High Wycombe’s first Asian beauty parlour celebrated its 20-year anniversary on Monday April 11.

The beauty shop opened its doors in 2002.

To mark the special day, Mirage owner Gurcharan Gill decorated the parlour with balloons and put out samosas, spring rolls, cakes and soft drinks.

Usually her parlour on Desborough Road is quiet on Mondays, but this week it was “chaos”, she laughed.

Mrs Gill recounted how the business came to be.

At one point she had two beauty parlours in High Wycombe.

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"We were the first Asian beauty parlour in High Wycombe.

“We then expanded to Canada, where my daughter-in-law lives and has a salon.”

Mrs Gill was such inspiration that the Canadian beauty parlour was named after her as GG Hair and Beauty Salon.

“Some people say mother in-laws are bad, but our relationship is like a mother and daughter,” she said.

Mrs Gill is a proud mother and grand-mother, and her family have followed her footsteps into the world of beauty.

One of her daughters lives in Aylesbury, where she runs her business Harleen Beauty Box.  

In addition to her well-established Mirage, “businesses run in three generations, my daughter and my grand-daughter”.

She said: “I’m glad that they’re all independent.

“That’s what I like, they’re all busy in their own ways.”

In a family of entrepreneurs, finding time for another can sometimes be challenging, she said.

“They tell me to take time off!”

Now 68-year-old Mrs Gill swore to keep on going as long as she can.

“If I ever retire, my grand-daughter can take over from me.

“As a business owner you don’t get to have a day off."

Occasionally she’s forced by her family to have one day off, but she feels more energetic at work.

“At home I get more tired, you get overly tired there, but at work I get to have a proper moment to rest and even eat better.”

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Over Eid, her business is booming, and her grand-daughter came over from Canada to help.

Gurcharan Gill has lived in England most of her life, as she moved to the country from India when she was only 10-years-old.

As countless small businesses around the county during the Covid pandemic, Mirage also went through a hard time, but “things are now picking up, back to normal”.

She said: “You had to survive, I didn’t give up, but we also always followed the rules and didn’t do anything at home.

“I declined when people asked “auntie, could you do it at home”.”

Her business survived thanks to her determination and business support from the government.

“But we can’t just moan, things won’t get better if you moan, always hope for the best.

“Every day the sun rises, and you just have to go on, day by day.”