Customer of the Week: Scout Hair
Scout Hair is a sustainable salon in inner-city Wellington. Annabel Kinley has created a haven amidst the bustle of the big city. Meet our latest Customer of the Week: Scout Hair.
Scout Hair opened its doors down a quaint Wellington alleyway four years ago. The salon is nestled in the heart of the bustling capital — but is a place people can escape for a moment of calm.
Although only in business for four years, Annabel carries decades of experience in the hairdressing industry.
After many adolescent sleep ins and un-inspiring walks to work, Annabel’s parents encouraged her to head to a careers night. Annabel was enamoured by one of the guest speakers, a tutor at Ruben Blade’s Hairdressing Academy. With long blonde dreads and a bindi (all the rage in the 90’s), this Christchurch hairdresser was Annabel’s idea of true style. Not surprisingly she signed up to the 9-month course and then landed her first job as an intern.
Annabel has since moved on from chasing the trends and is now paving the way in the hairdressing industry.
Creating her own formula
After years of working in salons, Annabel was ready to create her own business formula. She’d spent years absorbing the knowledge of bosses and colleagues and was ready to make her own mark. Scout Hair was born.
“It’s about picking parts of what you learn and arranging them as your own.”
Annabel’s goal was to create a space where everyone felt relaxed and heard. Unlike many salons, the staff at Scout only treat one client at a time. They do not colour between clients, meaning staff are offering their undevoted attention to customers throughout the entire treatment.
“If we’re with that client — we are WITH that client.”
Annabel encourages her staff to be themselves and because of this, they have much more to offer than just a cut and colour.
“Our clients know that they’re going to get a good do and a great conversation.”
It’s widely known that hairdressing is a large contributor to landfills, especially in the form of plastics and scrap metal. Since opening Scout, Annabel has been on a mission to find a better solution to these exorbitant waste issues. Annabel’s goal was to create a business that cared for the environment as much as she did.
A sustainable home and salon
For Annabel, the choice to become a sustainable salon was a given. She and her partner had begun to think seriously about their eco-footprint in the home — so why should it be any different at work?
Annabel isn’t naive, she understands the projections of the planet aren’t looking positive and that each and every individual needs to play their part.
At Scout, they use Fairtrade Organic products, they make their own cleaning products, use re-fills where possible and use green energy. Clients can refill products at the salon. They use recycled foil for colouring and ensure all plastics and metals are responsibly recycled.
“Being sustainable is no longer a choice. I hate to think what it will be like for the next generation if we don’t change now.”
Annabel and her team have taken great steps in their mission to reduce their footprint but they’re aware that the industry, as a whole, could be doing so much more. Annabel is adamant that now is the time for the industry to band together over this issue.
“I think it’s now time that salons band together. We need to put our heads together and do it communally.”
The team at Scout have had to do their own research to find the best solutions for recycling and reducing waste — but they’re sure there must be better ways to go about it.
“There is just so much STUFF and we throw it away, but ultimately there is no such thing as away. It’s scary.”
Being a sustainable salon has given the business an edge, especially as this pressing issue is becoming more widely understood in the community. Clients know that they will leave feeling amazing all while reducing their footprint!
Opening Scout has been one Annabel’s proudest moments and each and every day she reaps the rewards of the success of her business.
“To watch myself and my staff growing and learning is so rewarding— that sense of pride is something I had never felt before.”
Business ownership is full of learning curves and enlightenment. Annabel’s key tip for business owners is simple.
“Trust your gut—if it’s not a yes, it’s no.”
Annabel built Scout from her heart, and she followed her gut. These intrinsic motivations have been her biggest guiding influences in building Scout, and they’ve clearly been triumphant.