1. In historic building known as The Royal Arcade located off the Bourke Street Mall, home to Gog and Magog and up the winding stairs. How did you find the gem of a space?
I found this gorgeous space by being patient and sifting through lots of Melbourne real estate! The right space is paramount to the success of every business and this particular space needed a lot of love. Royal Arcade has a wonderful history and has managed to keep a little quirk about it which I love. Each of my clients comments on how relaxed they feel here at Confidente and that's what I wanted – goal achieved.
2. Melbourne loves a hidden little secret. How have you advertised your salon? Has twitter, facebook and your website helped? And how do you utilizes the Internet for your business?
I advertised initially on a small scale but word of mouth is the ultimate in this business. I did approach a lot of hotels and that really helped me to get on my feet. An online presence in the form of a website is crucial as people utilize the internet more. Twitter has been a lovely surprise as my clients are quite tech savy & I 've definitely had referrals through this medium. As for Facebook, I've chosen not to have a business page – I don't think it's so relevant to the style of business I run.
3. I’m noticing a worldwide trend for boutique, smaller salons, what are your thoughts on this? And what are the advantages for the operator and the client?
The Boutique Salon absolutely has its place! Clients want to feel special, have their time respected, connect with their Hairdresser and feel at home. From an operators perspective you get to utilize products that you believe in, achieve an optimal result as you're not rushing and really get to know your clients. We've create a space in which they can be themselves – communicate freely and not feel that the clock is ticking. Confidente is relaxing as there's no excess noise from lots of hairdryers or people talking over one another. In this environment my attention is 110% on them. A hair appointment becomes a pleasant part of your day and that is critically important.
4.Where have you worked previously?
I've worked at all levels of the industry from huge numbers to boutique and they have all proved challenging. This broad based experience has taught me so much and groomed me to be the hairdresser I am today. 6 years ago I was working for a company of approximately 150 – 200 staff where I was responsible for the training of over 100 hairdresser whilst running salons – yet here I am today focusing on the one client at a time. You have to be open to new experiences to learn new things and continue to build your skills.
5.How long have you been doing hair and when did you have your first hair “epiphany”?
I've been behind the chair for 14years and my hair epiphany was as simple as Hair is my fabric. I was working on a model and started to intertwine her locks with wool and into her costume – it looked sensational and from there I was obsessed! I enjoy making people feel great. I get a great sense of satisfaction from seeing the effect my work has on the clients. The effect is almost immediate. For some it's a smile, for others a transformation in their confidence! I get a kick out of it either way.
6.For readers who want to open a salon for themselves…what advice would you give to the up starters?
The advice I would give to anyone opening their own salon is to make sure it is your passion. It will be lots of hard work and you have to really want it. In particular the one on one salon will only succeed if you have a continued drive to improve yourself and have very strong skills all round. You can't be lazy. Ensure that you are capable of EVERYTHING - Hairdressers used to have strong skills in all areas and this has changed. If you want to succeed on your own it is mandatory.
7.Top five favorite tools (Example: wigo hairdryer, favorite product etc)
I could not live without a Parlux Blowdryer and Pin Curl Clips in my kit. Followed closely by a Linen Thread for gorgeous modern Hair Up, a nice fresh cut throat blade and Kevin Murphy Session Spray.
8. What do you feel are the problems facing the industry right now? (Example; recruitment, money, public opinion et al)
Unfortunately the Hairdressing Industry has been plagued by those who don't take it seriously as a profession. If the people working in the industry don't see it as a profession, how can we expect our clients and industry partners to see us as professionals? The removal of hairdressing from the skills shortage list will (I hope) see the return of serious professionals to the trade..
9. My research tells me you were a ‘rep” for a haircare company, could you tells us more about that? And how did you make the transition from hairdresser to rep and back to salon owner?
When you believe in a product it's a dream position for those that don't like to be surrounded by the same four walls and growing any business is satisfying. Whilst I loved the contact with salon teams and business owners, I missed the creative release that hairdressing provides.
11. What are your plans for the future?
To develop my concept and my skills set further and to offer the highest level of service to my clients that the industry has to offer..
10. What products do you use in the salon?
Ooh where to start?! I colour with Revlon Professional and L'Oreal, I style with Kevin Murphy, American Crew and Everescents. I like to work with various ranges so that I can cater to everyone as I'm very fussy! Everescents is the latest addition to Confidente, they are the ONLY Australian made, Certified Organic professional hair care range on the market. There are a lot of organic claims out there but once you dig deeper you often find that they're not certified or that there is an overseas parent company. I respect Everescents Philosophy, it's a great product and enables me to look after my clients health, the environment and most importantly to support Australian trade.
Telephone (03) 9663 2082
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