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Independent colourist and educator and global ambassador for L’Oréal Professionnel Paris, opens the door to her new studio in Horsham.

What was the aim of the space? 

I was looking for a space that felt like me aesthetically and would give me the freedom to run my day how I wanted without the responsibility or pressure of leading a whole team. I wanted to create a space that I enjoyed being in and felt like home. I’m all about a calmer and slower pace of life, so the furnishings and colour palette needed to reflect that.  
I plan to use the space not only to run a column for my clients but also to create content and online education. I do a lot of brainstorming, admin, meetings and content creation for my education courses, so I also wanted to create a space I enjoy being in to do those administrative tasks. 

What advice do you have for independent stylists starting their studio-style salon?  

Give yourself sufficient storage. It sounds very dull, but it’s often the bit that gets forgotten. I’ve learnt my lesson from having a salon before, and it’s even more important in a small space! If you want your space to look aesthetically pleasing, you are going to want areas to put stuff away like products, colour, ring lights, towels, so more storage is a must.
Invest in good quality salon equipment like cutting chairs and basins but do shop around for all the other furniture and design. These are the parts that will bring character.
Make sure you choose a colour partner that you not only love using on your clients but is easy to order and the quantities you want. You want a brand that can support you. I work closely with L’Oréal Professionnel Paris and having a good relationship is key to making your space work. 

How does your one-to-one approach work in practice?  

I can see up to three clients daily depending on their chosen colour service. When renting a chair, you often will need to pay a daily rate for the chair and or give a percentage of your takings. Depending on whether you need to rent or pay for the space will factor in how much you take home. 
With my studio, my outgoings are less than when I work freelance from a space, allowing me to do fewer clients in a day. However, offering a one-on-one experience to a client most definitely opens up the possibility of adding a premium to your pricing. 

How will you be marketing your space to potential new clients? 

All my marketing has been on social media platforms; videos of the space and hair have been great to grab the attention of potential new clients. It gains the most reach. However, recommendations from existing clients will always be at the top of the list when attracting new clients.
When clients take selfies in the space, I get them to share on social media. If people see the vibe of the space and match with it, they are more inclined to book as the recommendation has come from a friend. 

What do you have planned for the future? 

I’m launching the podcast The So Lovely Hair Show alongside my co-host, Ollie Blackaby from The Hair Salon in Brighton. We’ll be recording from the studio, intending to offer real-life, open and honest staff room chit-chat, covering a variety of topics and challenges that freelancers, creatives and the hair industry are faced with.
My career has had many ups and downs, and I genuinely believe that the hard times have made pivot in new and positively life-changing directions. Discussing my struggles and how to overcome them with friends and colleagues is what has got me through, so I hope to bring a bit of that support, honesty and inclusivity to our industry. I’m also working on an exciting project with L’Oréal Professionnel Paris which will be launching in March so watch this space!