A Bolton-based beauty entrepreneur has won a Queen's Award for Enterprise, 10 years after completing a beauty course at Bolton College.

Hanna Putjato, 35, founded London Lash Pro in 2014 and since then the business has grown considerably; she now employs 40 members of staff and sales have grown from £196k to £1.8million in the past three years.

The business' success has been recognised with the Queen’s Award for International Trade for Outstanding Short Term Growth.

The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are issued annually and are awarded to innovative business which are succeeding categories including trade, innovation, and sustainable development.

Ms Putjato moved to Bolton 10 years ago from Belarus; she didn’t speak any English and tried to enrol on the English course at Bolton College. However, in a twist of fate, there weren’t enough spaces on the course so she enrolled on the beauty course instead.

Afterwards she went self employed but she received so many compliments on her technical skills that she set up her own training course.

The business side then followed as she realised she needed a product that her students could use. Since then London Lash Pro has sold eye lash products across Europe, North and South America and Australasia.

Now Ms Putjato’s hard work has been recognised; in fact she received the good news on the same day the coronavirus outbreak happened.

She said: “It feels great to win the award, we didn’t expect it. We applied for it last year and we didn’t have much hope at the time, we thought we are a small business so we don’t expect anything at all. We just thought it would be good to do. If you don’t try you don’t get.

“But then I got an email saying congratulations you’ve won and I was so happy. It was the day when the virus started happening and we had started laying off staff, it was the worst day of my life.

“And then I received an email from the Queen, so it was also the best day. We could only announce it last week and I didn’t expect so much attention, everyone’s been so happy and proud, from the trainers to the distributors.”

London Lash Pro currently has sites based in London, but the office remains in Bolton and they have a warehouse in Westhoughton. Ms Putjato commutes from Wilmslow, where she lives, to Bolton each day. She intends to keep growing the business.

She said: “The award will give us more trust from the customers and our clients will have more trust in the brand too.

“We’re planning to grow, we want to expand out distribution and ensure that technicians can buy our products everywhere. My advice for people who want to start their own business? Be proactive, don’t expect things to just happen."