Creative Finalists – The Industry Awards 2020

This year we'll be announcing our finalists one day at a time, starting with our creative categories. We're so excited to show off the beautiful and innovative creative entries that were named as finalists this year!

Editorial Stylist of the Year - Colour Concept

Editorial Stylist of the Year - Le Male

Editorial Stylist of the Year - Cover Shot

Editorial Stylist of the Year - Next Generation Stylist

Editorial Stylist of the Year - Hot Shot - New Talent

Editorial Stylist of the Year - Derek Elvy Visionary Award

Patrick Cameron Instagram Challenge - Under 4 years in the Industry

Patrick Cameron Instagram Challenge - Over 4 years in the Industry

The winners will be announced at The Industry Awards event, at The Cordis Hotel, 8 November 2020. To attend, you and your team can purchase your tickets here.

New Training Categories at The Industry Awards!

We’re extremely excited to be welcoming four new Training award categories to this year’s Industry Awards. With only a couple of weeks until entries close, now’s your chance to get your submissions in.

Don’t miss the opportunity to make history and be crowned the first ever winner of:

  • Hairdressing Apprentice of the Year
  • Beauty Therapy Apprentice of the Year
  • Barbering Apprentice of the Year
  • Industry Assessor of the Year

As some of you will remember, we’ve previously had one overall Apprentice of the Year award, open to hairdressers, barbers or beauty therapists to enter. However, given the ever-growing talent in hairdressing, beauty therapy and barbering, it seemed only fair we create a separate category for each of the wonderful industries we represent.

If you’re a HITO hairdressing, beauty therapy or barbering apprentice, you can enter The Industry Awards for free and be in with the chance to win $2,500 towards professional development. Why wouldn’t you want to get involved?

When last year’s Apprentice of the Year, Vienna Moore was asked if she had any top tips on how to make a winning entry, she said:

“Be completely honest. If you really do love what you do and you’re passionate about it, that will come through in your writing, photos or however you choose to display it. When you try to be too generic then it’s not real.”

Another new addition to the Training awards is the Industry Assessor of the Year category, which recognises an Industry Assessor offering an excellent service to HITO apprentices.

With so many industry professionals contributing to the future of their industry, we couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate them and their successes. With more awards, there’s even more to celebrate!

We can’t wait to see you in your finery at this year’s event, it’s most definitely going to be bigger and better than ever.

Top tips on how to create an award winning entry for The Industry Awards

The Industry Awards trophy table

If you’ve never entered The Industry Awards before it can seem like a daunting task. You might be wondering, what should I include? What should my application look like? What gave last year’s winners the edge over the competition? 

So here we’ve rounded up our top tips for entering The Industry Awards along with some advice from past winners. 

Firstly, the entry forms are your friends. All the requirements and judging criteria for each award are included on the entry form. Different awards have different requirements, so make sure you read each entry form carefully to make sure you’re giving the judges exactly what they want to see. Secondly, don’t be late! Your entries along with a completed entry form are due by 31 August 2020, so make sure you send them in as soon as you can so that you’re not rushing at the last minute!

Now here are some tips specific to the Training, Business and Creative sections of The Industry Awards.

Training Awards

There are a few key things you need to remember when entering a Training Award category. Here are our tips on what your entry should look like, what to include, and some advice from past winners and judges.

  • Show your style. We want to see your creativity in your entry, but keep in mind that the judges need to be able to judge the content you’ve provided. That means that if you’re submitting a written entry, typed entries are best and stick to A3 and A4 sizes. Booklets are always good – they’re easy to post and easy to judge.
    If you’re submitting a video entry, make sure the lighting is good and audio clear. Entries must be five minutes or under. As it will be a large file, you’ll need to send it on a USB stick.
  • Answer the questions. It may sound silly, but to create a winning entry, you need to make sure you’re meeting all the entry requirements. Each entry form will tell you exactly what the best entries will include, so double check that your entry is covering everything you say. You don’t need to include heaps of information, keep it short and sweet and really think about what’s important to include. If you’re including other information, like photos or print-outs from your booking system, remember to explain why they’re important.
  • Think about HITO. You’re all HITO trainees, trainers, or employers –  make sure you talk about what’s relevant to your training with HITO, or how you help HITO trainees as part of your application.
  • Take your time. Some of the most common advice from our past winners is to prepare and put a lot of effort into your application. Entries aren’t due until August 31, so start thinking about what you want to say now. Collect any relevant information so you don’t have to rush at the last minute. Take advantage of every opportunity you get – it could be the opportunity that helps you win an award! Natasha Bird, winner of the 2018 Industry Trainer of the Year award, said
  • “Just do it because it’s a really good chance to stand back and look at what you’re doing, determine if it’s enough. Even if you don’t win it’s worthwhile – I put together a better entry this year because of what I learned entering last year.” 

