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What I’ve learned… from starting a salon from scratch the second time around

Lisa Whiteman, owner of Whiteman Soho and Goldwell international hair guest artist, has some key advice for opening a salon, perfect for anyone keen to be their own boss

Whiteman Soho salon interior

Lisa Whiteman“Starting out in hairdressing (whether you’re thinking of opening your own salon or not) is very hard, physical work so I would say that individuals should really push through this period in their career and not give up. Focus on learning a diverse range of skills to keep your options open for the future. The more knowledge you have as an apprentice under your belt, the more confident you will be with clients. Also, always remember that clients are the day-to-day bread and butter and will help you fuel (pay for) learning more creative skills once qualified.

“Also, it’s always important to consider what challenges you might be facing when starting up your own business. When I opened Whiteman Soho at the end of last year, bums on seats in the new salon and making sure the spreadsheets matched up to my expectations for the first year of business were the most crucial aspects. It’s a consistent challenge in London as overheads are so high.

“Even though this is the second time I’ve launched a salon, I really feel it’s important to always continue to be inspired” – Lisa Whiteman

“Even though this is the second time I’ve launched a salon, I really feel it’s important to always continue to be inspired. I don’t have a specific icon that I gravitate to as I like to follow all hairdressers work, but I do look to Sam McKnight for inspiration and I love Peter Grey. I worked alongside him once at Goldwell’s Global Zoom in Berlin and he was incredible to watch. He has a very easy going and relaxed attitude while working, which is something I love about him. It’s much easier to learn from a hairdresser that is calm and open to teach while creating beautiful work at the same time.”

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