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Salon Studio’s founder Roz Colthart.

As the whole country plans for family, friends and food following lockdown, there is an industry that is bracing itself for a surge in bookings – beauty. However, Salon Studio’s founder Roz Colthart launched a business which saw self-containment and privacy as its top priorities before anyone had even heard of COVID-19.

A report by the Hair and Beauty Council and BABTAC found the hair and beauty industry within the UK to be worth £6.6bn in 2019; that means a lot of nails, hair cuts and brow waxes will need to be caught up on.  

A reinvention of traditional salon ownership, Salon Studios provides self-contained, separately ventilated, move-in ready, stylish salons for self-employed professionals who would like to provide one-to-one services for clients - all for the same rate as normal chair hire.

Updates, a revamp and new guidelines are however being considered. Previously working on a month-to-month basis with a fixed weekly rate, Roz is adapting to the changing climate by now offering a shorter lease and the ability to take only a couple of days, instead of having to hire for the entire week.

Meanwhile, as China sees a move to ensure social distancing by having salon chairs be a minimum of 6ft apart, Salon Studios need not prepare anything, as this is the norm for them. With each salon being equipped to meet each ‘owner’s’ needs, from hair basins to makeup artist stations, the set-up is already that of individuality, so safe for those easing back into society cautiously after lockdown.

A rocky moment to be launching any business, let alone one which centres on people all congregating in the same building, Roz is using this time of isolation to work out how she and Salon Studios can be a boost to a community whose work has all but stopped until the lockdown is over.

“Flexibility has always been at the heart of Salon Studios – you choose the hours, the days, the set-up, even the paint! But now more than ever we are listening to what future salon owners will want and need to get back up and running.

"One of those things is to offer double salons so these creative entrepreneurs can team up and share a space – we will be implementing this with the launch of our new location later in the year.”

Roz is also doing her best to support beauty professionals that need new premises. "I have been reaching out to these wonderful entrepreneurs on Instagram and offering them the opportunity to seamlessly transfer their business to Salon Studios – they may have lost their building, but they needn’t lose their client base", Roz explained.

Finally, Salon Studios is offering business support alongside the physical salon, with free resources including social media checklists, consultation forms, marketing and business plans and more. This way, it becomes so much more than just a salon, it’s mentorship as well.

Having helped her first Salonpreneur go from two clients to over 280 in just six months, Roz is confident she has hit on something that so far has only seen real success in the USA. She said: “To me, the focus is not just business, it's community in business and that’s what Salon Studios is all about. You may have your own space, but you will have a building full of other salonpreneurs to support, encourage and inspire you – from 6ft away for the time being, but still.”

Based in Corstorphine, Edinburgh, each salon space comes with water and electricity costs, a PPL music licence, health and safety assessment, fire management program, rubbish collection, high-speed wifi, public area cleaning, CCTV security and 24-hour access as standard.

Kate Buckle
Article by Kate Buckle
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