Rachael Grace-Leyland is a wife and a mum to two beautiful daughters as well as being the owner and managing director of The Strand Hair and Beauty Derby, The Strand Burton, Grace-Leyland Education, The Strand Barbers and soon to be launching The Strand Treatment Rooms opening summer 2018.

When Rachael was asked what her occupation is she always replies with “I’m a hairdresser. Being a hairdresser to me is the most rewarding job as well as being a Mum. I love my job just as much now as I always have and I never imagine not being able to work with client’s hair even though other commitments take up a lot of time now as this is the core of what I am and what I do”

Rachael began working in a salon at 14 and straight away knew she loved being surrounded by people and being creative. Rachael then completed her Apprenticeship against the advice of her teachers who felt she would be bored and could achieve more.

Rachael feels people should also think of young people’s well-being and what makes them happy when advising as if it wasn’t for her parents encouraging her to do what makes her happy and work hard at it, she may have regretted it.

At the age of 19 Rachael got married after 3 years of being with Rob and were blessed with two daughters at the age of 21 and 22. Whilst on maternity leave Rachael completed all of her teaching qualifications and volunteered at a college.

Rachael really enjoyed teaching and supporting young people and even now loves the feeling of being able to give some a trade and skill that is theirs and hopefully the opportunity to thrive in such an amazing industry.

Rachael opened her first salon at the age of 25 on The Strand in Derby which her husband and father in law refurbished. The salon has become well-known thanks to its hardworking and talented team. “I have an amazing support system around me and even though I work hard I know and appreciate that it wouldn’t be possible if I didn’t have my family and friends that have always supported me in everything I do. The staff (Strandies) involved over the years have been the driving force and motivation to me and I feel so proud of emotion when I see the work they produce and how happy and loyal all of our clients are”

At 27 Rachael managed to secure a government funded contract to teach apprentices hairdressing and barbering and opened Grace-Leyland Education, which has grown to work with more than 30 salons across Derby and Burton. “I believe in quality training and only work with like-minded reputable employers who want to grow their own teams in their salons”

After turning 31, Rachael opened her second salon The Strand in Burton upon Trent. Which is now a well-recognised salon and is going from strength to strength thanks to its amazing team.

A year later, Rachael made the decision to separate part of the Derby salon which was growing rapidly. It was to become “The Strand Barbers” which her husband designed and refurbished as the industry and clients were requesting a high standard of barbering.

“I never feel I am at work. I love every aspect of all my jobs and have had the opportunities to work and support charities, alternative provisions, apprentices, travelled the country doing educational work for Milkshake UK and have loved developing The Strandies. I am fortunate to have a great team that work hard and love their clients and constantly thrive to develop their skills and knowledge. This Summer we are opening The Strand Treatment Rooms which will run high quality clinics with the best of practitioners in Holistic treatments hot stones, sports massage, micro blading, aesthetics semi-permanent make up and much more.”


36-40 The Strand, Derby, DE1 1BE
01332 293303

79 Station Street, Burton, DE14 1BT
01283 534466