A transgender entrepreneur from Wrexham is set to star in her own documentary TV series, it’s been revealed.
Sarah Jane Bradley, 22, has been “overwhelmed and deeply touched” by the support she’s received since opening her new hair, beauty and health salon at the Eagles Meadow shopping centre last month.
The television series aims to follow Sarah over the next 12 months as she completes her personal journey with gender reassignment surgery.
It’s being made by award-winning TV company Chwarel, who also produced the Hotel Stephanie series for the BBC about flamboyant former hotelier Stephanie Booth.
With filming due to begin in a few weeks’ time, Sarah Jane explained: “They want to follow the gender reassignment surgery but not intimately, I would never consent to that.
“I do think there has been a huge change in the public’s view of transgender people. Even a decade ago opening a salon such as mine at Eagles Meadow would have been very difficult.
“However, times change and I think people now have too many worries and things going on in their own lives to bother about what I and other transgender people are doing.”
Three years ago Sarah set up the UK’s first salon catering for the transgender community – but her dreams were dashed when it was destroyed in a fire.
Now, she’s determined to make a success of her new venture at Eagles Meadow.
According to Sarah, a former pupil of Ysgol Y Grango, Rhos, she knew as eight-year-old Thomas that she was born into the wrong body
She studied art and design at Yale College (now Coleg Cambria) and later a diploma in business studies.
She left her family home aged 17 because they couldn’t accept who she is, and started a salon that year.
Unfortunately her dream went up in flames when the salon caught fire, and she lost everything.
She began hormone therapy aged 19 and will undergo gender reassignment surgery soon to complete the process.
Sarah added: “I couldn’t be more pleased with how the salon has gone since we opened. It’s been incredibly busy and I’m so pleased with the support I have had. I am overwhelmed and deeply touched.
“The support I have had from the management here at Eagles Meadow has been amazing. The manager, Kevin Critchley, has been so supportive and there to help me whenever I have asked him.
“It has made things so much easier and I just love being here on Eagles Meadow it’s an ideal location and I can only see the salon getting busier and busier.
“I’ve lost count of the Facebook friend requests I’ve had as well as messages of support. It’s been amazing to be honest and I’ve also had a lot of requests to get involved with charities.
“I’m going to take my time and think things through carefully but we will be choosing a charity to support in the coming months.”
According to Sarah Jane, being able to employee staff, who worked at her previous salon which was destroyed in a fire three years ago, has been a massive help in bringing back old regular customers.
She said: “Nicola Pearson, who is now my spa and beauty manager, stylist Vicky Wright and beautician Jayne Colley continued working on a mobile basis and now we have the salon those regular customers are coming into the new salon along with lots of new customers.
“It’s difficult to say what has been the best so far but hair styling, colour, cuts and blow dries has been incredibly busy and I couldn’t be more pleased.
“I also employ a junior, Harley Jones and will have to look at taking on more staff if it continues being as busy as it has been.”
“I lost everything in the fire but it just drove me on to succeed. It also gave me the confidence to go for a unisex salon which is a one stop beauty shop all under one roof.
“And if things continue to go as well as they have here at Eagles Meadow it will prove I was right and made the right decision. Who knows, you might see a chain of Sarah Jane Salons open one day.”
Eagles Meadow manager Kevin Critchley said: “I am really pleased Sarah Jane has settled so well into Eagles Meadow and she and her team are so busy.
“The salon offers something different to our shoppers and visitors and I am sure, with Sarah Jane’s determination and hard work it will become a well-established business here at Eagles Meadow Shopping Centre.”