  • Be open and honest. Put your heart into it, and openly share your experiences. It helps the judges get to know you and shows off your good qualities. Vienna Moore won Apprentice of the Year in 2019, and she believes that honesty helped her to create an award winning entry:

    “What I did with my application was just be completely honest. If you really do love hairdressing and you’re passionate about it then that will come through”.

  • Think broadly. Don’t just focus on one aspect of your dedication and commitment. You might be a competition superstar, but the judges want to know where else you’ve shown excellence. You might be 100% dedicated to your students, but are there other areas where you’ve supported training success?

Vienna Moore, Apprentice of the Year 2019

The quality of applications is always incredibly high, and the judges have a difficult time selecting our winners. We can’t wait to receive another round of fantastic entries this year.

Business awards

Winning a Business Award is a great way to receive national recognition and improve your business, but even just entering the Business Awards helps you to learn so much about your business and make it even better. If you’re entering the Business Awards for the first time, or you missed out on a win last year, you might be wondering how to make your entry the best it can be. Here’s a list of our top tips that’ll help you put together a winning entry:

  • Triple check your numbers. If you’re entering a Business Award that requires you to submit numerical answers, make sure you triple check them! They’ll need to be GST exclusive and a few of them are really specific about what we’re asking for – so be sure to read the questions a few times so you know exactly what we’re looking for. Doing this will also allow you to truly understand your numbers and better understand your business which makes it so worthwhile!
  • Results, results, results! The judges want to see how your initiatives have performed, not just what they were. Find a way to weave your results, and evidence of those results, throughout your entry. Think costs, engagement, feedback and return on investment. And don’t forget to include any reports or statistics too – these must be included in your entry.
  • Use your creativity. You know the style of your salon, spa or clinic better than anyone, and the judges are always excited by a great looking entry, so show off what your business is all about. Remember presentation is worth 10% of your overall score. We spoke to Annabel Kinley from Scout, winner of the Sustainable Salon of the Year award in 2019. She said,

    “One of the main reasons we did so well is because of the way we presented it. We were perfectionists in making it look exactly how we wanted it to. It’s really important to get your ideas across concisely and make them look how you want them to look.”

  • Keep it brief. The judges love an entry that’s quick to read yet packed with incredible initiatives and results. So, use clear headings and simple language, stay on point and keep it concise.

Our final piece of advice is just to give it a go! So many of our previous entrants talk about insightful and rewarding entering is.

Tayla Carpenter from Tayla’d Styling, accepting the award for the New Zealand Hair Salon of the Year award in 2019.

Tayla’d Styling, winner of the 2019 New Zealand Hair Salon of the Year award said,

“Entering The Industry Awards has helped by making me stop and evaluate ourselves and our systems. It also just gives us the drive to want to achieve more. The event is great and the companies that created it do such a good job, it’s nice to have an event like that in NZ. I’m so happy it exists, the whole team looks forward to it.”

Creative awards

The level of talent we see in the Creative Awards is so high, you might be wondering what sets a winning entry apart from the rest. Follow these top tips to make your entry the best it can be

