After more than a decade at the helm of Retro Hair D-zine, stylist Shelley Corbett is saying farewell to the many loyal customers – who are more like “family and friends”, as she hands ownership of the Centre Street salon to mother-and-son duo Tara and Joshua.

From Tuesday (August 6) Tara Blackmun; a fully qualified and trade certified hairdresser with more than 30 years’ experience; will ease into the salon managing role while her son, Joshua Harrington will begin the transition of moving paper-based bookings and other systems into the digital world.

Shelley is relocating to Balclutha with her fiancé and into the home they purchased two years ago – so while the move and selling of the business has been on the cards for a while – she said now the “timing was right” to see it through.

Tara and Shelley had known one another since their hairdressing apprenticeship days in the late 80’s and Shelley only read an old Facebook message from Tara about possibly purchasing the salon, the day she had accepted Joshua’s offer and at the time didn’t know he was Tara’s son.

“I am very happy to hand the salon to Tara – she has the enthusiasm and energy to take it to where it needs to go, the same energy I had when I took it over,” Shelley said.

“I really want to sincerely thank all the loyal clients and friends I have made, as well as the people in this (Newfield) community – I have made life-long connections with people and many are genuinely like extended family. These are memories I can take with me.”

Customers can expect to see few changes in the coming week, with Shelley still floating about during the hand-over period and Tara being on-hand to meet and greet new and existing customers.

Tara is a born and bred Southlander, having been schooled in the region and living here for most of her life. After a brief break from the hairdressing industry, due to family commitments and personal reasons, she now feels she has the energy and time to be involved with the industry again.

“Shelley and the girls (Melissa, Ruby, Belinda and Nikita) have been amazing, they are all independent and a real asset to the business. I think for Shelley to be handing the business onto someone she knows, is much nicer for her, as this was her baby and she has spent 10 years of building the business up,” Tara said.

“It will be mostly status quo for customers and staff, we (Joshua and I) will kick-up the marketing of the business a notch, but it will be a smooth easy transition for everyone.”

Melissa Harvey who was working as a stylist at the salon in 2008 when Shelley purchased the business said it would feel strange without Shelley around but it’s an exciting time for her and an equally exciting time for Tara and Retro Hair D-zine.

Stylist Belinda Hand said she was sad her journey with Shelley was coming to an end, but excited for the new journey ahead for the salon with Tara at the helm.

“I am so grateful to Shelley, not just professionally but on a personal level too. I couldn’t pay for the knowledge and experience she’s handed onto me. I appreciate everything she has helped with on my adventure here (Retro Hair D-zine) and I wish her all the best with her journey in life,” Belinda said.

Retro Hair D-zine is located at 160 Centre Street and is open Tuesday to Saturday. For bookings phone: (03) 216 9875.