Home' INSTYLE Magazine : INSTYLE SPT-OCT 2017 Contents We sat down with owner of Elevation Hair,
located on the high road of the ever-
evolving Glebe neighbourhood, and found
our conversation span from the best time to
post on social media to the ideal lighting for
a client selfie. But more importantly, we spoke about how one
salon has managed to avoid the social media movement that salon
marketing teams are obsessing over while still maintaining a
On the topic of loyalty - Debbie has also boasted minimal staff
turnover with many of her staff staying with her for the best part
of a decade or more. For those of you that loathe self-promotion,
Debbie is your glimmer of hope that you can do it your way.
From the moment we started chatting to this energetic soul we
knew she had persistence. From living and breathing hair since
the age of 14, to using Redken colour for over 18 years because she
believes it guarantees the best result every time, Debbie knows
how to put in the hard yards. However, she understands when
to make changes where she finds fit, like stocking evo products
because she thinks it works with the Glebe neighbourhood and
selling candles that she sees a gap in her market for.
Elevation salon has been in the same location on Glebe Point
Road with a devoted clientele and an even stronger salon culture
for 20 years. e staff here have made the salon their own and have
been working in the same space for years. is is dissimilar to
other salons that are having issues in retaining staff as the nature
of the younger generation is in need of constant self-evolution and
change, leading to difficulty in maintaining staff.
So, how did Debbie Ellis create a positive salon culture with
devoted clientele without the use of social media and self-promotion?
She reflects on her simple yet, effective plan to 'hire like-
minded hairdressers in the salon'.
"If you feel like you're at the stage in your life where you want
to have a couple of drinks after work, then you will attract those
types of people to work for you. For me, being a mother of two, I
wanted people in the salon that were at the same stage in life not
just professionally, but personally. But don't get me wrong" she
laughs, "I have had my fair share of fun as well."
Besides surrounding herself with like-minded individuals,
Debbie also credited her perseverance in her business to her
devoted passion for being on the floor, "Yes there are days when I
struggle to deal with a tough client,
but I know those days will end and
tomorrow will be better".
She also credits her relationship
with Haircare Australia which has
inspired her to grow and develop her
business through conferences and
events they hold, pushing herself to
progress, rather than getting stuck
in a rut and burning out.
Elevation Hair is one of many hair salons that have flown under
the radar in a social sense, reminding us that there is hope out
there for those who have no interest in self-promotion but see
value in hard work, self-development, and love for what they do.
For Debbie, that is a salon reflecting her own nature, understated
with full of expertise and gentility within.
If you have gone to any business seminar in the past 10-15 years
a main topic of discussion often revolves around how to stay
relevant for the post baby-boomer generations (X-Z). We have all
heard a familiar story of the extremely talented business owner
that has been so devoted to their craft and clients for their entire
career, they neglected the momentary trends -- instead, they stuck
true to the feedback they find coming from the voice in their chair.
Like Debbie's story, these stories often end the same, with
the business owner feeling like they are trying to catch the boat
of the social evolution found on the apps of our phones, once it
already has set sail, by hiring a young counterpart that can fill
the generational gap they once neglected, to reach the misplaced
market. She has found that by hiring someone to help her do the
self-promotion for the salon, she can focus on what she does best
without missing out on long-term growth--- hair, that is.
In our neighbouring industry of the make-up sector, we are
seeing trends budding in heavy contouring and show-makeup
that looks better in iPhone light than in person. is conversation
did have us wondering if our industry has turned into a virtual
one where clients are more willing to try the salon with the best
wall for an Instagram shot rather than the one that your mum has
been going to for years that nails her hair every time.
For now we know one thing, salons can always rely on word
of mouth recommendations and loyal clientele that are willing
to drive across town to get their tresses done by their trusted
hairdresser turned confidant.
From the northside to the eastside to the inner west where her
own salon has found its niche, client service will continue to be
the salon's lead.
After 23 years in business, Elevation Hair owner
Debbie Ellis has relentlessly focused on good
service, while looking at what's next for her
renowned salon business, writes Ida Almasi.
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