  • Be creative. For the Editorial Stylist awards, entrants are asked to create an image suitable for the front cover of a magazine that will forecast fashion for the coming season. The focus in all categories should be the hair but judges are looking for a fashion forward shot so the only limit is your imagination!
  • Follow the brief. The entry forms may all look the same, but each award has its own criteria, so read and follow the criteria and you won’t go wrong – for example, don’t submit a black and white image for Editorial Stylist of the Year – Colour Concept, and read Patrick Cameron’s instructions carefully!
  • Quality photography. Submit the best photographs you can, but be sure to read entry forms so you know exactly what is expected for each category. For the Patrick Cameron Instagram Challenge, photos must be taken on a digital device, while the Editorial Stylist shots need to be magazine worthy so we’d recommend using a professional photographer for this. Please note that computer enhancement is not allowed under any circumstances.
  • Practice makes perfect. Take several shots of your image and save them onto a computer for review before you decide which one(s) to submit and don’t delete shots right after taking them as you may miss out on something you hadn’t noticed before. When it comes to submitting your entry, just remember that the judges judge the entries independently of one another, so if you send several poses with the same hairstyle, your chances of winning could be reduced due to each judge potentially choosing a different pose. You’ll find some additional hot tips on the individual entry forms – we can’t wait to see what you produce!

A winning entry from Kylie Hayes, Editorial Stylist of the Year 2019

Kylie Hayes, 2019 Editorial Stylist of the Year says,  

“By entering competitions it’s a chance for us to be artists, allowing us to inspire and educate others with our ideas; It’s a chance for us to be storytellers, we find ourselves drawn to a model, mesmerised by the fashion, colours and silhouettes we start to form in our minds. The Industry Awards are the perfect platform to expose your creative self, it’s our outlet where we can have our visions come to life. 

Don’t forget The Industry Awards team is here to help and support you. So if you have any questions or need some guidance email us on or call Kitomba, HITO or NZARH.

The Industry Awards are back for 2020!

Industry awards 2020

The Industry Awards team are excited to announce that we’re back for 2020!

This year has been challenging for all of us, and the Awards will be the perfect opportunity to celebrate the hard work, dedication and essential services our industries provide.

New location

This year, The Industry Awards will be returning to Auckland. Get ready for a glamourous event, celebrating the best business, training and creative talent in New Zealand’s hair, beauty and barbering industries.

New Training Awards

This year, we’re introducing separate Apprentice of the Year categories, meaning there’ll be individual Hairdressing, Barbering and Beauty Apprentices of the Year. We’re also introducing an Industry Assessor of the Year category. With more awards, there’s even more to celebrate!

Entry fees

Our entry fees are the same as last year. Here’s a reminder of how they work:

  • There are different entry fees for individuals and businesses (i.e. salons, spas and shops).
  • You can choose to enter one category or multiple categories.
  • If you choose to enter multiple, you’re welcome to enter a mixture of business, training and creative categories.

Entry fees for individuals:

  • One category: $99+GST
  • Multiple categories: $199+GST
  • Students and HITO apprentices do not pay an entry fee.

Entry fees for businesses:

  • One category: $149+GST
  • Multiple categories: $249+GST

How to enter

Entering is easy, just follow these steps:

  1. Get ready
    Check out the award categories and download the entry forms for each category you’d like to enter. Read through the entry forms to learn about entry requirements and judging criteria so you can get to work on creating an award winning entry!
  2. Enter
    Send in your entries along with your completed entry forms. Entries must be received by 31 August 2020. 
  3. Pay
    Pay your entry fees by 4 September 2020. Online payment is preferred, simply click the links below. Contact us if you need an alternative payment arrangement.

Finalist announcement

Follow The Industry Awards on Facebook so you’re the first to hear about our finalists. They’ll be announced by the end of September 2020.

Join us at The Industry Awards

The winners will be announced at The Industry Awards celebration on 8 November 2020 in Auckland. Tickets will go on sale in September.For more information about The Industry Awards or to keep up to date with news and announcements, keep checking our website and follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Interview with Ashleigh Mullacrane – winner of the Patrick Cameron Under 4 years in the Industry award

How does it feel to be the winner of the Patrick Cameron Instagram Challenge – under 4 years in the industry?

It feels amazing. I was reluctant to enter any competitions as an apprentice but my colleagues talked me into it. I never thought I would win! It was honestly surreal.

What would you say to someone considering entering The Industry Awards for the first time?

I would say, don’t overthink it and don’t let your doubts stop you from challenging yourself. You never know what you are truly capable of until you believe in yourself and actually give it a go.

What’s your favourite thing about being a hairdresser?

I would say my favourite thing is all of our loyal clients and how much they appreciate getting pampered. It’s really rewarding making their day that little bit better. I have weekly clients come in just to get a scalp massage and blow wave. It’s their little treat to themselves that makes them feel relaxed and happy.

