Vision of the future led to 21 years of success for Lancaster salon

Jo & Cass, Lancaster.
Jo & Cass, Lancaster.

Twenty-one years ago, Jo Ireland and Graham Cass made the business move that was to lead them to the Jo and Cass salons that are today’s hair and beauty phenomena

Today, the business which began with a £6,000 cash injection now has a turnover of £2million and is going from strength to strength.

Graham Cass and Joanne Ireland.

Graham Cass and Joanne Ireland.

The dream began in David Frank’s Salon in Lancaster, where Graham had been the salon manager for a number of years and Jo the head stylist.

They both had a vision for the future of hairdressing with a new progressive salon with sumptuous surroundings that would offer a high calibre of hair and beauty treatments.

With the same ethos then and now, Graham and Jo passionately believe a visit to a hair and beauty salon should be like stay in a five star hotel and should offer a top quality experience with a luxurious environment and first class customer service as the standard their clients would love.

With this firmly in mind, they set out to find a way to make their vision a reality.

The main sticking point to their plans was having enough money to fund their dream venture. They managed to come up with £3,000 each and with the help of many of their friends started work on the first ever Jo and Cass Hair and Beauty Salon.

Their friends were invaluable helping out in many ways including the ceiling which was designed and printed by a friend who worked with screen printing techniques.

The Jo and Cass Hair And Beauty Salon was a success from the start, with Jo and Graham’s loyal clients moving to the new salon with them and new clients intrigued to see what all the fuss was about.

Within a year the salon in Lancaster employed 12 staff and the rapid growth continued.

Jo and Graham now have seven salons and barbers and employ 175 staff in Lancaster, Preston. Morecambe and Kendal.

They have a firm belief in the ‘Jo and Cass’ high standard of training. Staff often start off with Saturday jobs in one of the salons and then move onto a full-time position on turning 16.

The salons all have in-house teachers who work with trainees to ensure that the high consistency and expertise that the Jo and Cass salons are known for is always met or exceeded.

Staff development at all levels is crucial to Jo and Cass and they regularly bring in or have staff training visits to the world leaders in hair and beauty.

Graham said: ‘The Jo and Cass team is crucial to our success and we have the best team in the hairdressing and beauty business.

“Empowering our team through continually upgrading their skills and rewarding them financially for the high quality of their work has developed a culture of professionalism and loyalty second to none.”

Jo added: “It has been a long but exciting journey over the past 21 years.

“I would like to say a grateful thank you for the loyalty from staff and clients over the years. You all make the Jo and Cass Hair and Beauty Salons what they are today.”