Beautician Paula Wade first opened a salon in Whanganui in 1990, and 30 years later both of her businesses remain pride of place in the CBD.
Wade owns The Edge Beauty Studio and Top Draw Lingerie Boutique.
After starting out under the name New Image in "a little arcade opposite DIC" on Victoria Ave, Wade moved to several locations further down the street over the years, before settling at 49 Victoria Ave as The Edge Beauty Salon in 1999.
That address is now filled by Top Draw, and The Edge is next door at number 45.
"I was a telephonist before I started in this, which was rather boring," Wade said.
"I was up in Rotorua and saw advertising for [beauty] training and I just thought 'ooh, I think I'd like to do that'. I was 35 when I started, so I guess I was a little older than most people."
Wade said her clients and her staff were the most important part of her business, and some clients had been with her for more than 20 years.
"Over time my clientele has got a little bit younger, but I still have that base that come in regularly.
"Beauty isn't just for the young, it's a wide word isn't it? It can be anything from filing a nail to having a total body makeover."
Wade said she started Top Draw in 2001 after completing her training as a corsetiere, which was a "specialty you need if you're going to be doing lingerie".
"My daughter name the shop Top Draw as a bit of a play on words, and when the signs went up people used to come in and say 'you've spelt drawer wrong, where's the 'er'?'.
"I've even had anonymous letters about it, including one who accused me of working with 'ladies of the night', all because of the name."
Aside from training as a corsetiere, Wade said she also became qualified to do body piercing in 1994, and at the time she was one of only three people in the country who could do it.
"The jewellery for it used to be made in the Wairarapa, and you would numb the area, the client would go away for an hour, then come back and have their piercing.
"All these years later there are hundreds of people doing piercing, all the jewellery comes from China, and there's absolutely no numbing.
"Body piercing is still popular, but in late '90s and early 2000s I'd be piercing all day long. It used to be hugely popular back then."
Wade said her advice to people looking to enter the beauty industry was to understand that it was "a hard job that involved a lot of cleaning".
"It's a very hygienic industry to be in, so if you don't like doing a lot of cleaning before and after you've been with a client, then it's not the industry for you.
"The other thing is that you're not there to make yourself look good and feel beautiful, you do that for your client first.
"I think a lot of people go into it thinking 'yay, i can wear false eyelashes and long nails', but it's damn hard work and you're on your feet all day."
Wade said she'd maintained six-day working weeks since she first opened her doors.
"It probably would have been nice to have a bit more time off here and there, but I've got absolutely no regrets."