What was the inspiration behind your entry?

I was trying out different hairstyles on my mannequin and thought, why not add fabric and incorporate both of my hobbies/passions. I love sewing clothing so I used some of my mustard and animal print fabric to braid into the hair. Since summer/festival season was approaching, I thought it would be a fun hairstyle to use for my entry.

Interview with Shayla Mcdougall, winner of the Editorial Stylist of the Year – Hotshot – New Talent Stylist award

How does it feel to have won the Editorial Stylist of the Year – Hotshot – New Talent Stylist award

It’s such an amazing feeling, to be completely honest it still doesn’t feel real! I think the greatest feeling for me is knowing that I do have a creative side and that I am able to express it through my job and my passion.

What would you say to someone considering entering The Industry Awards for the first time?

Firstly I would say don’t be afraid of what you find as inspiration. It’s so easy to doubt yourself because of all the amazing art of hair that is out there, but go with your gut and give it your best shot! Create mood boards or collections of creative hair – whatever helps you the most. And secondly, I would say don’t be afraid to talk to those who you look up to for inspiration in the hairdressing world. Whether it’s seniors from your own salon or someone that you look up to on social media. This was a big thing that helped me go ahead and create my idea, and luckily for me, I had amazing senior stylists that I could draw inspiration from.

What’s your favourite thing about hairdressing?

To be completely honest there are a lot of things that I love about hairdressing, from talking to people every day, working with a team who are like family and being able to create beautiful work while making someone feel great about themselves. But most of all, my favourite thing would be that hairdressing allows you to express your creative mind through your job.

What was the inspiration behind your entry?

As I mentioned before, I was lucky enough to find my inspiration through the stylists at my salon. With both salon owners, Kerrie Jordan and Nellie Rogers, being award-winning stylists, many times I was lucky enough to have their work as inspiration. Pinterest was another way I found inspiration, by creating boards of things that caught my eye. 

Chatting with Puravida, winner of the Beauty Salon of the Year award

How does it feel to be the winner of New Zealand Beauty Salon of the Year award?

It is such an honour; not sure it has fully sunk in yet! Being able to enter an award like this and becoming a finalist was so amazing, Puravida was up against some phenomenal salons and I am so proud of our achievement. It has made all the hard work, long hours, a few tears and chocolate cake so worth it, being acknowledged in this way is surreal and I couldn’t be happier.

What is the underlying philosophy of Puravida? What has made your salon so successful?

Putting the clients’ needs and wants first and working on the things that can get us to that point. Every little part of this journey has been focused on education, knowledge, values and customer service. The focus of Puravida has always been on continued education: being a leader in our industry when it comes to knowledge, so that we can provide our clients with the best skin results and service. Clients are more than just numbers to us, they are the reason why we do what we do, and that we can do what we do. I guess summed up, we believe in honest, informed, personalised client-focused services!

I have always tried to remain 100% authentically myself, and Puravida is very much an extension of myself and now of Holly. I think it’s the values, the ethics, the love and passion we have for this industry and the commitment to continued growth. The best success however, is having the client base returning, sharing amazing reviews and sharing us with family and friends. Knowing that we are constantly striving for the customer experience with the right positive attitude and effort to always provide the best and become the best salon we can be, brings a peace of mind and a content state of mind and therefore success.

When did you start your business and why?

 I took over Puravida in July of 2016 and have worked really hard to get it where it is today. I had always wanted to own my own business. I wanted to be setting and leading a salon the way I felt comfortable: without a massive focus on sales targets and upselling clients services they don’t need just to make a target. I wanted to be authentic, provide a safe, educated and welcoming environment in the beauty therapy industry for clients to achieve whatever their goals are.

What is your favourite part of working in the beauty industry?

I love being able to make a client feel special, loved and a little more confident when leaving the salon. Whether it’s an eyebrow shape or a full-on facial, clients are the most important thing to us while they are on that treatment bed and should always leave Puravida feeling like a million dollars! Skin is my biggest passion though, so if we are looking at favourite treatment, hands down I love getting a client to their skincare goals.

What does next year look like for you?

We are going to do a few more amazing events for clients, to educate and inform but also to have some fun. Of course, a good few courses, some new treatments, and continuing to learn and grow and evolve with our clients and their needs.

