"I love the lifestyle here and I wanted my children to grow up and enjoy the country experiences I did as a child in Taranaki."
For Kelly King, the decision to leave the bright lights and busy streets of Sydney and return home to Taranaki was made easier when her stepfather Clive Porter saw an advert in the Stratford Press late last year.
"He called me and told me Platinum Lodge was looking for a new hairdresser to join the team, so I emailed the owners Rod and Lynne (Pulford) and we started talking about the possibility of me moving back here."
Lynne says she and Rod were thrilled to hear Kelly was interested in working at their luxury hairdressing and day spa on Pembroke Road.
"Kelly has a fantastic reputation and has made a name for herself in Australia for her award winning work. She is going to really make an impact here and we are delighted to be able to offer her services to our clients." Kelly's schedule is already filling up quickly.
"In the short time she has been here already, word of mouth has really spread and people are rushing to book in with her."
Kelly says it is the artistic side of hairdressing that appeals to her.
"I love doing the photography work for competitions and creating the whole look." It is important to remember that a hairstyle is not a standalone she says.
"It has to match your personality, your sense of fashion, your lifestyle."
This is why she works with brides a long way out from their wedding day.
"They may have a clear idea on a style they want, but not only do we need to do practice runs to check it suits them, but we also need to get the hair to the right length and colour, plus work with her dress designer, makeup artist etc to ensure she ends up with a beautiful look that reflects who she is, as well as looking good in photographs and lasting throughout the day."
Kelly, who has moved to the area with her husband Jason and two children Anissa and Brodie, says she is enjoying being back in the region.
"It is a great place to bring up children, and working at Platinum Lodge is fantastic. Such a beautiful place and everyone there works together really well, meaning we can offer clients a really cohesive and enjoyable experience, from having their hair done, to enjoying a spa treatment to even staying the weekend, "
Lynne says being able to offer everything under one roof is great when it comes to the wedding market.
"Brides can come here and have their hair and makeup done, get ready for their big day, have photographs taken and of course, hold the ceremony here if they choose. With beautiful grounds, luxury rooms and highly qualified, skilled beauticians and hairdressers the bride can really just sit back and relax and enjoy the preparations without any worry or stress."
Kelly, named Artistic hairdresser of the Year (2015) for the New South Wales Victoria region, says she is loving the current trends in hairdressing.
"I think it can be summed up as being 'disconnected'. There is no one look or one style, but people are encouraged to combine aspects of different styles they like. Looks are edgy and use colour to emphasise individual parts of a style or cut."
Platinum Lodge offers a free eyebrow and eyelash tint and shape with any cut and colour booked with Kelly. Bookings essential, call 06 765 58