Portobello traders unite to raise cash after beauty salon raided

Kelly Graham's stolen takings were reimbursed by fellow shopkeepers in Portobello. Picture: Toby Williams
Kelly Graham's stolen takings were reimbursed by fellow shopkeepers in Portobello. Picture: Toby Williams
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A BEAUTY salon owner who had a day’s takings stolen from her shop has been left stunned after local business owners rallied round to raise the cash needed to reimburse her.

Kelly Graham was left devastated after the three-figure sum was stolen from her shop, Beauty By Kelly, in Portobello High Street earlier this month.

She had popped downstairs for a couple of minutes and when she returned to the salon she discovered the bright pink cash box – containing her Saturday takings – was missing.

In a desperate bid to get the £170 back, she posted an appeal on local community Facebook group Porty People explaining what had happened and asking people to keep an eye out for the cash box.

Less than two hours later, another local businesswoman, June Robertson from Favers Candy Emporium, had started a collection to raise the amount stolen from Ms Graham’s shop.

Mother-of-three Ms Graham said: “June asked me how much money I had lost and then came the next week with an envelope with the money in it.

“She said she could have doubled the amount because so many people wanted to donate. I couldn’t believe it.

“At the time it happened, I was so angry and felt violated that someone had done this to me. But this gesture showed me there’s more good in the world than bad.”

Ms Graham said she had never met the Favers owner before, making it even more overwhelming that she had taken it upon herself to start the collection.

She added: “It’s a really close community and this shows how everyone helps each other.

“Even though what happened was horrible at the time, this shows how nice people are.”

After Ms Graham posted on Facebook about the theft from her shop, which happened on August 6 at around 5pm, Ms Robertson was quick to set up the fundraising effort.

She wrote: “These wee places don’t make a fortune as it is, so why don’t we show the true Porty spirit and all chip in to help the poor girl out. All donations can be handed into Favers and will be passed onto Kelly.”

After the full amount had been raised – with lots of local businesses chipping in – she posted again to thank everyone who had donated to Ms 
Graham’s appeal, describing the effort as “simply wonderful”.

She wrote: “We collected the full amount stolen within 24hrs, there is no other community like it in Edinburgh, thank you to Skylark, The Fine Wine Company, Velvet Easel and the new cobbler shop in Bath Street as well as all the Porty people who handed money in and helped put the smile back on Kelly’s face.”

Ms Graham is going to use the money to install CCTV in her salon.