If you could give one piece of advice to other salon, spa and clinic owners, what would it be?

Trust the process and don’t compare your journey with anyone else’s. We all have our own journeys, struggles, strengths and weaknesses.  Go with the flow, trust your gut and have fun along the way. Work hard but also don’t always stress about the small stuff.

Would you recommend entering The Industry Awards to others? And have the awards helped you as a business?

Yes, even if I didn’t win or become a finalist it was such a great way to look at my business in a whole different light.

I’m really hard on myself when it comes to my mindset around business, I always think, “No, you can do better than this”, which is true, but entering the awards made me reflect and celebrate the small wins, and really see how far I have come in 3 years. Seeing what the judges thought and that they understood what Puravida was about was amazing. I am way better at celebrating the small wins as well as aiming for the next goal.

Meet the winner of the Excellence in Marketing award – Reds Hairdressing

How does it feel to be the winner of the Excellence in Marketing award?

Amazing, I didn’t expect it – especially because of the amazing competition. I was sorry I couldn’t be there but my team did us proud, they videoed it and sent it to me so I felt like I was part of it! 

It was a really great achievement – especially for the team and our culture. Our clients are an integral part of our success of course and they enjoy celebrating with us.

What is your marketing philosophy?

Marketing is about everything that we do and also what we don’t do. It’s how we communicate our business offerings to the world and each other. Communicating that message every day to every client – current and potential – is important, as that impacts on our word of mouth referrals. It’s the culmination of all the messages we send, on all channels, all the time.

Our team is our greatest marketing tool, you can have the best marketing strategies in the world but if your team don’t execute it consistently – it’s worthless.

How would you describe your brand?

I think I would describe our niche as affordable quality. We aim to give our clients the best possible service, which is a really high quality, but we don’t charge super high prices.

How would you describe your clients?

We have a very specific target market, essentially its women between the ages of 40-50.  Obviously, not all our clients fit that description, it’s just where we focus our attention. A great analogy for this is, throw a pebble into a pond, where the pebble hits the water is your target market, and the ripples it produces are the other clients who you also attract.

We strive to get into our ideal client’s world by asking them what their needs are. We do that via feedback surveys and also face to face. This allows us to dig deeper and influences the services we offer, the music we play, the hours we’re open, the magazines we have and the coffee we serve our clients.

How have you tailored your business to your target audience?

We look at all their needs and how they perceive us on all levels. We want our clients to perceive their service as money well spent and see Reds as a place where they can come to fully relax. We want them to come back and have the same experience every time. 

We want to deliver value at every touchpoint, it’s not just about the hair. We wanted booking to be easy, so we made it as simple as possible. It’s the little things that make the difference. It’s all about making their journey smoother – it’s not about us, it’s about them.

As a business owner you wear so many hats and there’s probably never enough time in the day, what advice would you give to salons, spas and clinics struggling to find the time for marketing?

I would say, have a plan. The biggest thing to consider is – what is the purpose of your marketing? What outcome do you want to achieve and why? Start with the big picture, then break it down into specific, more focused goals.

I’m also a qualified business coach, and many of my clients find effective marketing a challenge. This is something I find incredibly rewarding when working with coaching clients: to design marketing strategies that really work.

What is your favourite marketing channel and why?

I don’t have one favourite channel, I think it depends on your audience. I find the most value is in creating a community and a personality for our brand. Social media is a great tool for that because you can schedule your posts and have conversations with clients at the same time. Delegating social media tasks to my staff who are better at it saves me so much time and makes sense! Then there are the great everyday marketing tools that Kitomba offers: online booking, email and text reminders, birthday vouchers and much more. It’s so easy to set them up and forget about them.

What would you say to someone considering entering The Industry Awards next year?

Just do it. The first time I entered was 2007, back when it was the Kitomba and NZARH Business Awards. We didn’t win anything that year, but doing it once made me try a little harder, and I became more focused on what I could do to improve the business. It’s like having a template for what you can work on, and it obviously paid off because the next year we won it! It was so fulfilling and great to see some measurable results. It’s also a great marketing tool because people see the trophies and we become the award-winning salon. However, I don’t do it for vanity, it really does help us measure, monitor and improve our business. I think people should definitely enter, The Industry Awards is such a great event.

