The freelance hair hubs to know – Phenix Salon Suites

by | 8 Dec 2021

Striking out on your own is a thrilling prospect – but maybe you miss the hustle and bustle of salon life, of working alongside your peers. The rise of co-working salon spaces has been timed perfectly with freelancers’ desire for more flexibility, so we’re shining a spotlight on some of the hub-style spaces for freelancers up and down the country…



Phenix Salon Suites, as a concept, has proved to be a big hit over in the United States with over 300 locations and partners – and now it’s ready to take the UK by storm too! It has opened its first UK venue in Manchester city centre, designed to house 29 entrepreneurs looking to build their brand in the heart of this buzzing city.

Each luxury studio is kitted out with high-quality equipment so that tenants can concentrate on running the business, without worrying about the costs or set-up of utilities. As well as utilities covered within the cost, tenants will also be offered uniquely designed development tools and complementary education. There’s even a free online appointment system via ‘Gina’s Platform’, an app created by company founder Gina Rivera. Hairdressers and barbers are provided with a backwash, styling chair and hair trolley, with access to a break room/kitchen space, as well as an on-site laundry room with free use of commercial equipment for fast washing and drying. Handy!

“Around three years ago I was working in the US with a new colour brand that is also owned by the founders of Phenix Salon Suites. Whilst there, I saw the Phenix locations in the US and loved the way of working,” explains John Gillespie, operations director of the UK & Europe. “Staff are truly self-employed, have their own designed creative space and are able to build their own brand and personality. It really opened my eyes, I just knew that this could work in the UK (as well as the new colour line!) The founders, Jason and Gina agreed with me and it went from there. Since then we’ve been speaking to Spain, Germany and Sweden.”

Changing the game with…
The best part is that it is not just a chair, it’s a whole suite. You can truly share your individuality in that space; some of our tenants go all out decorating. We have a suite styled as a football stadium with a barber in there, and another space styled around the tenant’s drag persona. They all have their own space and they can do exactly what they to do. It’s complete freedom.”

Members love…
The independence definitely, they can suit themselves! They set their own hours, prices, create their own brand, everything. They get to be their own boss, on their own terms.”

Why Manchester?
“Manchester was my choice as it’s the coolest city and the people here are quick adapters. There is also such strong hair and beauty and creative talent around. As well as my selfish angle of Manchester having the best football teams and bands, there is so much to be in Manchester for. This city is open to new ideas and creatives; it was the only place we wanted to start, and I feel it’s a great place to build this business.” 

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