How did the Live True salon business begin?
Live True London began as a single hair salon in Clapham under a railway arch. We’ve expanded to three locations in London – Clapham, Vauxhall and Brixton – and now offer a range of beauty services at our Vauxhall location. We are a family business run by two sisters in law, Kirsten and Valerie.
How did you decide upon the aesthetic of the salon?
We wanted the salon to feel warm, welcoming and fun. Our salons are all about encouraging creativity and we wanted our salon interiors to reflect this. The salons feature ornate mirrors at each cutting section, large aged wooden tables where clients can relax while their hair colour is processing and chandeliers throughout.
We wanted each of our salons to have unique features which reflected their local area’s personalities. The Brixton salon has original street art on one of its walls depicting Brixton’s landmarks, the Clapham salon has hand-painted art over its backwash area and the Vauxhall salon is done to a more modern style to reflect the changing landscape of its Nine Elms neighbourhood.
How do you stand out from your competitors?
Whilst we work to a very high standard, we try not to take ourselves too seriously. We encourage fun and creativity in our salons – there is no room for judgment, negativity or pretentious attitudes. The atmosphere in our salons is relaxed, friendly and easy going. Clients love this and often comment on how being in the salon makes them feel.
How do you think social media has influenced our industry?
There is growing pressure on salons to showcase their work on social media. We find that a large proportion of our new clients find us through Instagram and pick their stylist and desired look from the selection of images that we showcase.
We also love how being active on social media lets us connect and form better relationships with our clients. Our clients frequently feature their experiences in our salons on their Instagram stories which we then interact with and repost.
How do you keep up to date with the latest industry trends?
We keep on top of the latest trends through training and market reports we receive from Redken, through being active on social media and our work in the fashion industry through London Fashion Week and influencers.
What do you think makes a successful salon?
We think that the key to being a successful salon is to build the business to focus on the client. We don’t believe in a “one size fits all approach” which is why we encourage our salons to be creative and to really listen to the client’s needs.
The salon space is also set up with the comfort of the client in mind. Colour is applied at large wooden tables where clients can relax with a drink and also have enough space to comfortably work on either their laptop or tablet.
What advice can you give to others wanting to open a salon?
The hairdressing industry can certainly be challenging but it can also be a lot of fun. The key to running a successful salon is a lot of planning and making sure that you understand your cost base. Like any business, running a salon has its ups and downs but, if you do it correctly, it can be an incredibly rewarding experience.
What are some of your favourite products and tools to use in the salon?
We absolutely love Olaplex and recommend it to every single colour client. We love the strength that an Olaplex treatment puts into a client’s hair and that clients can now top up their in-salon treatments with take-home Olaplex 3, 4 and 5. We love to use the GHD Styler to create beautiful sleek looks and bouncy waves.
What can we expect from you in 2019 and beyond?
2019 is set to be a very exciting year for Live True London! We’ve just released our latest hair collection entitled “Bloom” and are working on our next creative hair shoot.
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