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One Way from Manchester to Washington

As the only child of working class parents, Ann Ratner came from humble beginnings. Her parents taught her independence – and the value of hard work. After visiting a hair salon with her mom, Ann recognized her calling and entered beauty school at 16. By 22, she was ready to take a bigger leap. With her mother’s blessing (and an help wanted ad she found at the back of the Hair Dressers Journal) she made the  journey to Washington, DC – and she’s never looked back.

Black and white photo of Bubbles Hair Salons founder Ann Ratner as a young girl in England

Ann Ratner as a young girl in Manchester, UK

 

Photo of Bubbles Hair Salons founder Ann Ratner as a teenager standing next to her first car, a light blue Mini

Ann Ratner at 16 standing next to her first car

Photo of Bubbles Hair Salons founder Ann Ratner as a young woman in a 1960s era kitchen wearing a mini skirt

Ann Ratner as a young woman in the 1960s


With a Name Like Bubbles You Gotta Be Tough

How a regular girl from Manchester forged a hair care dynasty

A native of Manchester, UK, Ann Ratner arrived in Washington DC in 1967 and quickly made her mark on the salon world. By 1972 she and ex-husband Dennis Ratner co-founded value salon chain Hair Cuttery. After their marriage ended, under tremendous emotional pressure and with two small children, Ann took a leap of faith and opened the type of salon she always imagined – Bubbles.

This is the story of Ann’s incredible journey as an immigrant, hair stylist, divorcee, single mom and serial entrepreneur who followed her instincts and never faced a challenge she didn’t like.

Stay tuned next week for Ann Ratner: With a Name Like Bubbles, You Gotta Be Tough | Part 2: From Heart Break to Break Through