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The Business Magazine November 2023
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Cheltenham hair salon launches co-working initiative for stylists

21 June 2022
The Business Magazine article image for: Cheltenham hair salon launches co-working initiative for stylists

There is a national shortage of hairdressers. According to a report published earlier this year by the National Hair & Beauty Federation, 57 per cent of hair & beauty businesses have unfilled vacancies and more than half of vacancies have taken businesses more than 16 weeks to fill. Some experienced staff are leaving the sector, in some cases, to go to better paid roles elsewhere including other parts of retail.

To help close the gap The Blushes Collective, part of the six-salon-strong Blushes group which has sites across Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Worcestershire and in Solihull, has launched Co-working, a new way for stylists to enjoy a better work/life balance, grow their business with full support, and increase their earning potential.

The company has launched the collective to help stylists to step out of their current, high pressured employed status the salon model currently provides; and be their own boss, grow their business with support and guidance, setting their own hours, and managing their own diary.

The creation of this model was to challenge the traditional ‘rent a chair’ business model. This is where either a salon owner and hairdresser agree a fixed monthly payment. This could be in exchange for unlimited use of the chair or could be worked out as a daily rate or a split of business income. This could be a simple 60/40 division for example or could be complicated by something like a minimum or maximum charge.

Co-working enables stylists to freely be creative, by removing the headaches of being truly self-employed, and providing the amenities, community and benefits of having their own business all underpinned by business support.

Dom Blake, Managing Director, Blushes Collective said: “By bridging the gap between employment and self-employment, being a Co-worker releases individuals' entrepreneurial spirit, with the support, promotion and business benefits of being part of the Blushes Collective family. Think of it as a talent agency business model;we work with each individual to create their business plan, and give them the tools to fly and evolve their business, but with the safety and support of a well-established and award-winning salon business.

“The ethos behind the move is to set creatives free, allowing an improved work/life balance, increased financial potential and relieving the everyday headaches that come associated with working as a freelance stylist.”

Co-working at The Blushes Collective goes beyond just providing a rent-a-chair agreement, or even providing amenities for a percentage of commission. The new direction is built on a fundamental basis of supporting, enabling and setting free creative, entrepreneurial-minded people who are passionate about their craft. Co-working offers them support to build a business that supports their lifestyle goals.

Dom Blake added: “We have only just begun the first phase of this new way of working and we are mid-way through a new intake of amazing stylists wanting to be part of this journey with the Blushes Collective. Over 20 members of our current team have switched over to Co- working, with more sign-ups scheduled for the coming months. We’re also overwhelmed with the amount of interest we’ve had from exciting new talent in this first month alone. People are ready for change.”

With a growing support network amongst a community of like-minded individuals, perks such as social events, content parties and more - bringing a Co-working community together to fuel passion and creativity is going to make the future of hairdressing one to watch.

Nicky Godding is editor of The Business Magazine. Before her journalism career, she worked mainly in public relations moving into writing when she was invited to launch Retail Watch, a publication covering retail and real estate across Europe.

After some years of constant travelling, she tucked away her passport and concentrated on business writing, co-founding a successful regional business magazine. She has interviewed some of the UK’s most successful entrepreneurs who have built multi-million-pound businesses and reported on many science and technology firsts.

She reports on the region’s thriving business economy from start-ups, family businesses and multi-million-pound corporations, to the professionals that support their growth and the institutions that educate the next generation of business leaders.

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