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Beauty academy rebrands after confusion with terrorist organisation

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The former Isis Academy of Beauty in Surrey, England has rebranded after fielding abusive phone calls and heckling of staff in uniforms from members of the public who mistakenly thought the school was associated with the terror group of the same name.

The training centre is now known as the Omni Academy of Beauty – named for the Latin word, meaning ‘all, of all things, everything.’ Owner Carolyne Cross said she chose the name to reflect a new approach to clients’ health and beauty underpinning the academy’s ethos.

“In the past, clients visited a salon simply for a hairstyle or a manicure, whereas now, they’re looking for multiple therapies and treatments that help the whole body – from nail extensions and sports massage to treatments that tackle stress and aromatherapy,” she explained.

The academy was previously named for the Egyptian goddess of rebirth, who was known for empowering women through teaching them skills and knowledge to become independent, said Cross.

Cross said she thought the Egyptian goddess perfectly encapsulated what she’s trying to achieve, but current affairs meant that the name was a liability. She fielded abusive phone calls, negative comments on social media, and heckling of staff arriving at work.

“I also believe that negative connotations with the name has caused the 50 per cent drop in student numbers this term,” said Cross. “One student even arrived with her parents in tow, as they’d wanted to be certain we’re not an undercover grooming place for Islamic terrorists.”

Located in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, Omni Academy of Beauty offers Level 2 and Level 3 programmes, as well as beauty apprenticeships and continued professional development courses. In June, the academy received a ‘Grade 1, Outstanding’ from Ofsted, the UK’s office for standards in education, children’s services and skills.

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The former Isis Academy of Beauty in Surrey, England has rebranded after fielding abusive phone calls and heckling of staff in uniforms from members of the public who mistakenly thought the school was associated with the terror group of the same name.
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