The Beauty Of Success – Case Study

When made redundant sisters Helen Davis and Ann Annett decided to take the opportunity to start their own company with a little help from Ortus the Business Development Agency.

Having both trained in beauty, reflexology and massage, Helen and Ann decided to turn their passion into a business. In 2015 the sisters took part in the Regional Start Initiative programme with Ortus to start their entrepreneurial journey. Ortus worked closely to understand the business idea and provided the venture with an in-depth business plan including a financial analysis to help outline the business strategy and road to success.

Helen commented:

“The team at Ortus were a great help in structuring our business idea of starting Diamond Beauty and Tanning. The business plan has been invaluable to us as we start out. We have used it to approach the bank and justify our business but also to keep us on the right track in terms of where we want to be. Ortus were encouraging and helpful not only with the plan but in advising us on local suppliers and ways we could further the business.”

Based on Donegal Road, Diamond Beauty and Tanning is a shining gem for the local community. Helen and Ann completely revamped the space, which previously lay dormant for 3 years, to create a welcoming environment complete with private tanning and treatment rooms and a nail bar.

Helen continued:

“We chose this area as it is where we are from. We saw a gap in the market for a high end salon and want to help in the regeneration of the area. It was a daunting time taking on the premises but we worked hard to completely redecorate it ourselves and create a space we could be proud of. We purchased all our own equipment and have hired a trainee from the local technical college. From the start we have been dedicated to offering value for money and listening to our clients to understand what they want.”

Though only open for 3 months, the salon has had over 300 people through the doors including many now loyal clients. Helen and Ann have also branched out into selling jewellery and creating packages for customers such as Children’s Dance Packages and Ladies Night to encourage clients to try the services on offer and meet others within the community.

Ann commented:

“We are delighted with how the community has welcomed us and have been working with other local businesses to spread the word of what’s on offer in this part of Belfast. Ortus have been a great help in starting us on this journey and we would recommend to anyone looking to start out to try the Regional Initiatives Programme. Longer term we would love to open more salons throughout the city and will definitely be reaching out to Ortus for more advice!”

Diamond Beauty & Tanning

Diamond Beauty and tanning is a high-end salon based at 309 Donegal Road, Belfast. Offering a variety of services including tanning, beauty treatments, a nail bar and sun beds. Currently trading since 2015 the salon is continuing to grow dedicated to providing an affordable service for the community it is in.

For more information on the salon or to make an enquiry visit:

Diamond Beauty & Tanning Facebook

Go For It Programme

Go For It EntThe Go For It Programme is delivered by Belfast City Council through a number of local agencies including The Ortus Group.

For more information on the Go For It Programme:


0800 027 0639