“I Love Doing Hair On Clients But Can’t Handle Traditional Salons” – Ashleigh Hodges On The Genesis Of Mash Creative Studio

The Hackney-based space is now open for creatives, with sustainability at its core.

Ashleigh Hodges keeps a lot of plates spinning. There’s her role as a global colour ambassador for Davines, her session work as part of the Hairdotcom team and her ever-expanding involvement with the Fellowship for British Hairdressing. Now, she’s opened her own space as well as unveiling her own education. Ashleigh talks us through the key ingredients to her Mash… 

What’s the aim of Mash Creative Studio?  
To offer a sustainable, calm and creative space for hair professionals and beyond. I work in so many areas of our industry – from flying around the world on campaign shoots, teaching or working on TV – so I wanted to create a space to bring my creative community together. Being a former photographic studio, it was perfect to create a multi-functional space for creatives. I love doing hair on my clients but can’t handle being in traditional salons – so much noise and stimuli for this autistic girl. I wanted to create a space that offers a calm environment for both hairdresser and client, with sustainability at the forefront.  

What’s on offer at Mash? 
We offer the space for photoshoots, seminars, education, intimate events, chair rental and more. If you’re trying to make the world a better place, we have the creative space for you to do just that. 

Ashleigh Hodges

Ashleigh Hodges

“I love doing hair on my clients but I can’t handle being in traditional salons – so much noise and stimuli for this autistic girl!” – Ashleigh Hodges

Talk us through the design concept… 
Sustainability was at the forefront of our design. Working with the motto “the world doesn’t need more stuff” made us think outside the box creatively when it came to interior design. All the furniture has been sourced second-hand from markets or flea markets, the House of Hackney feature wallpaper and soft furnishings were sourced from a sample sale. My aim was to curate a beautiful canvas for people and brands to be able to make their own mark when renting out, while keeping our own signature character.  

How will you be marketing your space to collaborators?  
We have created beautiful brochures about the space that are sent out to everyone on our mailing list. Authentic marketing is my aim, reaching out to people personally and helping to shape their creative ideas into reality. East London is a hub of creativity so connecting with others within the community is paramount. Curated social media posts, and working with those within our growing community to spread the word and benefit from that. 

Mash Creative Studio
Mash Creative Studio

What advice do you have for independent stylists looking for a working space?   
Find the space that’s right for you. Test a few out, try them on for size before you settle down. You will know if it’s right within the first hour. There are so many great work spaces out there depending on your professional needs. Look at your business and find the right one that aligns with it. Think of it as a long-term brand collaboration; you want to make sure your two brands lift each other up.  

What are your future plans?  
So many things! My brain never rests. I already have more plans for Mash Creative in the pipeline, and with the launch of my new academy there’s lots coming there too. And to top it off, I’m about to become the Fellowship for British Hairdressing’s youngest ever president. I’m ready to shake things up for sure!