FRIENDS who grew up and studied together opened their first business this week.

Toni Worton, 20, and Jay Kumar, 21, have set up the Visual Impact and Perceptions (VIP) unisex hair salon in Saltburn, where they grew up together.

The pair say they are delighted to get the salon off the ground after spending years studying hard towards hairdressing qualifications at Redcar and Cleveland College.

Ms Worton, who was named Hairdressing Student of the Year at the college’s achievement awards last month, said it was a dream come true.

She said: "We are extremely excited to have finally opened our own salon. We went to college together with the aim of one day owning our own business, but never thought it would happen so quickly.

"It is just our second week, but already we have had a number of clients in and we are fully booked for Saturday. We couldn't have hoped for better."

Mr Kumar praised the college for supporting them in their venture.

He said: "I went to college purely to achieve qualifications and certificates, but I gained so much more besides. I am now qualified in cutting women's hair, as well as men's, but so much of what the college gave us could never be illustrated with a certificate.”

The friends hope to expand their business in the future to include a beauty salon, professional photography services and makeovers.