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How I launched my own hair and beauty salon

Grace Poston-Miles, 29, owns hair and beauty salon Grace Hair + Beauty, in Chichester, West Sussex.

I have been a hairdresser since I left school. I’ve worked in various salons on an employed and a self-employed basis.

I’ve always enjoyed hairdressing and have been motivated to improve and push myself out of my comfort zone.

Starting my own business

In November 2019 I took the plunge to open my own salon. It was stressful as I was on a very short time frame to get the salon ready and open before Christmas.

We overcame various obstacles during the setup and the salon turned out exactly how I wanted it to be.

Read more: My marketing career helped me start my dream business

Setting up a salon in this Instagram era is amazing but challenging all in one. There is so much inspiration out there online but this also creates a feeling of needing to stand out in a sea of beautiful salons.

I tried to go for a girly/eco-friendly vibe with blush pink and leafy green tones and a lot of plants. The salon decor is just as important as the salon staff and the salon services in my opinion.

Social media plays a big role in my business and having that Instagrammable decor makes it easier as customers love to take photos in the salon and share them online.

Passion for the job

I’ve always loved being a hairdresser. It is such a sociable job working in a fun environment but the main thing I love is being able to make people feel a better version of themselves. The look on people’s faces when they see the finished result is amazing and makes all the stressful times worthwhile.

It can be very challenging having your own business, especially a new business. Although I have been self-employed for a long time it is very different owning a salon. But it is so rewarding. I love watching my assistants grow and learn and being able to teach them.

I have built up a team who all work so well together to create a relaxed, friendly and professional environment which I think is so important in the hair and beauty industry.

Advice for hair and beauty students

Anybody looking to get into hairdressing, I would say you need to do two things:

1) Get an assistant job in a REALLY good salon in your area

If you want to be the best you have to work with the best. The people you surround yourself with will dictate the end result. If you want to be the best hair colourist in your area you need to be working alongside and learn from the best colourist in your area.

Also never think you are too good to work at the bottom. Taking a step back is sometimes the best thing you can do and there is always more to learn. No one knows it all, we are all learning every day.

2) Be prepared to work HARD

So many people think hairdressing is just having a chat and a cup of tea but it’s not. Especially starting out as an assistant. It’s long hours, standing on your feet all day, a LOT of cleaning and learning but it is so worth it in the end. You don’t realise how much you learn in that time, even when you’re not actually being taught. And you’ll make best friends for life.

Opening the salon

If you want to open a salon, just do it. I’m quite a spontaneous person, but I do think this is one of those situations where you have to just throw yourself in (obviously with some savings and a slight plan).

To be honest, if you have a loyal client base then you’re halfway there. But if you think about it too much you’ll never do it. There is a lot to think about and do when owning a salon but sometimes you just have to throw yourself in at the deep end and find your way as you go along. You have to believe in yourself, if you truly believe that nothing can stop you achieving your goals then you will achieve them. You will make it happen!

And you have to push yourself out of your comfort zone to reach the next level; it will be so worth it. My favourite thing about owning a salon is being able to help others reach their potential and become the best they can be.

I would recommend working in the hair and beauty industry, I couldn’t see myself ever doing anything else.

To find out more about the salon, visit:

Find the salon on Instagram at @grace_hairbeauty and follow Grace at @gracepmhair.

Charlotte Harding
Charlotte Harding
Charlotte is a journalist and the co-founder of The Women's Work Collective.


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