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Nicky, Nix Hair & Beauty (South Drawood exhibition)

Nicky has been in the premises of her salon on Portland Road for 16 years but it has only been Nix Hair & Beauty for the last six. Before this she did a few pop-up salons, such as in South Norwood Social Club on Enmore Road, which let her use their premises for five months before she opened her current salon. Nicky studied hairdressing when she left school but ended up working in human resources for a long time before making her way back to hair. She would also like to open a nail bar one day.

Not only does Nicky run her own business but she runs the South Norwood Business Network, along with Nicola of Blooming Desires. The business network meet twice a year and offer ongoing support to local businesses in the area. They also work with the WeLoveSE25 App to promote local events and offers.  Her experience of running her own business in South Norwood and supporting many others means that she can’t imagine running her business anywhere else. Nicky says the South Norwood is the perfect example where every race, religion and political stance can live alongside one another. The diversity and community spirit that South Norwood have are her favourite things about living and working in the area. 

Words by Elizabeth Walters

Interview with Nicky, owner of Nix Hair and Beauty, April 2022

Nix Hair and Beauty,

283 Portland Road, SE25 4QQ

This project was part of the South Drawood exhibition in 2022 by artist Jonny Kemp. A community art project celebrating the people of South Norwood, SE25.

From autumn of 2021 to summer 2022, Jonny drew 40 portraits of independent business owners, volunteers, and other movers and shakers from South Norwood, his local area. His partner Lizzie interviewed them.

South Norwood is regenerating yet doesn’t want to gentrify: it wants to keep its character and support people who already live in the area to prosper. This was Jonny and Lizzie’s way of ‘giving South Norwood a hug’: by representing the diverse people of SE25 through portraits in fine liner pen, and their own stories.

The portraits were displayed in Stanley Arts, a beautiful Edwardian arts venue on South Norwood Hill. Over 150 people attended the opening night: Friday 29th July 2022.

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