Over 20 years of history came to a sudden and devastating end a fortnight ago as the Bowral fire claimed Victoria's Natural Beauty Salon.
Located in the Highlands Arcade and operated out of by Vicki and Allison McWirter, the salon was completely destroyed as the fire raged for several hours.
Speaking to the Southern Highland News, Vicki said the loss of her place of work for over two decades had left her in a perilous position.
"Devastating. I have nothing, I could lose my house," she said.
"I have no source of income. Unfortunately all my records were burned so I have no way of contacting my clients.
"I have all these clients waiting for me to get back to them and they might go somewhere else if I don't.
"Even though I was in business for 23 years I've got to find somewhere else that I can afford to pay rent and make a living out of."
Like many business owners located in the Arcade, Vicki described watching her workspace burn to the ground as surreal.
"My son was in town working and he rang me on the night a bit after 9," she recalled.
"He said to me 'mum I think your salon's on fire, you better get in here now.'
"So I raced in and I stood with my two boys where Peter Alexander is and we just watched the fire.
"It was just a great little spot, in fact I always loved the spot but I didn't realise how much until now I know I'll never see it again. That's really hard."
Despite the heartbreak, Vicki said little acts of kindness from the Highlands community had kept her going.
"I've had lots of people contact me which is just amazing and people have been so kind.
"The guy that services my car did it for free, the young guy that cuts the lawn did it for free as well.
"But you can't expect that forever so I've got to get some source of income starting soon. If there's anybody out there that has a space that we could put a beauty salon in [contact us]."
If you want to make a booking, re-schedule or know of a retail space please contact Vicki at 0414 263 609.
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