Ask the Expert – Christina Reilly
Posted by Great Lengths | 12th October 2015
We caught up with Great Lengths platinum status stylist, Christina Reilly, as she embarked on the launch of her first salon…
Opening a salon can be a terrifying prospect for a freelance hairdresser. But when custom and clients are increasing, it can be a move worth making.
Glasgow-based hairdresser, Christina Reilly has recently made that move; taking her growing business from her home, to a beautiful new salon space in the suburb of Bothwell.
We sat down with Christina to discuss her decision, and find out some key advice for other stylists considering taking the leap.
What inspired you to open your own salon?
I have been working from a space at the side of my home for some time. In the last year I began a massive commercial push, particularly with my Great Lengths services, and it really helped my business to boom – I was even awarded a Platinum status from Great Lengths (just one of seven salons in the UK to have this!)
Knowing that I had a strong foundation of very loyal clients, this helped me to realise that I could take the next step and open my own salon. I knew it wasn’t going to be plain sailing, but it felt like the right time and I believe that instinct is everything when you are considering a big decision!
Tell us about your salon…
My salon, ‘Christina Reilly Hair, Makeup and Beauty’, opened in Bothwell, Glasgow on 1st October. Our leading service is the application, styling, maintenance and removal of Great Lengths premium hair enhancements, however we also offer a range of additional hairdressing, beauty, make-up, nail and teeth brightening services too.
Everything in the salon is bespoke and hand-made, from the upholstery to the reception desk. I wanted to ensure that the space felt very elegant and glamorous, but also peaceful. Clients should be able to feel like they can spend the entire day being pampered, and know that they will leave the salon looking and feeling like a superstar.
What has been the hardest decision you have had to make?
I would say the hardest decision I had to make was which location I was going to open my salon. My clients come from all over the city so it wasn’t as simple as just saying ‘they all come from one area so I’ll do it there’. This decision kept me up for more than a few nights, but deep down I knew I really wanted Bothwell – it’s such a stylish and affluent area. However, getting premises there was nearly impossible; they just never come up. Whilst it was frustrating, I took this as a good sign, as I knew that the area was busy and popular.
I tried for months to get a premises there; most people said I never would, but one day I received a phone call from someone I hadn’t spoken to in about three years, telling me about an available unit. I believe it was fate and meant for me!
Another really hard decision I’ve had to make has been employing staff. I think everyone in the team has got to be on the same page, which is why I don’t have a full salon team just yet.
We are about two members of staff short, but I’m not rushing into it! I would say that’s the best advice I can give is don’t rush into anything, and wait until you know it’s completely right for you. As the saying goes ‘if in doubt, leave it out’!
You can find out more about Christina’s salon on her website or visit her Instagram feed to view her gorgeous work.