When Julia receives a phone call, you can never be quite sure who is on the end of the phone. Is it a treasured customer of many years booking another appointment at the salon? Or maybe a famous actress, recommended by a friend to meet Julia to develop her new look. Such is the variety of company that Julia keeps; you never know who will walk through the door next. On this occasion it was a representative of Sir Ed Davey asking if he might be allowed to visit her, and spend an afternoon in her salon.
Now if there is one thing we all know about Julia, it is that she will welcome everyone into the salon and make them feel like the most important person in the room; and that is exactly what she did.
Sir Ed is the newly elected leader of the Liberal Democrats party in the UK. He is embarking on a UK wide tour listening to local people and business. Most people in politics would use such an opportunity to “kiss the baby’s head” or in other words, pose for photographs before making a speedy exit to a car waiting outside.
But it would seem Sir Ed is not like most politicians. Julia herself describing him as a “modern day Clement Atlee” in the way he was down to earth and genuinely wanted to listen to what people had to say. She remarked after: “why can’t all politicians be like that – he has really given me a glimmer of hope”.
But It was not just Sir Ed receiving praise. Sir Ed described Julia as a “Local Hero” and a “Very impressive lady, a great businesswoman”.
It’s been great to spend the afternoon at Julia’s hairdressers in Guildford on the latest stop of my listening tour.
She’s done an incredible job putting measures in place to keep her staff and customers safe and to help her business thrive throughout Covid-19. pic.twitter.com/TBUdjTmqws
— Ed Davey MP 🔶🇪🇺 (@EdwardJDavey) October 2, 2020
Praise indeed, however, Julia is not one to let someone of Sir Ed’s profile leave without speaking frankly with him. To his credit he listened and took onboard everything Julia had to say. In fact, he took the time to listen to every single person in the salon putting them at ease. He is a great listener and was in no rush to stop. Even the most bashful person was free to ask questions, while Sir Ed made himself useful refilling shampoo bottles.
For someone at the top of a national party, Sir Ed was personable and level-headed. He spoke with colour and vibrancy about all sorts of subjects and local issues. But now it is up to Sir Ed. Will he take onboard what Julia, her team, and her customers had to say? Will this be a lost opportunity for a politician to be different and make positive change? Only time will tell.
In the meantime, Julia would like to welcome Sir Ed back to the salon, for progress update. The truth is anyone can inspire change, as stones cause ripples, all you have to do is speak to people, and as Julia has shown so effectively, you can make a difference with a ripple, no matter how small your stone.