What is your connection with the Coffs Coast?
Originally, I grew up in the small country town of Gunnedah. I then spent a few years fine tuning my trade in Newcastle, before my husband introduced me to the beautiful Coffs Coast. He bought me here for a weekend to show me what a beautiful place it was! Before too long, I had my bags packed for the next chapter of my life … here in Coffs Harbour.
You have recently opened a new hair salon, SY Hair. What services do you specialise in?
I love all aspects of hairdressing, from colour and personalised cutting, to treatments and glamorous blow dries, but would have to say “colour correction” is a particular interest of mine. As professional hairdressers, we carry multiple products and corrective tools to ensure our results meet the needs of the client. My aim is to ensure the health and integrity of the hair throughout the colouring process, especially in the correction process, as the hair may have already been damaged.
Partnering with a professional colour company such as “Keune” allows us to ensure we achieve the desired results. As well as providing superior products and support in their colours range, in my opinion, Keune exceed all expectations in standards of styling products, treatments and home hair care. It’s important to use professional home care products so you maintain your colour and avoid the colour fading between visits to the salon.
It can be daunting opening a new business; what have you found to be most challenging?
I think my excitement for a new adventure took over the fear when opening SY. Having previously opened a salon (Aura Hair) I felt like I was well equipped to deal with those sneaky surprises that pop up along the way when starting a business. Luckily, I had the help of my handy husband (carpenter by trade) to take on all the renovating duties. Perhaps the timing of us opening the salon so close to the New Year posed the greatest challenge and something that we will definitely consider if there ever is a “next time” for starting a salon. As it turns out, there were some aspects of the renovation to the salon that required professional tradespeople to attend to, but funnily enough, like most of us, a lot were taking a very well-deserved break. Thank goodness we have some very kind and understanding local “tradies” who helped us get through this renovation phase on time, without any hiccups – a big shout out to Emerald Beach Plumbing and JD Pro Electrical. Nothing was an issue for these guys.
What do you think will set you apart from your competitors?
I hope that the rich two decades of experience, knowledge and training I’ve had in the hair industry will be a contributing factor to the success of SY Hair. I’ve been lucky enough to work with Adam Noble from “Next Hair” in Canberra (Australian Hairdresser of the Year) and styled for runway shows as “Mercedes Fashion Week” held in Sydney. I’ve also competed and placed in many competitions in Sydney, Newcastle and Port Macquarie.
I have also developed the salon to be an exclusive and intimate space, so clients feel a sense of privacy and relaxation when they visit. I believe this makes all the difference to the complete experience.
What marketing tools have you found beneficial in launching your business and why?
It’s no secret social media is the fastest growing platform for reaching your target market! I’ve found this approach to have the greatest impact so far. I’ve gained new clients and had previous clients return from the power of social media. I love creating a page that represents my style and the SY brand. It allows me to showcase my image as a stylist to an audience of potential clients. FOCUS has also been a great tool for reaching previous clients that I commonly don’t run into down the street. Clients will often mention where they found out about the salon (and my return to the industry), with a recent FOCUS editorial and Instagram proving to be the most successful avenues of marketing by far.
Looking to the future, what are you most excited about for your business?
I love seeing all the time, effort and energy put into setting up a business venture pay off. There’s nothing more rewarding than knowing you’ve made the right choice in creating a small business and watching it come to life and hopefully on to become a success before your eyes – accompanied by a lot of continuous hard work of course.
I’m very excited to be attending some specialised training this year too, enabling me to grow as a stylist and broaden my skills in this ever-changing industry. I truly believe that no matter how good you are (or think you are), ongoing training and professional development is essential to ensure you’re providing the best for your clients – no resting on laurels here at SY Hair!
Once I have settled into SY Hair, and the time is right, I intend to introduce another stylist to the salon. My focus for SY Hair is to keep it intimate and boutique, limiting the noisy hustle and bustle of larger salons. I can’t wait to test the deliberate intention of maintaining the small intimate salon feel; let’s face it, we all like a little peace and quiet now and again. So, “time out” at SY Hair is what we hope for all clients’ experiences. I suppose what I’m ultimately aiming for is to run a successful boutique salon, challenging the notion of “bigger is better”.
You are a young mum; how are you juggling the work/life balance thus far?
Mornings can be a little testing at times, having to drop off four children to three different schools and daycares; it just means we have to be super organised! To tell you the truth, we had planned to start this business venture this time next year, when our youngest was just that little bit older, but all the cards just fell into place.
We live at the Jetty, so it seemed an obvious, time management choice to open the salon so close to home (SY Hair is located on Orlando Street near Excel Property). Flexibility with balance is key. We’ve attempted (successfully so far) to schedule the “salon time” to meld with our “family time”; therefore, no one misses out on time with me. My husband is a great help and is extremely supportive of my decision to open SY. The kids are thrilled I’m back at work and love popping into the salon for a visit – and to sweep the floor …
What is your favourite inspirational quote?
From the flamboyant and successful entrepreneur Richard Branson – “If you aren’t making a difference in other people’s lives, you shouldn’t be in business!”