INTERVIEW WITH... AWARD WINNING SALON OWNER STACEY BROGAN
Following on from our last blog on how to promote your salon, we talk to Salon Owner Stacey Brogan of the highly successful Manchester-based Elysium Hair and Beauty to have a catch up on what it takes to build an award-winning salon, what gets her passionate about hair and life in the salon post-covid.
HRL: "Stacey, you’ve been in the hair industry for a few years now but tell us what initially got you interested in the industry?"
Stacey: "I’ve always had a passion for hair, since being 4 years old and cutting in an unwanted fringe of the next door neighbours hair with paper scissors, to my high school years where myself and my friends made plenty of mistakes with the coloured mousses to the blonde box colour botch jobs, to even using the iron to make my naturally curly hair poker straight, - would not recommend any of the above! All of which never gave me the results I saw in all the glossy magazines, so being a hairdresser felt like my calling in life."
HRL: I bet your friends were glad you got into hairdressing, no doubt you've averted many a box colour botch job over the years! We’d love to know more about your amazing salon, how long have you been running it and what’s your favourite thing about being a salon owner?
Stacey: "I trained at college where I got a placement at a local salon, which gave me the foundations of learning the hair craft but also an insight into the business side of things, this is where I learnt there was so much more than just doing hair for me. I made the decision to open a salon almost 11 years ago, during this time the journey of being a hair stylist and growing a team have become a passion of mine, I love to learn everything hair related and as a team we are always eager to learn the latest trends and techniques to keep our salon at the forefront of industry and up to date with the ever evolving client requests."
HRL: "We know you have a great team at Elysium, how important was it to get the right team members?"
Stacey: "Setting up a salon was more for me to create an environment for the elite hair industry professionals and for those with a similar drive and determination to be surrounded by people with a similar creative mindsets who are passionate about creating beautiful hair and making the guests salon experience just as important as the hair transformation itself. Our salon culture is one of a kind and our mix of team members and their own individual skillsets and personalities mean we have a perfect match for all hair requests that come through our salon doors
HRL: "Without a doubt, Covid-19 hit the industry hard, how did you cope through the numerous lockdowns and restrictions and how easy has it been to get back up and running again in the salon?"
Stacey: "Covid 19 has had a major impact on Elysium, as it did with most small businesses, during this time I made the decision to utilise the opportunity to work ON my business as I couldn’t work IN it.The only option was to improve and focus on the future and work out what we could do to make our salon a success on re-opening"
HRL: "What a great and positive outlook, how did you do this?"
Stacey: "We focused on team building via zoom, and took full advantage of online training from home, I also took a massive leap of faith and did a salon refurbishment, as our current layout wasn’t suitable for the new restrictions that were being introduced. I saw it as an opportunity, 10 weeks of building work that I would never had been able to carry out if the salon was operating daily, there was never an option of closing for me, and I tried daily to remain positive and strong for myself and our team, behind closed doors was a different story some tears were shed, but I have immense gratitude for my team and for choosing to see this time of struggle as chance for strength and support."
HRL: "Were there any new products or services that came out of you re-looking at the business?"
Stacey: "The last lockdown gave the us the chance to take our expertise to the next level and launch 'Elysium Education’ accredited courses. We want to give back to the industry and develop and support hairdressers and their skills by provided a higher quality of course content using our extensive experience and sharing everything we know. Working together and uniting hairdressers is something our industry succeeds at and we want to be advocates of that.
HRL: What is the best way for our readers to find out more about your education courses?"
Stacey: All information is available on our website www.elysium-salon.co.uk."
HRL: "For our readers that are thinking about setting up their own business, what tips would you give to someone who wants to build their own brand/business from scratch?"
Stacey: "For anyone wanting to succeed in business it has to come from the heart, you have to be willing to sacrifice your time, and put in consistent hard work, I’m a firm believer in going above and beyond in every area of my life and putting as much effort into the not so pleasant tasks as well as the ones I enjoy. I like to lead by example and encourage and support where I can, I’m a natural born giver and I believe what you give out and the energy you carry, will come back to you ten fold."
HRL: "We completely agree and much like us, you must love working in the industry you are so passionate about every day". Other than wanting to succeed, what drives your passion?"
Stacey: "I want to set a great example for my daughter Ivy who is very creative like myself, who watches my every move and I encourage her to chase her dreams. I am yet to see if that will be following in my footsteps."
HRL: "Well it certainly sounds like you are setting a great example for her. What have you found to be the best way to promote the services you offer at Elysium Hair and Beauty?"
Stacey: "The best way to promote your business is recommendations from your clients, it's also the most rewarding. The power of social media has increased dramatically so you have to keep yourself relevant and current with the evolving world, by sharing your work across these platforms. They are great for potential new customers. They can get a feel for the salon, behind the scenes and great images and video content."
HRL: "What type of content have you found works well?"
Stacey: "We are currently sharing educational information, for both our in salon clients and any students who would like to come and train with us, by sharing and giving away as much knowledge as possible, they have faith in your salon before entering your doors."
HRL: "What would be your parting advice to anyone running their own business?"
Stacey: "I don’t think there is anything we haven’t tried at least once during Elysium’s years but monitoring what succeeds and also what fails is really important trust me! We have had a lot of failures, but it's got us to where we are today and is vital for your improvement and life experience."
Our thanks to the lovely Stacey Brogan for taking time out of her very busy schedule of being Mama to Ivy, running one of Manchesters busiest salons and delivering her very popular training courses.