Jill Hendry gave up her dream of becoming a hairdresser after being ridiculed by a teacher.

Now, at the age of 50, she’s proving that age is just a number by realising her ambition and opening a new salon.

When her 84-year-old parents cut the ribbon to officially open her new salon, it signalled more than just the start of a new venture for Jill Hendry.

To Jill, the new Little Bird Hair Design salon at Peterborough Workspace signified the culmination of an ambition she had held since she was 12.

On the weekend of her 50th birthday, she was finally able to silence the memory of being ridiculed by her maths teacher in school.

Jill said: “To say it was emotional is a huge understatement…there were lots of happy tears.

“I had always had in the back of mind what my maths teacher said but this time nothing was going to stop me.

“So, to have finally realised my dream means the world to me.”

Jill recalls that as a bright student she was expected to choose an office or bank to carry out her work experience, but instead chose a salon so she could learn more about being a hairdresser.

But she was forced to rethink her career path after her choice of work experience was mocked by her maths teacher, who asked in front of her classmates, ‘what did you learn Jill, how to sweep up?”

Jill said: “I felt so embarrassed and after that thought I should choose a ‘better’ career.”

So Jill gave up on hairdressing and started her working life in a purchase ledger office of a large department store and later in the payroll office of a large factory.


“I had always had in the back of mind what my maths teacher said but this time nothing was going to stop me.

Jill Hendry

It wasn’t until a “terrible” divorce in 2013 left Jill looking for a new focus that her thoughts once more turned to her dream of becoming a hairdresser.

She said: “Over the years I’d often thought about hairdressing but then I’d tell myself that it was too late and I missed the boat on that.

“But now my two sons were grown up and I  suddenly realised that here I was in a world where education was available to anyone and age was no longer an issue, so I set out to finally follow my dream.”

This involved Jill going to college and supporting herself by working 30 hours a week in a bar while she completed a hairdressing apprenticeship.

She said: “I had to take quite a drop in pay, but it was well worth it to reach my goal.

“Now my philosophy is definitely if you don’t like your job, find a new one.

“Why waste your life being unhappy? Do your research, have a plan, set a goal with a time limit.

‘Mine was to have my own salon by my 50th birthday and it felt so good on my birthday weekend to finally realise my ultimate goal.”

Little Bird Hair Design

Peterborough Workspace, Workspace House, Maxwell House, Peterborough.

Call: 07927227888
Email: littlebirdhairdesign@outlook.com