Meet the winner of the Top Performing Stylist of the Year award- Tayla Carpenter

How does it feel to be the winner of the Top Performing Stylist award?

It feels really good, really amazing. It feels like my hard work has been recognised.

How long have you been working in the industry?

I think it’s been 17 years now! I went to an old hairdressing college as a model for a friend of mine, and I was just playing with a dolly when one of the stylists came over and said that what I was doing was actually pretty good. I had had a bit of experience from when I used to skate for New Zealand, I used to do hair-ups for the skaters, so I guess it started from a really young age. I used to love hair and playing with styles, but once that teacher told me I was good, I signed up for hair college, became an apprentice and just went from there!

What, or who, has been the biggest influence in your career so far?

Definitely my clients, they influence me to always be better and stay at the top of the game. My team members, of course, are amazing, as well as our brand partner, Matrix. Matrix supports us, give us lots of opportunities and helps us with business decisions. There are also all the amazing hairdressers that I’ve gotten to work with, like Tash King, Michael Beel and Ronda Shaskey – just to name a few as I have been influenced by so many incredible hairdressers! I’ve had the opportunity to either work beside them or be educated by them. Their influence just drives me – I’ve learnt new techniques and have been inspired to keep improving my skills and the salon.

Do you feel a sense of community within the hair industry?

Absolutely – in the last five years we’ve all been collaborating a lot more. I just did the NZTV awards with 6 other hairdressers. We all worked together, had a great time, learnt from each other and pulled some amazing looks together. I feel like we’ve become a community. You can kind of spot a hairdresser anywhere! They’re part of your tribe. Even with The Industry Awards – it was amazing to be amongst such high calibre people and it felt like everyone was happy for each other. I was honoured to be in the top 5 against such top talent. It felt like The Industry Awards helped bring the community together in NZ.

How do you ensure you’re delivering a service your clients will love?

As both a stylist and a salon owner – it’s about maintaining the relationships I’ve built in the last 16 years. Sticking to our 7 step client journey and ensuring we are continually building our relationships and constantly educating ourselves. Sending out questionnaires using SurveyMonkey to find out if they’re happy with the service, even down to the temperature of the coffee. It ensures that everything is tailored to them. A lot of my clients have been with me for 12-16 years, so they’re very honest with me anyway! They give feedback on Survey Monkey, but they’re happy to give honest and open feedback in the salon as well. Our newer clients may be more likely to give that feedback on Survey Monkey, but in fact a lot of the feedback is positive so they’re happy to say it in person as well.

What do you think is the main reason clients come back to you?

The relationship definitely, but also producing great hair. You have to be great at what you do. You always need to offer change. Something new, something fresh – you never know if they might want it! You need to be consistent with your standards, always maintaining good high-quality standards.

How do you ensure you’re on top of your game when it comes to the latest trends and techniques?

Always take advantage of seminars and educational opportunities. I’ve been in the industry for a long time and I still go to about 4-5 educational events every year. I’ll send all my team members on them as well. This industry is forever evolving so you’ve always got to be learning. We’ll do trainings in and out of the salon as well as attend hair expos. Forever and always learning is really key to improving.

What are your top KPIs and what do you to work towards increasing them?

All of my KPIs are pretty strong to be honest, but my best ones would be rebooking and retail. I’m always looking at my KPIs and targets in Kitomba and reflecting on how I could do better. I increase numbers by educating my clients and finding solutions to their hair problems. I also do ‘power-booking’, where I sit down every morning, look through my client cards for the day and consider what I did last time, what change I could offer, whether they had a treatment last time and general ways I could improve their experience. Power-booking has been really helpful as it shows our clients that we’re interested in them. For example, I may have written down that they’re going on holiday in January, so I can check in with them and see if they want to go lighter for their holiday, or maybe they want to take a particular product with them. Asking what they do and educating them on the different options also means they’re getting the most from their time with us. 

We put our weekly total on the back wall, which ensures we can always see where we’re sitting and are always trying to achieve a higher number. I get the girls to print off the Kitomba records in the morning for the clients, they’ll look through everything for the day, and make sure we have enough time for all the treatments and that we’re organised. Being organised helps everyone stay on the same page, and we’re able to keep a really good atmosphere in the salon. It feels like a family here, it’s inclusive, it’s supportive and it’s comfortable. The clients get to come into a really welcoming environment and then get to leave feeling beautiful!

