Welcome to our newest Salon Design of the Month feature, where we interview real salon owners and hear how they started their businesses.

Here at Salons Direct, we love celebrating the nails, hair, beauty, and barbering industries and the talented individuals behind them.

This series is all about shining a spotlight on the stories of salon owners and what they’ve done with their spaces. From village businesses to city hotspots, we’ll explore the diverse range of salons and the personalities behind them.

Get ready to be inspired by the stories of real salon owners…

This month, we caught up with Georgia, owner of the Shade Salon based in Andover.  

How did your salon begin?

Playing by the rules was never in my nature, hence my desire to build my own brand. Established in 2018, Shade started small & humble in our first premises on the outskirts of town with just five hairdressing chairs and me on my own offering hair services. (A massive contrast to the environment I was used to.)

Quickly, this grew to 7 chairs, two nail desks & a treatment room. Fast forward four years, we moved into our new premises to cater for our ever-growing team. A rundown listed building on the high street.


The dream was simple: create an inclusive space for passionate stylists to thrive & where clients can’t wait to return.

How did you decide upon the design of your salon?

My vision: An inclusive, gender-neutral space that allows the clients and stylists to accessorise the room. With that in mind, monochromes’ timelessness seemed fitting.

Feedback from clients had a massive influence on the design changes we made after the move, the best example being switching from full-length mirrors. The chairs were the first thing I added to my Pinterest board.

I wanted simple but not generic, and the Lotus Westbury was perfect. The marble floor was a nod to our first premises. I’d clearly forgotten the effort it takes to keep clean. Due to its listed status, the building had some beautiful, quirky character, which meant our design had to evolve as we renovated it.

What are some of your favourite products and tools to use in your salon?

Like every hairdresser during the lockdown, I was suffering from a lack of creativity. So, I put my mind into creating something new. O M A R I was born with our very own range of vegan haircare and styling products.

Our daily shampoo & conditioner is scented with a ‘soft silk’ fragrance, the perfect solution for clients needing a light weight yet nourishing wash routine, I’m obsessed with it. I couldn’t be without my GHD platinum+ styler at the moment, the shapes you can create are so adaptable to how you have cut a clients hair and showcase ribbons of colour beautifully with waves and curls.

How do you stand out from your competitors?

We are all so aware of how our high streets are changing. Fewer & fewer retail units have consumers feeling like all we have are coffee shops and hairdressers. Especially in a relatively small market town like ours.


Shade Andover is a salon that offers so much more than fabulous hair.

We have quickly become a wellness hub; whether you need a pick-me-up from a hair or beauty appointment, a visit to our doctor for aesthetic treatments, or a blood test, we are evolving with the times.

Stylists and therapists are totally unique. I would never have one of our 12 members compete with another, so with that same energy, I don’t feel competing with other salons is productive.

Instead, I continue to encourage my team to uplift and inspire each other in our crazy creative industry and focus on our own unique goals.

Shade Salon Andover

What do you think makes a successful salon?

A salon’s success is subjective to the individual behind it  & what their aspirations were. I don’t believe you can measure your success on someone else’s vision. For me, success has two entities.

1. Client satisfaction, which in turn drives our financial success.

2. Team satisfaction, which creates an atmosphere our professionals can thrive in & make number one viable.

With determination, resilience, and a willingness to evolve in our polymorphic industry, a successful salon is most definitely within reach.

How do you keep up to date with the latest industry trends?

How lucky are we to have social media these days? What a blessing. We now have this amazing hairdressing community across multiple platforms right at our fingertips! Glued to our phones, we are unknowingly being educated and influenced 24/7.

Fast fashion has definitely split into the hair and beauty industry. Our hair can’t grow quickly enough to keep up with how fast trends change.

Proudly placed on our coffee table, you’ll find the latest edition of VOGUE magazine. I’ve kept every single one since we opened our doors.

As a young girl, I would flick through the salon magazines my hairdresser aunt passed on to my Nan, admiring the hair and outfits. There is something magical about learning the latest trends in such a traditional way.

What advice can you give to others wanting to open a salon?

Perfect the fundamentals. Don’t let your passion for big things cause you to become overhasty. A business can evolve much like mine, growing from the hair into beauty and aesthetics, but the fundamentals remain great customer care and communication with the team.

Since becoming self-employed, I’ve worked harder than ever before, but without resentment. You need to figure out what motivates you and use it to drive your business plan to fruition.


Don’t look at downtime as negative; some of my most successful ideas came from a tropical beach or a spa day.

Shade Salon Andover

What can we expect from your salon business in 2024 and beyond?

Continued education is a given. 2024 will see our younger team members grow with new knowledge and confidence. Being part of a young stylist’s journey is so rewarding to me, even the feisty ones.

Beyond 2024, I’d love to expand into new locations and let my passion for travelling reflect in my hairdressing career. I’ll continue to manifest success for my team, our clients, and everyone who has supported us in our journey this far.

Get the look with Salons Direct!

If you feel inspired by Georgia’s salon interior, you can also achieve the monochrome aesthetic that Georgia has created with Lotus furniture, which is available exclusively at Salons Direct!

The Lotus Westbury Styling Chair boasts a modern cube-inspired design, accentuated by its deep quilted upholstery. Equipped with a standard hydraulic pump, its features include:

  • Sleek black metal arms.
  • Luxurious upholstered arm pads for comfort.
  • Hydraulic lift functionality.
  • 360-degree lockable rotation for ease of movement.
  • A stylish 5-star matte black base.

The Lotus Westbury Backwash Unit presents a modern cube-inspired design adorned with deep quilted upholstery. It’s features include…

  • Sleek black metal arms.
  • Comfortable soft upholstered arm pads.
  • Reclining leg support for added comfort.
  • Deep tilting basin for convenience.
  • Built-in hair trap for cleanliness.
  • Monobloc mixer tap and spray.
  • Plumbing installation is necessary.
  • Assembly is required.

Not in the trade?

Head over to Pampa – The UK’s favourite hair and beauty brands are all in one place.