Business & Entrepreneurs

Former nurse launches one-stop beauty salon Cheshire Retreat in landmark Altrincham building

By David Prior at

A nurse who left the NHS to follow her dream has opened a new one-stop beauty salon in Altrincham.

Rebecca Walton has launched Cheshire Retreat in one of the town’s most stunning buildings, on Old Market Place at the top of Kingsway.

It’s the culmination of a long-held dream for Rebecca, who originally trained as a nurse at Leeds University and until last September was working in mental health services at Greater Manchester West Hospital in Prestwich.

The 27-year-old mum of one said: “For years I used to speak about having my own place, but because I was stable in the NHS, it was just a dream.

Cheshire Retreat’s launch party on Sunday night – pictured are (left to right) Frankie Orme, David Orme, Rebecca Walton, Kelsey Coleman, Donna O’Shea and Lisa Izquierdo

“I just thought that if I was going to succeed, I needed to just do it.”

Rebecca had begun her transition to a new career five years ago when she secured a diploma in semi-permanent make-up.

She’s gone on to achieve qualifications in permanent make-up removal, laser tattoo removal, non-surgical liposuction and microblade training.

And since leaving the NHS, she has built up a portfolio of regular clients while working at a salon in north Manchester.

So why did Rebecca – and her fiance Lewis Orme, who is responsible for the refurbishment of the salon – choose Altrincham as a base for her first business?

The Cheshire Retreat team (left to right): make-up artist Kelsey Coleman, hair stylist Lisa Izquierdo, dentist David Orme, owner Rebecca Walton and beauty therapist Donna O’Shea

“We looked for months and didn’t really know where we wanted to be,” she admitted. “We used to come to Altrincham to visit the market, and one night we were passing and saw the to let sign. We had a nosey through the window and instantly fell in love with it right then. We fought for it for ages – I just thought ‘I’m not letting it go’.

For the past couple of years, the Victorian building has housed Cheshire Beauty Sculpt, whose owner Donna O’Shea will be part of Cheshire Retreat, providing beauty, tanning, nails and massage services.

But the new operation will very much be a one-stop salon. Rebecca will be providing laser removal treatments, semi permanent make-up, microblading and non-surgical lipo.

Senior Salon Stylist Lisa Izquierdo, who has over 20 years’ experience working in the hairdressing industry, will be looking after hair extensions, while experienced make-up artist Kelsey Coleman has also joined.

Rebecca and fiance Lewis Orme at the opening of Cheshire Retreat on Sunday

And unusually for a salon, it will also have its own in-house qualified dentist, David Orme, who will be looking after teeth whitening, straightening and dermal fillers.

“Our aim is to have everything under one roof for everybody – people don’t want to be driving here there and everywhere, they can come to one place and have it done,” she said.

Cheshire Retreat launched on Sunday and will be open six days a week.

Rebecca said she was “nervous but very excited” about the future. “As soon as we got the keys, the amount of people who have been making enquiries has made me a bit more confident. It’s going to be a great place.”

Cheshire Retreat, 2 Old Market Place, Altrincham, WA14 4NP. Call 0161 425 7272 for bookings.