680x400 tayla

What would your advice be to other stylists wanting to enter The Industry Awards?

Evaluate where you are right now, set smart goals about what you want to strive for, and then just go for it. I always keep that vision in the forefront of my mind. We do a team meeting every week, so we’ll bring up our individual goals and our team goals. We check in with where we are, and make sure we’re taking the right steps to follow through with the goal. Just go for it, what do you have to lose!

Interview with Scout Hair – winners of the Sustainable Salon of the Year award

How does it feel to have won Sustainable Salon of the Year for the second year in a row?

It feels really good, we were so nervous, there was so much great competition so we weren’t sure if we were going to win. We were so excited when we did. It also helps reinforce what we’re doing. All of the things we did leading up to last year’s award were an accumulation of 5 years consideration. Coming away from those awards gave us more inspiration and drive. It made me think about what needs to change and what we need to work on, not only for the salon, but for the clients and the community.

We did a lot of brainstorming straight after the 2018 awards thinking about what’s next, and what can help us win again. One of our clients was working for the Sustainable Business Network, she has been fantastic. Having someone who’s equally as motivated to be sustainable and solve every problem has been so helpful, I’ve rung her in tears before, she totally gets it. She’s always saying ‘be the change’ and to implement the changes that we want to see in the industry. So for example, last year after realising the level of recycling being stockpiled we decided to become plastic-free. We set the goal and went about working out the ‘how’. And it feels so good to do that, set the goal and get there!

What has made you so successful when it comes to sustainability?

I think the fact that it’s honest and it’s really close to our clients’ hearts too. I think if you’re not 100% consciously behind it and not doing it for the right reasons your clients see that. When they’re on that journey with you, they get involved, they get talking, and it becomes a real underlying ethos. It becomes who we are and what we strive for. It’s at the ground level for what’s important to us and you feel it in the space we’ve created. People also love watching us work through challenges, they get involved in what we do – like what do we do with our old brushes – they get involved because they’re interested and they have a similar ethos and we all work it out together. This also helps us get new clients because they see our brand, they see what we do and they want to pursue this ethos as well.

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Are clients who are looking for a sustainable option now seeking you out?

Yeah definitely. I send out a survey within 24 hours from when a new client has been in and one of the questions is “What did you like most?”. Sustainability features a lot in the responses. We were also approached by Te Papa to be filmed for their nature exhibition “Te Taioa”, they have looped videos of community groups doing work for the environment. They have a lot of cool groups in there, like folks that go around and put LED lights into sports club rooms. We have had quite a lot of clients come to us from that which is amazing! It was helpful to get our name out there and it also makes people aware that you can be sustainable in a salon.

How do you ensure your staff embrace the same sustainable vision as you?

It’s a mixture of ways. We spend a lot of time trying to find the right fit for everybody. We have a really small group of four at the moment and we’re in a tiny space. There’s nowhere to go so the team has to understand and know each other really well. Mel has been alongside me for 5 years now, when she first started it was more about the fact that we were both really into what we were doing, and super caring and honest. That created a lovely, calm and homely environment. Then when I had my son, my care for the planet increased a billion percent. Mel has been on the ride from when my interest started really peaking, and we’ve just kept learning together. That happens with staff members a lot though – you learn new techniques and share knowledge, somehow by osmosis, then that influences your identity, your ethos, your kaupapa. Our other stylist Marrs sought us out online. She owned a sustainable salon in California, so she was already working sustainably. She’s a great source of knowledge, inspiration and support. So yeah, It’s been through a process of osmosis, education and kaupapa that ensures we share the same vision.


Where do you get your inspiration and ideas for improving sustainability from?

It’s hard to say exactly! We have so many amazing conversations with clients, and we’re lucky to have so many amazing people that we get to share time with while doing their hair. Everyone has all these ideas and you just share them. Folks arrive with information and you learn. It’s not only that though – it’s Instagram, or the likes of Sophie Handford and Kowtow – it’s everyone else who’s on a similar path sharing ideas, you gravitate towards people that give you more info. I’ve spent so many years with anxiety which has made it hard for me to approach people, so the information I was gathering tended to be from people I was in contact with through Scout. But now because I’m more eager to learn, share knowledge and get more education out there for salons, I’ve realised I’ve got to be able to push myself out there and seek out people to work with.

