Over the past five years my career has taken me into the world of hair, and let me tell you, the hair industry is one of the most fun industries to be a part of. Along the way I've met some ridiculously talented people, one of whom is Christel Lundqvist. This colourist has always had an alchemic quality to the way she works, and recently, she went from working for a big brand to opening her own salon, Stil. Here are a few nuggets that came from our chat.
I first met Christel when she was working for HOB Salons; then she moved to TIGI, where she still works as Global Creative Technical Director. I asked her what has been the biggest difference between working in a salon and working for yourself?
When it's your own business the care factor is different and you are never off. You are constantly working, even if it's not on clients, I'm always thinking of new projects and ideas on how to push the business forward.
How long did the process from the initial idea to realisation take?
It took nearly two years from when I first decided I wanted to go ahead with the idea. I'd always loved being part of a team but it was always there in the back of my head.
Were there any times that you wondered why you were doing this?
No, not really. I have loved every minute of the journey. However I have learnt a lot and there are certain things that I would now do differently if I opened another salon. (FYI, Christel tells me she will be looking to open a second salon, so stay tuned!)
Did you have a budget?
Yes I did have a budget and I tried really hard to stick to it. I did go over slightly with my renovation costs, but overall I was very disciplined with my spend. Before we moved in, the shop used to be a Sweaty Betty store, so it was organised in quite a different way.
What advice would you give to someone who's thinking of opening their own salon?
Do it; it's such an amazing journey. The best advice I can give is to really know your brand inside out. You need to know exactly what you are promoting and selling.
Images below supplied by Stil. Find the salon at 2A Chepstow Road, London W2 5BH and follow them @stil.salon