The lipstick economy is alive and well in Wollongong.
Ella Bache franchisee Michelle Cato and her assistant manager, Katarina Kalfic, are two businesswomen on the move - and it is not just because of their decision to relocate the business last year.
After Mrs Cato took over the Wollongong franchise seven years ago, it grew steadily for six years inside a major shopping centre before relocating to 104 Keira Street.
The former Ella Bache NSW Salon of the Year and co-winner of the 2012 Wollongong City Centre Retailer/Business of the Year Award is an example of how in times of economic uncertainty, women still want to feel good when they look in the mirror.
There have been a number of Wollongong beauty salons, nail salons and hairdressers experiencing the same trend in the past 24 months.
But Mrs Cato said such achievements did not come without hard work.
She was 22 when she took over the Ella Bache Wollongong and has constantly developed and improved the business since.
She said for her team the biggest change occurred last year when they were able to open longer to meet growing demand.
"Now we are in a new salon it is a completely different business," she said.
"We have more than doubled in size in terms of square metres and we have been able to introduce new treatments.
"We have an extra two staff members. Most of our new clientele has come from extending our trading hours. That has been a huge part of the success of moving up here . . .
"We are able to do what our clients need when they want it. It is suiting a lot more business people."
Mrs Cato said entering events such as the retail and business awards and attending networking events had also helped.
"Being quite young it is nice to network with other businesses in the area," she said.
"You work so hard and it is just really nice to get some recognition for it. I think we really do set a standard in Wollongong for what we do here with our education and the constant training of our staff. Any recognition we get is really nice for everyone here because we all work so hard."