Being truthful, I am TOTALLY bias on this article. Bobbie Mills has been colouring/ cutting and styling my hair for about 8 years now. So, in my opinion, she is an epic hairdresser. However, when I started 365 magazine I knew it was somewhere I had to include to showcase her undeniable passion for the job, and how Organic hair care has become so integral to her business model. Artisan was launched in July 2014 and the business has gone from strength to strength ever since, building up a loyal base of customers who value the whole team at Artisan. Scroll down to find out more on why we should all be using organic hair care…
Can you tell us a little bit about what you did before you set up Artisan Hair House?
I had been a hairdresser for about six years before we set up Artisan. When I was at school I realised that I wanted to have a job that involved talking to people all day.. I knew I didn’t want to go to University and I knew I couldn’t work in an office all day long. I guess hairdressing became something that I naturally fell into because of my mum being a hairdresser.
When you decided to set up Artisan Hair House, did you always know that you wanted to bring something completely different to the market?
I think to open up any hair salon in this day and age, you need to have a point of difference. From the moment we decided to set up the business we were looking at alternative options. It was actually my mum who found Organic Colour Systems, through having two very poorly clients. One was going through chemo therapy at the time and the other client was suffering with auto immune problems. They were not allowed to have a “traditional” colour on their hair so they found Organic colour systems.
What were the initial reactions of people when you announced you were not going to be using the “traditional” methods of colouring hair?
I think that a few of our existing clients were definitely hesitant about using a new method of colouring hair as they wondered if it would work properly. But I think that overall, we didn’t realise what a calling there actually was in the area for a Vegan hair care brand, and something that was more natural for people. All of the core products in the OCS range are completely Vegan & Peta approved. And the system as a whole contains the highest amount of certified organic ingredients in a permanent hair colour. ( Find out more at https://www.organiccoloursystems.com/ )
In comparison, do you find that a lot of your clients who come to you now do so because of the products that you use?
I think we get a mixture. We definitely have clients who travel to us from further a field specifically because of the products we use, but we also get a lot of clients who come to us because they are unwell, and are perhaps avoiding chemicals in their lifestyle. This could be due to chemo therapy, fibro myalgia, auto immune diseases, avoiding the use of animal products or hair thinning for example.
Tell us about your experience with hair loss/ thinning hair and related issues.
I personally had problems with my own hair thinning that started about five years ago. As a hairdresser I had always been interested in how and why things work in terms of hair, but having my own problems motivated me to train to become a trichologist. I qualified in 2017, so I started the degree around a year after opening the salon. It works very well with Organic Colour Systems because if someone is suffering with chronic scalp problems or significant hair loss you don’t want to be using products that are hugely high in chemicals that may cause even further damage to the hair itself. Trichology links in very well with the products we use for that reason.
You work with The Little Princess Trust, can you tell us a little bit more?
After opening, we have been very fortunate to have many clients that wanted to donate their hair. This has enabled us to build up a great repor with the charity, thanks to the generosity of our wonderful clients. To go hand in hand with this my mum ( Debbie ) did a course in cutting wigs, with the charity “My New Hair”. This is also affiliated with The Little Princess Trust, but it was set up purely to train hairdressers in how to cut wigs, and to ensure that someone with a wig can go into a salon and get charged the same price as someone going in for a regular hair cut. Even though it is a niche skill set, it means that people who are going to have a wig cut can have as normal experience as possible in a hair salon.
What can we expect from Artisan Hair House in the future?
To keep everything the same! We opened the salon because we wanted a friendly, relaxing environment for people to come into. A lot of men and women can find bigger salons intimidating. But we wanted to create a fun and relaxed environment for people and so we wouldn’t want to change anything in the salon in that respect. In terms of the staff, at present we are extremely lucky to have a very close knit team, everyone works well together and we don’t have a hierarchy here. I am proud to say that all the staff at Artisan are exceptional hairdressers and we intend to keep it this way!
What do you find are the challenges you face as a business owner?
There are so many elements to running a business, to put it simply it is a minefield! Advertising for example, keeping up with social media and ever changing demands of the internet..these are things that are very hard to keep up with as well as running the salon day to day. It is extremely hard to be a full time hairdresser and run a business.
Give us one piece of advice for setting up or running a business.
Take it slowly. Stick with your initial morals. Always remember why you started, and try not to burn yourself out! Self care is so important. If there is one thing I have learnt from working with hair, we are all living an extremely fast paced lifestyle. Taking a minute to look after yourself can make such a difference to all the other elements of your life.
You can find out more about Artisan Hair House at http://www.artisanhairhouse.co.uk
To book an appointment call (+44) 1444 233651