A CHRISTCHURCH salon owner has been forced to change the name, website and signage of her business after months of legal wranglings with cosmetics company Lush.

Carole Traylor, 55, opened Lushh Hair and Beauty salon in Lymington Road, Highcliffe last year after researching names for the premises.

But two months after the salon opened she received a letter from the Poole-based cosmetics brand telling her she couldn’t use the trademarked name.

After contacting a solicitor who wrote a reply to the global business, Carole thought the matter had been dealt with until Lush replied a few months later saying they were prepared to serve court papers on her if she didn’t change the name.

“I couldn’t believe it,” she said.

“I thought, as we hadn’t heard from them in a few months it had all gone away. We’re just a small business – not a threat to their global business.

“Our lettering, style, colours are totally different to them. And there are so many other places called Lush as well – why target us?”

She requested a licence from the worldwide company to use the name, but Lush responded with the threat of a court summons.

“I have now signed an agreement offering up all of our literature with our name on it and given them our website and promise to cease to use the name ever again.

“We are removing the sign from the shop and replacing it with a new one – TD2.

“The whole thing has cost me several thousand pounds in solicitor’s fees. We’ve been told we’ve got a strong case and it could go either way but if we proceeded they could go after my profits.

“What they’ve done is ensure that this year we will see no profits, only losses.

“We’ve now got to start from scratch effectively and a lot of people will think we’ve gone bust.

“They’ve taken a sledgehammer to crack a nut.

“I’m just an ordinary person trying to build up a pension to retire on.”

A Lush spokesperson commented: “Lushh Hair and Beauty was brought to our attention by a member of the public who thought it was us. We invest a great deal of time and money promoting our brand and need to take steps to prevent the unauthorised use of our name by others, so that our customers are not misled.

“Unfortunately, we were unable to resolve our differences with the salon without more formal legal measures.”