A BEAUTY school that started life in a bedroom has been nominated for a national award.

Tia Dowman, 49, launched The Wiltshire School of Beauty and Holistic Therapy in 2008 at her home in Oakhurst Way.

She went on to be voted into the top four best training schools in the UK in 2014, 2016 and 2017 and now she is up for a title in the English Hair and Beauty Awards.

Tia, who studied beauty at Swindon College, told the Adver: “My sister in law asked me if I could train her because she didn’t want to go to college and I did.

“That’s how I got the idea to start training in my bedroom and I’ve worked so hard to get here.”

It was while she was at college that the possibility of teaching was first put to her.

“I started out at college and one day my teacher said to me ‘have you ever thought about being a teacher?’ She thought it would be a really good idea. Before I knew it I was working there for 15 years teaching beauty courses.”

The school, now based in Welton Road, runs courses on nails, makeup and holistic therapy - a variety of massage classes.

Just two years ago it was nominated for a Beauty Guild Award of Excellence and last year Tia was able to open another branch in Gorse Hill. She has a third branch in Chippenham and is working on plans to launch a fourth school in Bristol later this year.

She said: “We have had a lot of students go on to be award winning and now we have been nominated for this award, this past year has been really good for us.

“It just makes me really proud, there’s 10 members of staff between us and we have got over 100 years of experience combined.

“We have gone to colleges and universities to educate students.

She added: “Thinking about what we’ve all achieved it makes me think ‘wow have I really created this?’”

Some of the students Tia taught at college are now working alongside her at the school and many people have travelled from Germany, Trinidad and Brazil to be taught by them.

Tia said: “We have had people as far as Scotland and Cornwall to train here and even people from abroad we can’t believe it we must be doing something right.

“I never imagined it to be how it is now. If we were to win I would be so thrilled and extremely proud of what we have built.

She added: “This award will give it extra recognition and I think it will give us that extra boost. Being award winning will help bring in more students. I’m already thinking of going to the south west awards.”

Tia will be up against another training school from Swindon, Marvell Hair Academy, along with schools from other areas including London, Bristol and Kent at the event hosted by the Mercure in Manchester on March 15.