemic.

Melvin & Co hair salons, in Keighley and Skipton, like many businesses have been hit hard by periods of lockdown during the past 14-or-so months.

But at the start of this year, owner Karen Jackson and her colleague and business partner Kimberley Cooper seized an opportunity to diversify and launched Yorkshire Apparel – a ladies’ clothing business.

Initially it operated via Facebook ‘live’ events, under the title Quarantini Time.

Now a clothing boutique has opened in East Parade, Keighley, next door to the Melvin & Co hair salon.

Karen and Kimberley – who have worked together for 13 years – will also continue with their regular online shopping events, showcasing latest styles and clothing.

The colleagues say the launch of Yorkshire Apparel means they can offer clients a full makeover experience – with hair, clothing and styling expertise.

They said: “Since the launch we have been thrilled by the overwhelming response from local people and from people further afield.

“We are delighted to provide the opportunity for people to obtain quality, stylish and on-trend clothing at affordable prices!”

The new boutique was officially opened by Keighley MP Robbie Moore.

He paid tribute to the business and to Karen and Kimberley’s “energy and enthusiasm”.

Mr Moore said: “The last 14 months have been incredibly tough for many retail businesses, so it is really important to shout from the rooftops when local independent retail businesses are doing well.

“It was a real privilege to be asked to formally open Yorkshire Apparel.

“The business is a fantastic ladies’ clothing shop.

“It was brilliant to meet Karen and Kim, who are full of energy and enthusiasm about their store.

“It is a superb little business – and I would urge all to look at its Facebook page to see what great clothes it has in stock or take a visit to the shop on East Parade.

“Well done Karen and Kim. I wish you the very best with your awesome business!”