Plook on the Plinth? Cream of the Crop! 5 female-led businesses taking Cumbernauld by storm

So every time I say I’m from Cumbernauld, after the ‘what’s it called?!’ comment, I always get things like, “that’s a bit of a dive…” or “it won the Carbuncle award” comments. Well forget the two Plook on the Plinth Awards, I want to focus on the positives, because Cumbernauld has so much to offer – and I’m not just talking about the Irn Bru Factory! I am all about supporting local businesses and women who are absolute girl bosses, so here are my 5 top female-led businesses changing the reputation of my hometown…

Urban Retreat at the Academy

On the banks of Brodwood Loch, you’ll find the beautiful little sanctuary that is Urban Retreat at the Academy – a place of complete happiness and peace wrapped in a beautifully decorated salon and spa. The building is in an industrial park with plenty parking. As soon you walk through the door you are transported from the industrial park in Cumbernauld to a completely new place of tranquility and smiles. That’s the first thing I remember when I stepped through the door, the warm and friendly smiles of the girls working there, they are just so lovely. Jenny and Kate who own Urban Retreat at the Academy are so friendly and would go above and beyond for anyone, they are absolute stars. My friend went through a really tough time recently and they invited her in for a full body massage, it’s a touch I will never forget and the kindness made my heart swell with happiness, there are some of life’s really good people in there. The positive energy can instantly be felt, and the salon is completely immaculate. Whether you are going in for a soothing massage – they have been helping me with my back pain for a few months now and it’s really helping – in for your hair up, make up done or some reflexology, Urban Retreat is a place with something for everyone. Within Urban Retreat there is The Academy of Clinical Training, where you can learn new skills such as make up, eyelash extensions, acrylics and semi-permanent make up. The courses are really reasonably priced and the staff are so friendly. Whether you want to get into the beauty industry or just learn new skills for yourself, this is the place to be. I took part in a Make Up Masterclass and absolutely loved it where I learned loads of new skills. it really is a hidden gem that Cumbernauld is so lucky to have.

Check them out here.

The Thrill of It All (Thrill Events)

Colour-popping, heart-stopping, absolutely jaw-dropping creations from the fabulously imaginative Tracey! From bespoke balloons to full events, The Thrill of it All have it covered. Sit back and relax while Tracey and her brilliant team take over and make your event something to really remember. Based in Cumbernauld but travelling for various events – whether it’s a birthday party, Christening or a wedding – nothing is too much to handle and actually, the wilder your vision, the better! The bigger the better when it comes to Thrill Events, but always keeping it classy and bespoke, even for children’s parties. I recently dressed up as Anne Wheeler from The Greatest Showman to entertain kids at a children’s party arranged by Tracey and the team, and everything from the backdrop to the biscuits was thought of uniquely and exquisitely. The attention to detail is like I’ve never seen before, and some of the creations over the years have been absolutely out of this world! I have also been dressed up as a unicorn at a child’s party (of course I have – I love them!) and the bright pastel blues, purples, pinks and lemons covered the room from the backdrop to the birthday cake. I’ve attended events and parties that The Thrill of it All have planned and/or decorated and the standard is amazing. For every event, The Thrill of it All is a wonderland of colour and creativity, personalised to every occasion, nothing is forgotten and everything is priority.

Check them out here.

All Eyes On Me

Fluttery, fluffy and full lashes are right here in Cumbernauld at Leanne Osborne’s All Eyes On Me. Leanne is an empowering, inspiring and driven lady who supports other women in business and gives her all to her lash bar and training school. Originating in Cumbernauld, All Eyes on Me has now expanded into the city centre and now there are two salons in less than a year, Leanne and her team are unstoppable! Slowly lashing every lady in Glasgow and the surrounding areas one eye at a time, All Eyes on Me are taking over, with the first dedicated lash training schools in central Scotland! Winner of Scottish Hair and Beauty Awards 2018 Lash Extension Specialist of the Year, the only way is up for the dream team! I visit every few weeks for my Russian lash top ups and I could’t be without them now – I have become friends with every member of the team and I think they are just the best! Whether you are looking for a classic, natural look or full va-va voom volume, All Eyes on Me should be your number one thought when it comes to your lashes – everyone is so friendly and their aim is to make you feel fabulous, comfortable, confident and enhance your natural beauty! Lash naps are also the best, FYI.

Check them out here.

New Moon Yoga

Based in Urban Retreat at the Academy, New Moon Yoga is my weekly go-to for yoga sessions. I originally was really drawn in by the name because I just love everything to do with the new moon and astrology and the positivity and change that it brings. I now regularly go on Wednesday nights after work or Saturday mornings for some zen stretching and toning and I just feel that it’s improving everything – my back, my joints, my sleep and my mindfulness, I love the mindful aspect of yoga. Cheryl who takes the class is not only lovely but is so helpful, and she will come round the class and make sure you’re doing the correct pose with the right posture and angles so your body gets the full benefit. She also offers alternatives if you’re struggling with some of the poses that can be quite intense on areas of your body such as joints, back, neck etc. and Cheryl makes sure you feel comfortable and are not in any pain – everyone takes the class at their own pace and is so friendly. Classes are kept small, and all equipment is provided such as a mat, yoga blocks and a stretching band. Cheryl runs various classes as well as beginners blocks with a variety of times – take a look on her page for more information, trust me, you will love it.

Check them out here.

Underdog Pets

Winner of many awards including Best Dog Grooming Business in North Lanarkshire 2019 and Best Dog Grooming Business in Scotland 2018, Underdog Pets is a family run business, founded by two sisters, Mhairi and Heather. They have a mutual love for animals and groom your doggies to an exceptionally high standard at a great, affordable price! Our little Lhasa Apso, Darcy is pretty timid but she loves “the girls” as we’ve nicknamed them to her. We say to her “you’re going to see the girls!” and she gets really excited – she actually starts squealing as she recognises the road getting nearer the shop and her tail frantically wags! She’s desperate to jump out the car and when she gets into the shop she runs round the back of the desk to see the girls before she’s even asked – cheeky! Darcy also has a selection of merchandise from underdog pets that we love such as toys, treats, bandanas (a Christmas and a spring time one!), harnesses and of course – doggy perfume! We love One Million Dog Cologne and Baby Powder Dog Perfume, she smells amazing and always looks like a brand new pup when she’s come out of the salon – she is just the cutest. Underdog pets are honestly the best at grooming and really pamper your pooch and make them feel so at home and happy, our wee Darcy just loves going. Mhairi and Heather love each pet like their own, and they also love supporting other organisations in the community. They founded Underdog Pets with four core values; be kind, be generous, be empathetic, be optimistic. I love this!

Check them out here.

Have you noticed it’s the females taking Cumbernauld by storm? Yes! Let’s continue this girl power – women in business and women supporting each other is what I love – I also love bigging up my home town and businesses that I use regularly!

So next time someone tries to say Cumbernauld isn’t up to much, don’t believe a word – it’s the cream of the crop!

Amber Zoe x

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