A beautician said she burst into tears after learning a fundraiser had been set up after she feared she had lost her livelihood.
Sian Thomas, 35, from Ashurst, had built up more than £2,300 worth of products over her ten-year career, but lost everything when her car was broken into after a customer visit in Lancing.
The mum-of-one said she was devastated after her insurance company agreed to pay out just £300, but the community has rallied around to get her back on her feet. One of her customers has set up a fundraiser and Sian said she had received hundreds of messages of support from complete strangers.
“I was absolutely devastated,” she said, after discovering her equipment and £200 in cash missing. “They have got no idea what kind of damage they’ve caused just from nicking stuff out of my car. If they wanted the money they could have had it, but they’ve taken my money and the only way I had to make that money back.
“But I burst into tears when I saw the fundraiser.
“The messages have been unbelievable, I can’t believe how generous people are, everyone’s just been so nice.
“I was in floods of tears because I’d lost everything and then I was in floods of tears when I saw the fundraiser.”
She said she remembered the ‘sinking feeling’ when she realised her equipment was gone, frantically calling recent customers to see if she had left it behind, but to no avail.
Within days, the fundraiser had been set up and more than £110 has been raised already, as well as fellow professionals coming forward to offer replacement equipment. A lack of products meant she was forced to cancel some appointments while still working extra hours to recoup her losses.
All of the money earned goes towards new supplies, she said, denying her 12-year-old daughter Izabelle days out and quality time over the summer holiday.
The fundraiser’s organiser, Bryony Sparks, said she could not imagine the ‘utter panic’ of losing the ability to earn a living and described Sian as ‘such a hard working lady’ and ‘genuinely kind person’.
She said: “I’m lucky I earn a salary at a regular paying job but she has worked so hard to build up her business and it’s only mobile, so to not be able to work must be so worrying.
“If I had the money I would just give it to her to replace her kit but I don’t so this was the best way I could think of trying to help her.”
Anyone who would like to donate to Sian’s fundraiser, should visit www.gofundme.com/f/help-a-local-business-woman