Q: What has been the key to your success?
A: Hard work! I try never to stop learning, which includes putting myself in challenging professional situations outside my comfort zone. For example, going on the Extreme Hair Wars TV show or, indeed, being the NHBF's Hairdressing Ambassador for the next 12 months! They say life is a continuous journey not a destination, and it is true.
Q: What's the best business advice you have ever been given?
A: The success of my business is not negotiable. I always remember this when someone is trying to persuade me to do something I'm not sure about.
Q: Why are entering awards important to you, your team and your business?
A: I'm an awards junky! I keep on entering because you've got to be in it to win it! Seriously, awards help you to benchmark yourself against the best in the industry and see your progression. We enter business awards only when we think we have a good story to tell/case to make a realistic chance of finalising. Regarding creative hairdressing awards. I enter as many as I can, and I encourage my team members to enter too. It's highly motivating and an excellent way of improving the standard of hairdressing we offer in the salons. For example, our Bicester salon manager, Ionas Kallimeras, was thrilled to be competing in the NHBF's Britain's Best competition at Salon International last month!
Q: How has your NHBF membership benefited you and your business over the years?
A: We have been members for more than 25 years (in fact since I opened my first salon in 1991) and I can't really understand how some salon owners manage without being members. For us, the single most valuable benefit is the employment and apprenticeship contract service, together with the associated legal helpline. NHBF contracts are comprehensive and updated frequently - and are worth the cost of membership in themselves.
As all employers will recognise, very occasionally there are issues with employees - and when this happens the Legal Lifeline is a godsend! The range of other services covers almost every eventuality. If I had to select just one, it would be the NHBF's guidance and pro forma material for GDPR. This was extremely clear and saved us many hours of very boring but necessary admin work. I'm not surprised the NHBF won an award for it!