Minding the gap in Sheffield’s smallest shop

Hudson and Wood salon owners India Hudson (front, left) and Alix Wood get the tape measure out  to check the size of their Sharrow Vale Road shop.
Hudson and Wood salon owners India Hudson (front, left) and Alix Wood get the tape measure out to check the size of their Sharrow Vale Road shop.
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It’s just 11 metres square with room for only a handful of people – welcome to Sheffield’s tiniest shop.

They say good things come in small packages – and Hudson and Wood beauty salon on Sharrowvale Road certainly lives up to the saying.

It is so miniscule that the maximum number of customers it can have in for treatments at once is two.

And when partners India Hudson and Alix Wood took the former sandwich shop over last December, they had to use innovative ways to fit everything in.

They even turned the tiny unit into two separate rooms, one for holding treatments and the other as a welcome area also used for manicures.

Mum India, aged 32, said: “When we found the shop I did look through the window and think that is a bit crazy, it is so small, but Alix was very positive.

“We couldn’t have a standard door on the treatment room without it hitting the bed so we had to have a sliding one.

“We had to do everything in stages because when we painted something, if you turned around to get on with the next job you’d get covered in paint!

“It does give us quite a few challenges, we really have to work together.

“When a customer comes out of the treatment room and is paying Alix runs in there to get it ready again, you need to be really organised. If someone arrives early and another hasn’t quite finished you soon get a build up of people!”

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The partners took over the shop after working in a gym salon together and offer ‘treatments with a twist’ to customers.

In Britain, the smallest shop is believed to be the aptly-named Little Shop in North Yorkshire, which measures 3m by 3m.

But India and Alix believe Hudson and Wood could be the smallest salon in the country, as well as the smallest shop in Sheffield.

Alix, of Beauchief, measured the unit as 3.5m by 3.3m. The 42-year-old added: “We loved the shop because it was on a popular road that wasn’t Ecclesall Road price wise. When we first moved in we called it the joke shop!”

India, who lives in the Peak District, added: “I can’t think of a smaller shop. I sometimes say I would like a bigger space but the customers always say they like the cuteness of it and it feels cosy.”

Little and large Sheffield facts

Regulars at the popular Fat Cat pub in Kelham Island know its bar – thought to the be the city’s smallest – is so miniature that staff have to deftly dance around each other to serve.

Bradfield Dungworth Primary is the smallest school in Sheffield, with 115 pupils and no school hall until 2011.

The Sheffield flood of 1864 was known as the biggest tragedy of its kind in Victorian England, killing at least 240 people.

Park Hill is Europe’s largest Grade II listed building, covering 17 acres.