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Relatively Speaking: Partners Nicholas and Andrea

By Karen Ireland

Hairdresser Nicholas Graham (40) is the owner of Nicholas Graham Aveda Concept Salon in Bangor and lives in Donaghadee with his wife, Andrea, and their two children, Mia (12) and Luie (6). Andrea (39) helps run the salon with Nicholas and has recently opened interior design consultancy Porta Interiors.

Name: Nicholas Graham

Age: 40

Occupation: Hairdresser and owner of Nicholas Graham Aveda Concept Salon, Bangor

Relationship to Andrea: Husband

I have been a hairdresser for 25 years. I left school and went to David Aumonier's salon to gain work experience, but mainly to meet girls. I trained on the job and worked my way up until I was eventually made manager of the salon. Then I decided it was time to open my own salon, so with the help of my wife, Andrea, I opened up in Bangor 10 years ago.

I love my job. It is great as you get to meet new people all the time and build up a rapport with clients.

I love giving customers the feelgood factor and helping them improve their confidence and overall wellbeing.

I met Andrea when I was 15 and she was 14. I remember it well as it was June 21, 1990, and I was waiting at the cinema with some friends to see Pretty Woman and she walked past.

I didn't know her name or anything about her, but I was blown away and I stalked her for two months until I found out where she lived. I just knocked on her door and asked her out. I think she was surprised, but she said yes anyway and we have been together ever since.

We have two children, Mia (12) and Luie (6), and we love doing things together as a family. We enjoy days out in Donaghadee, where we live, and going to the zoo and to different places.

Andrea has an amazing brain and is always coming up with great ideas. I love working with her and we make a great team. She is very creative and talented. She is gorgeous, too, which helps. We are best friends as well as husband and wife. We love dancing together at weekends - there is something very special about dancing with your missus.

The only problem about Andrea being married to a hairdresser is that she never gets an appointment with me to get her own hair done. I usually end up bringing home a pair of scissors and doing her hair late on a Friday night.

My only criticism of Andrea is that she is very stubborn, but if I'm honest I admire that, too."

Name: Andrea Graham

Age: 39

Occupation: Salon owner and interior designer

Relationship to Nicholas: Wife

Ten years ago I opened the hairdressing salon with my husband and it is going really well. I really enjoy running the business side of things and working alongside him.

I have recently ventured out and opened up Porta Interiors, an interior design business. My background is in textiles and fashion, so this has always been a passion of mine.

It is going really well and I am project-managing the interiors for a coffee shop at the minute.

People ask where I get the time to run this business on top of the salon, as well as having two kids, but I just work hard and organise my time well.

I spend the afternoons with the children and then, when they are in bed, I am sketching and drawing away.

I met Nicholas when I was just 14. He just turned up on my doorstep and asked me out. I was surprised, but I went along and we have been together ever since.

We tied the knot 10 years later and have been married for 15 years now. Nicholas has a great personality and he takes care of people and makes them feel good - including me. He is very caring and a real people person.

He's also a great dad and fantastic at his job. He is so talented and passionate about what he does. I really admire that about him.

We are taking part in a charity Strictly Come Dancing in September, so we are training for that and we practise by dancing around the house. It is a great way to keep fit and to meet lots of new friends. We have a fantastic time.

We enjoy days away together and having spa days. We also like to go out for dinner and have weekends away on city breaks. We are a great partnership at work and at home. The only thing that winds me up about Nicholas is how disorganised he is while I am super-organised, so I end up doing everything!"

A brush with success

  • With numerous awards and styling credits to his name, Nicholas Graham is one of Northern Ireland's most exciting hair stylists
  • His innovative cutting and technical expertise has gained him respect from leading hair and beauty editors, as well as the giants of the hairdressing industry nationwide
  • After 25 years in the industry, he is still enthusiastic about his craft; he uses his experience and expertise to create a look to suit everyone

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