Q&A with Iron and Ivy (Best Salon Design) | The Industry Awards 2019

How does it feel to be the winner of the Best Salon Design award?

Iron and Ivy first opened its doors in May 2019, so to be considered as a finalist for The Industry Awards and then take home the Best Salon Design award has been such an achievement for us! It has been an amazing shared experience for myself, my team and our fantastic design team. Paul Haswell of Hazweld Bespoke Steel fabrication has been especially helpful, he created our core statement eight-station table piece and bought my dream to life. To win this award means a lot to us as we’re a small business starting out and we’re looking forward to partaking in The Industry Awards in the future.

Why did you redesign your salon?

We are a new salon set in a rapidly growing part of the country (Queenstown), so we wanted to be the first to introduce a modern, fresh, city-sophisticated and high-end hair and beauty studio as part of the evolution of Queenstown becoming a city. Our space is a true destination salon, set above the streets of Queenstown, where a client can relax away from the busy hustle of the new town centre and enjoy a premium experience.

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What was the inspiration behind the design?

I wanted to design a space around the concept of duality. Iron and Ivy is a representation of this concept, marrying elemental aspects of metal and nature within our physical space is reflective of this inspiration. The elemental aspects of metal and industry (Iron) is steadfast, strong and unwavering in its determination. Nature (Ivy) continually grows and seeks out the sunlight to proudly display its beauty. Each aspect of our studio communicates this duality to our clients. This is especially reflected in our core functional station art piece which combines 500kg of pure cold steel with warm Spanish Oak sourced from one tree.

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What was the design process like?

Fun and stressful! I spent a lot of time creating mood boards and drawing out aspects of the salon that I wanted, some of which seemed impossible at the time but are now a reality. I wanted to create a space that was not only enjoyable to look at as a representation of art, but also a place where a client could physically become part of the inspiration behind the design. The design was crucial but I also wanted to create a natural flow and provide the best possible experience for both our clients and team alike.

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How does the design of your salon represent your brand and your clients?

We wanted to create a sensation of secrecy and exclusivity around Iron and Ivy as a brand, so when we were looking for a location we decided to choose a space that was above ground and away from the busy street. We have very affluent and influential clientele, so when thinking about their need for privacy and discretion, we wanted a place they could relax and enjoy their hair service which wasn’t a street frontage location. A successful businesswoman doesn’t want to be seen with a full head of foils through a store window, so this was paramount for us.

What is the best thing about your salon?

My team is the best thing about Iron and Ivy! But if we’re talking specifically about the design, then it has to be our table. It has been in my dreams for years, it took us months to create and locate the best in steel and wood to bring it to life. It truly is one of a kind.

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What would you say to salons considering entering the business awards in the future?

Go for it! We have only been in business for six months and were considered a finalist for The Industry Awards Best Salon Design and Excellence in Marketing categories. If you’ve created a beautiful salon for you and your team that you’re proud of and that your clients love then you should enter and share this with your peers.

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Would you recommend entering The Industry Awards to other salons, spas and clinics, and why?

I would definitely recommend The Industry Awards to other salons, spas and clinics. The experience of taking part and showcasing your talent to your peers is an amazing shared experience – it’s not just about winning an award, it’s about meeting other people in the industry and gaining inspiration from the beautiful work they create. We’re looking forward to entering into some of the creative categories next year!

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