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Health ordeal inspires Glemsford woman to fulfil ambitions for Beauty Cave salon business in Long Melford





A businesswoman from Glemsford, who suffered from a life-threatening condition, has been inspired by her ordeal to fulfil a long standing career ambition.

In 2015, Naomi Totman was diagnosed with chemical poisoning after concentrated levels of toxins were discovered in her body.

Whilst operating her own salon from home, Mrs Totman had been working with acrylic nail products.

The Beauty Cave, Little St Marys, Long Melford.Naomi Totman is relocating her beauty salon to a new site in Long Melford, which has undergone a major refurbishment..Along with a range of beauty treatments, the business will offer tattoos and full body piercing. Naomi with her husband Kevin. Picture by Mark Westley. (40334276)
The Beauty Cave, Little St Marys, Long Melford.Naomi Totman is relocating her beauty salon to a new site in Long Melford, which has undergone a major refurbishment..Along with a range of beauty treatments, the business will offer tattoos and full body piercing. Naomi with her husband Kevin. Picture by Mark Westley. (40334276)

Without an effective ventilation system in place, the 36-year-old had unwittingly inhaled chemicals from the substances.

After developing serious health issues, Mrs Totman was left unable to function properly.

“I was really tired and lethargic,” she said. “I had headaches and sickness; it was terrible, but I knew there was something wrong. I had got to the point where I couldn’t breathe and I was suffering from palpitations.”

Following the diagnosis, Mrs Totman was instructed to avoid any exposure to chemicals for a prolonged period of time to enable her immune system to fully recover.

Unable to work for eight months, Mrs Totman said her husband, Kevin, had helped to unite the family by caring for his wife and their two daughters, Ashleigh, 16, and Sophie, 14, during the challenging time.

“He supported us all the way through,” she said. “He was amazing.”

After managing to make a full recovery, Mrs Totman returned to her job as a nail technician, before opening The Beauty Cave, a salon in St Catherines Road, Long Melford, in 2017.

Concerned about the substances used to make some nail products, Mrs Totman carefully explored a range of supplies on the market.

“I did a lot of research into using different products,” she said. “The ones I use now are a lot more gentle.”

Keen to expand the business, Mrs Totman has relocated the salon to a larger site in Little St Marys, which will be diversifying its services with a tattoo studio and hair dressers, while offering full body piercing, alongside a wide range of beauty treatments and a nail bar.

“I wanted a place where I could offer a variety of things, like a one-stop shop,” said Mrs Totman, who recently became qualified to teach beauty therapy, a goal she has been keen to achieve throughout her career.

“It has been my dream,” said the mother-of-two, who says the enormity of recovering from an aggressive illness had inspired her to fulfil her potential.

“It made me think, if you want to do something in life, you must do it,” she added.

Once the business has opened, Mrs Totman plans to run a range of beauty therapy courses in September, which will enable students to gain qualifications to work in the profession.

“It’s something that I have been working towards,” she said. “I want to pass on my knowledge and experience.”

The new salon, which has undergone a major refurbishment to accommodate a wide range of facilities, is expected to open later this month.

Reflecting on her ambitious plans, Mrs Totman said: “I have been given a second chance and this is something that I really want to do.”