The Hotel Inspector: Owner of Yorkshire Coast business Bar Noir and The Believe Boutique feared closure before Alex Polizzi visited and turned things around as bookings increase
The business has its own unique six-bedroom hotel which she runs alongside her sons.
She sought help on social media and last year she was sent a message by a spiritual coach who suggested appearing on a TV show to help get her business off the ground.
With the support of her coach, who she has been working with since, she did some research for renovation shows that could help and applied to appear on The Hotel Inspector.
The Channel 5 show sees hotelier Alex Polizzi visiting a number of struggling businesses, offering help, advice and support to bring them to life.
Since her appearance on the show, which aired on Tuesday, October 10, Ms Skjelhaug has seen a significant improvement in her business and has taken more bookings this week compared to usual.
“I was struggling and I had been let down by people that I was working with,” she said.
“I’ve been working with a spiritual coach and she commented on one of my [Facebook] posts, then rang me and [encouraged] me to apply to go on a TV show and said ‘it would be [good] for you and your business’.
“So I Googled some renovation shows, I emailed two, and The Hotel Inspector came back to me.
“I’ve taken more hotel bookings [since the episode aired]. Thursdays are always a good night at the bar anyway but it was busier last night than usual.
“[Alex Polizzi] absolutely helped me massively, because I didn’t have a clue, I’d never done this before.
“On reflection, I very much doubt I’d be open now if I didn’t get help from her. I’ve still got a long way to go.”
Ms Skjelhaug told The Yorkshire Post the many ways Alex has helped with her business and how she felt filming the show.
“She helped with everything from setting up the laundry mat, booking.com, how to cost everything from the rooms, where to buy things from, she was incredible, absolutely amazing,” she said.
“We had an absolutely brilliant time, initially the thought of being on camera and filming it was probably one of my worst nightmares, but everyone was so lovely and in no time I wasn’t even aware of the cameras. We had such a laugh.”
Ms Skjelhaug and Alex have been keeping in touch since the show aired after Alex called her after the show to congratulate her.
Despite preparing for negative feedback from the public, she admits that it has all been a positive experience and response from viewers.
“At the end [of filming] Alex said that we were going to remain friends and she gave me all of her personal details and telephone number to keep in touch,” she said.
“We were all in the bar watching the show, and it was the first time I had seen it, when the show finished [Alex] rang me and said ‘did you watch the show?’ and I said: ‘yes, did you?’ and she said: ‘yes, I sat and watched it at the same time as you. You came across lovely’.
“She told me that she is so proud of me and that we are going to keep in touch. We got on so well and I’ve got support from her going forward.
“[Alex has] emailed me a few times, she’s looking out for me and she wants the best for me.
“I haven’t seen anything negative, I’ve got hundreds of messages and I want to reply to all personally and I am getting round to it. People are sharing my posts; I was prepared for some negativity but I haven’t had any yet. It’s so lovely.”
Ms Skjelhaug also shared her future plans for the business while she gets help from her sons.
“There’s loads of things I want to try, I’ve got loads of ideas; my sons are going to get more involved in the business with me, I’ve decorated the bar and the boutique, I’m going to advertise it,” she said.
“My sons are going to take over the bar and I’m going to focus more on the boutique. At the moment I’m doing absolutely everything.
“I’m completely done with the renovations, I will focus more on events at the bar and we love doing private parties, really intimate and everybody loves them.
“I believe I have created a space where everyone is welcome; there are people who haven’t gone out in a long time, they would come every year but they won’t know anyone at the bar. But we all just join together in conversation. Everyone feels welcome and that’s exactly what I wanted to achieve.”