The Making of Harris & Co. Salon

The making of any new business is a daunting one, and is usually something that has kept the creators up countless nights dreaming, talking, planning, organising... negotiating, re-organising, re-planning... lets just say it more than likely consumes them!

The story behind Harris & Co. salon is a similar one, like any big life changing decision the choice for us to go out on our own was one not taken lightly and has been many years in the works. Countless nights talking, dreaming, planning the 'what ifs?'.

To really get the sense of what this salon means to us we have to take you back to the start....

We met each other through mutual friends online and soon after we started talking we realised we shared the same dreams.

I was a single mum and beauty therapist who ran my own business from home in Adelaide, South Australia and Jimi was a hairdresser operating his own business out of his friends salon and an educator form RUSK in Boise, Idaho USA.

We talked about our dreams of building on or family.

Once Jimi came to live in Australia permanently we decided to extend our family and give Clash our 1st son a brother, London was born the next august and within that time we decided to move from Adelaide to the Gold Coast to be closer to family.

Once we got settled I decided to change careers and settled on something something I have always had a passion for, Interior Design.

So after 4 years, 1 wedding, 1 step son, 1 visa, 1 baby, 2 moves, 3 houses, 3 jobs and 1 career change we finally decided it was finally time to go out on our own and follow our long talked about dream.

It was a weeknight in September when Jimi came in and told me that the salon he was working for had been sold and he wasn't sure he wanted to stay with a company that did not aline with his work ethics and direction he want to take his career.

After the word got out to his loyal clients they started to ask him if he would go out on his own and if so they would follow him.

I started to look into the "what ifs?", and soon talked Jimi into thinking about making the leap of faith.

After looking at numerous spaces all around the gold coast area we kept seeing commercial warehouse for sale.

I kept thinking "That would be an amazing space to design!"

We looked at a few and then found our space on Township drive.

As soon as we walked in we knew we could make the space ours. We were worried that being in a warehouse would effect new clientele finding us but in one of our late night talks Jimi said "We are a destination salon and we will build new clientele through word of mouth." It was genius! We loved the idea of being a "destination" and factored that into my design criteria for what we wanted the space to feel like and portray.

Putting my newly acquired design skills to use I started working on a design brief. Listening to what Jimi needed to function and flow the way he needed it to and the feel and image we both wanted to portray to our clients.

We both thought it was important for it to be a space that was warm and inviting. Part of my process in creating a design brief is to think about the function of a space and the traffic that will be flowing through it. I have to think about the mental state of the people coming into it and how they want to feel, my personal thoughts are that a hairdressing client likes to feel proud of where they go to get their hair done, they like to feel comfortable in the space and they may also feel quite vulnerable. They are needing their hair done so they could feel self-conscious and a little insecure.

Trying to balance all those factors into a space can be a juggling act, especially when your space is a warehouse that can be quite sterile as its usually purely a functional space.

I knew lighting would be a great way to create ambiance and mood since their are no windows. Thinking about warm and cool lighting and the difference of the two and where to position what so Jimi has optimum light and bright enough to show the true tones of clients hair. Beacon Lighting were fantastic and helped us make the decisions on what lighting would work well.

With all factors taken into account I started sourcing furniture, art, equipment, stock and drawing up floor plans.

My brief from Jimi was eclectic, industrial, high end and Cuban. So with that i came up with "Cuban Industrial".

Jimis only request was lots of plants, which as there are no windows down stairs was a tall order to fill. We settled on good quality fuax plants from Pillow Talk & Ikea, they really made the space feel warm and organic.

Salon furniture was made easy by the lovely Kara at Comfortel who even fulfilled or request for our chairs to be upholstered in their lovely tan vinyl and even our wash basin chair too.

as for our waiting area we wanted a space that people still felt like they could converse with the rest of the salon and feel comfortable wile waiting.

Matt Blatt is where we got our amazing green velvet couch and tan and gold cow hide rug from. They are the perfect statement pieces for our space and are always a talking point for clients wanting to know where we purchased them.

Once all our fabulous tradies did there work on wiring, fitting & building our space we could really get a great sense of what we had achieved!

All our hard work, sleepless nights and planning had finally come together to give us a warm and inviting professional space that fit the criteria Jimi wanted and would fit our clients needs as well.

From the time we have opened our doors to the public it has been a whirlwind of positive feed back and wonderful networking with companies such as Davines, Redken, Sustainable salons and many more.

It gave us the validation that we did do the right thing by taking a risk and taking on the big venture. We now have the time to focus on our true passions and Jimi now offers salon consulting and Teaches classes which teams up with our longterm plans.

We are so grateful for all the love & support we have had from Peers, friends, family & clients, without all of them we have no business, so THANK YOU!

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