Do you feel like people were always very open?

People are definitely more open now, when I first started it was very different! I’ve been hairdressing for 25 years now, when I first started there was this feeling of competition, and that we had to guard what we were doing. I see people sharing a lot more now as an industry, which is vital. We need to share sustainability knowledge and ideas, and learn from each other rather than using it as leverage against competing businesses, or having to learn by ourselves which wastes time that we don’t have. If we can all share our ideas we can learn and implement change much faster!

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If there’s another salon, spa or clinic wanting to reduce their effect on the environment, what are some sustainable practices you think they could easily integrate that could make the biggest impact?

The biggest thing you can do is change your mindset. You can do a lot of small things that hand the responsibility over to others, like implementing waste systems or getting someone to take your recycling. But if you consider everything that’s coming into your salon, you instantly decrease how much is going out. If you’re conscious of your impact at every point, you can’t help but change.

There’s always a way to solve the problems that come up. It’s about thinking outside the square, chatting to others and doing some research. For example, it was really tricky to do refills of products initially, then we decided that was too important to take no for an answer and we would just do it. Now, a year later we work with a super supportive brand ‘Oway’ who totally back refilling, so our clients can bring in their own container or use our small glass bottles and jars. Our clients can take home as much or as little as they like. It means they can take home little samples to try and then they can reuse the glass bottle if they want to try something different. This is especially handy as some of our products retail at $53 for 250ml. So by offering our clients choice, we can sell them as much as they would like, it’s cheaper, and they can just try it out! They also get 20% off the retail cost because they’re doing a refill, which is is an added incentive to refilling. Solving problems when trying to be sustainable has opened us up to retail and it has ended up benefiting us without expecting it to!

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What does the future look like for Scout?

Essentially we’re going to keep doing what we’re doing, I’ve got so many goals for next year! I’d like to get more staff and grow within our small space. I want to figure out how to share knowledge better between salons that use different brands. I want to make it not about competition but about sharing knowledge for the sake of the environment. This might be through creating a platform, but for now I’m not sure what that’s going to look like! I just have an absolute fire for this. It gets hard to organise all these ideas but I just focus on one thing at a time! I’ve got notes written down everywhere. Half the time I’ll leave them at home and have to get my partner to send through photos for me. The people around me are all passionate about this as well so we’re constantly discussing ideas, whether it’s on the 40-minute commute to work or when I’m looking after my son at home. I’m busy, but it’s so freaking awesome! I just really want to make change – it’s what is most important to me at the moment.

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Would you recommend entering The Industry Awards, and why?

Definitely. It helps you focus on what you’re doing, and pinpoint what you’re great at. For us it helped us focus on pulling together the best entry we could. It’s inspiring and helps you grow.

What advice would you give to other salons, spas and clinics about the entry process?

Presentation, I think one of the main reasons we did so well Is because of the way we presented it. We were perfectionists in making it look exactly how we wanted it to. Pull together all the people you know who can help you, because they can make it so much easier. Everyone has contacts – you can find someone who knows someone. And if you don’t – pay for help. It’s really important to get your ideas across concisely and make them look how you want them to look.

Entering the awards last year made me realise you have to really read what they’re asking of you. When I first started on my application for the awards last year I was making all of these crazy notes, and then I showed my friend, who does this sort of thing for a living, and she completely reworked what I was saying. Without her, it would have been a mess. Which I guess goes to show that getting help from your community is really valuable.

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Is there anything else you’d like to share?

One final thing I want to say is that I would love for people to reach out to me. I really do believe that community is super important. I’ve spent so long being so scared to approach people, but I’ve come to realise that it’s needed to be able to learn, share and grow. People think that sustainability is hard but it’s really not, small changes are super easy and they grow on themselves! The hair and beauty industry in NZ is worth approx 2.3 billion per year, if we can start to redirect that to green conscious companies, we can be the change we need to be for our industry.

If you want to get in contact with Annabel Kinley, owner of Scout Hair, feel free to email her here:

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