Doing It For The Girls

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On Sunday 10th March, Good Salon Guide hosted our first ever beauty and fashion pop-up event in Brighton. Teaming up with Simon Webster Hair (SWH), the event was in support of International Women's Day and the Brighton Women's Centre. To talk about our pop-up and the huge importance it had on attending guests, we turned to the fabulous Sophie Webster of SWH to give her take on the day's events...

Despite many of the most well-known names in the hair and beauty industries being men, with over 80% of workers in the industries being female, it is undeniably women who are the backbone of salons across the UK and world. Statistics put salons in the top ten of new business start-ups, yet national averages show women suffering poorer pay conditions than men, with fewer options for promotion and struggling to return to work after maternity. We’ve come a long way, but it would seem there’s still a long way to go.

International Women’s Day is 9th March and has become a significant date in the calendar. As it’s popularity has flourished, celebrations have begun to extend throughout the weekend, so it seemed fitting that Good Salon Guide's (GSG) first beauty pop-up take place that weekend. So it was that on March 10th, Good Salon Guide and Brighton’s Simon Webster Hair collaborated to host a pop-up beauty event to celebrate International Women’s Day and raise funds for Brighton Women’s Centre.

Brighton Women’s Centre – empowering women since 1974

Brighton Women’s Centre (BWC) is a holistic charity that supports and empowers women across the city of Brighton and Hove. It’s a safe space for women to come together, talk and access advice and support services. Facilities include a creche, food bank, meetings and classes.

Since we opened, Simon Webster Hair have been happy to support the centre with donations and by promoting their work. We have donated styling services to some of the women helped by BWC and regularly contributed prizes to their competitions. It’s allowed us to see their work at first-hand and so the centre was a natural fit for our International Women’s Day pop-up.

Good Salon Guide and Simon Webster Hair

Good Salon Guide is one of the hair and beauty industry’s leading accreditors and our salon has been a member since we opened in 2012. With so many hair salons opening up and clients being more discerning than ever, the Good Salon Guide logo is an indicator of quality that helps you stand out from your competitors. Accreditation by GSG is a reassurance to potential clients that a salon adheres to high standards of cleanliness, professionalism and responsible employment. As a salon, it also provides us with a framework for our policies and helps reinforce procedures, illustrating their importance to our clientele and staff. Skin-testing is a perfect example of this where accreditation is a useful tool in explaining why a responsible approach to colouring is important for a salon and why we don’t waiver from that.

GSG Beauty Pop-Up

Good Salon Guide approached us as one of their exclusive 5-star salons to co-host their first beauty pop-up. Brighton is a vibrant city with a very proactive community of independent traders and creatives, making it the perfect choice of venue for this International Women’s Day event.

As soon as we started planning, other local beauty businesses wanted to get involved, offering contributions to the event and complimentary services to the guests there to celebrate womanhood and the work of BWC. The two-hour event was hosted amid the laidback elegance of the snug at Hotel Du Vin and four Brighton-based brands presented to an audience of thirty guests, mainly women, on the move towards ethical beauty and fashion. The exclusivity of the event enabled guests to mingle in a relaxed environment, whilst enjoying the demos and browsing the products of the brands presenting.

Alongside Good Salon Guide and Simon Webster Hair, local fashion and beauty insiders came together to reveal the secrets of sustainable everyday styling. We opened the event with WiDEYE, a successful locally-sourced cosmetics brand who presented on the benefits of reducing the chemical makeup of products used on the body as well as the reduced environmental impact of choosing more natural alternatives and plastic-free packaging. They provided complimentary manicures and hand massage to guests throughout the event and their aromatic essential oils filled the air.

Emily Evans, founder and designer of homegrown organic clothing label Zola Amour UK, discussed the impact of fast-fashion on the world with personal shopper Carla Webster, talking about what ethical fashion means in terms of designing, creating and buying. Emily is a trailblazer in the ethical fashion movement. Her fashion label, Zola Amour is renowned for stylish, sustainable essentials; timeless and handmade to last. The antithesis of throwaway-fashion, the garments were the perfect example of how to detoxify a bulging wardrobe of trend-lead pieces. Guests fielded questions on how to make their own wardrobes more efficient and experienced the principles behind building a capsule wardrobe. The ultimate lesson for all in attendance was the benefits of buying less but buying better and investing in key staples to build a sustainable wardrobe with variety and style.

After a chance to peruse some of the Zola Amour designs and enjoy a prosecco high-tea, Brighton Women’s Centre were on-hand to talk about the work they do around Brighton and Hove. BWC volunteer, Melissa, explained how their funds go towards improving the lives of women and their families and explained some of the shocking statistics of homelessness and domestic abuse that demonstrate the work there still is to do. Professional photographer, Gary Halliday documented the event as well as taking individual portraits of the women there, as a personal souvenir of the day and to add a special touch.

Guests settled for our final presentation which came from SWH Team’s Caroline and Simon. We revealed our tips for building the perfect home-styling kit, including the essential cruelty-free products everyone should have for a personalised start-style-finish regime. We invited guests onto the platform to try out products and tools, sharing tricks for recreating salon styles and tips on how to reduce product waste.

Before we wrapped-up the afternoon, we held a charity raffle to raise some last funds for Brighton Women’s Centre. It was bursting with donations from industry names including KMS, BaByliss Pro, Hot Tools and Joico, as well as gifts from local businesses Bend Fit Mend yoga, Lou Taylor jewellery and Brighton Make-Up School. When the winners had been drawn, all that was left was for Good Salon Guide to close the event and thank the guests and contributors. As our guests left, taking goody bags that were overflowing with treats, organisers were inundated with requests to make it an annual event celebrating womanhood and BWC. The atmosphere was supportive, empowering and liberating and one that felt entirely relevant. For all the individuals and brands involved, it was a fabulous success. For us, it was an amazing opportunity to raise the profile of an overlooked local charity that does incredible work for the women in our community. And for us as a salon, we got to celebrate our clientele, our industry and Good Salon Guide. It was an event not to be missed and we look forward to the next one being even bigger.

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