The Powder Room talks Sustainability & Awards

15 May 2014 by Kitomba

The Powder Room, Wellington, a first time entrant in the 2013 Kitomba NZARH Business Awards, came away from the 2013 competition with JustBookMe Best New Entrant  and Wella Sustainable Salon of the Year awards. Lisa Ussher, co-founder of The Powder Room, shares what they gained from the experience.

The Powder Room opened in 2004 and adopted Kitomba in 2006. After eight years
of learning the ropes, Lisa, husband Mark, and the team decided it was a good time to enter the Kitomba NZARH Business Awards.

In entering the awards, Lisa hoped to see how they measured up nationally.
“Entering all of the categories meant we could reflect on all areas of our business,” Lisa explained. “A lot of work went into compiling our entry and coming away with two awards was  an unexpected bonus.”

By creating a hard cover book for the entry Lisa and Mark were able to bring The
Powder Room to life in their entry. Flicking through its pages gives a well rounded understanding of the organisation of the salon, and photos scattered throughout the pages capture its atmosphere.

The entry was well received by the judges who said it had a fairy tale-like quality and clearly showed what it would be like to work in the salon. The salon’s sustainable ethos, which won it Wella Sustainable Salon of the Year, stems from Lisa’s and Mark’s personal values and has become a smart business  move for them.

“I’m into the idea of re-using and re-purposing things and supporting local  businesses. That’s my own philosophy and we’ve managed to create a salon following that philosophy. Our idea of sustainability is that you’re aware of where things are coming from and where they are going. Then there is the green side of it – we had this idea of creating a ‘green wall’ that would give the salon a natural feature and provide a cleaner air environment for our clients and staff, so we just did it!” The awards were a chance to share ideas about sustainability in what can be a high-waste industry, and introduce sustainability as a smart financial decision, Lisa explains.

“I think that people get stuck on what sustainability is, but it’s good to be aware that you can break it into categories. The main point I would share is to look at  sustainability from a practical and financial sense, planning it in advance and taking it one step at a time.”

“Clients who come to us are voting with their dollars because they share our values – that’s our ethos.”

Entering the Kitomba NZARH Business Awards helped The Powder Room raise its profile nationally and allowed clients to become more aware of what happens behind the scenes at the salon.

Clients are able to see that sustainability is not just a salon trend; it’s a long-term
way of functioning. The Powder Room’s success has attracted a number of new clients and job applicants who agree with the salon’s mission statement of ‘good hair naturally.’ “We now have something we can show to prospective staff and say ‘hey this is us, this is where we are heading and you have to be able to fit with that.’”

The Powder Room team

Perhaps the most rewarding aspect of winning the awards is the sense of pride and achievement amongst the salon staff, Lisa states, “It’s really nice to know that you’ve been recognised for your hard work. We didn’t enter the awards aiming to be the best in anything, but it was just really good to get that appreciation.”

Lisa highly recommends other salons thinking of entering the Kitomba NZARH Business Awards follow it through, “Kitomba and NZARH actively encourage salons to enter they’re there to help throughout the application process.”

Recognising that many salon owners start out as hairdressers and end up owning their own business, Lisa knows the awards process can seem overwhelming but urges salon owners to enter because of the rewards. Her advice: “Approach it differently. It doesn’t have to be about winning. If you pull your entry together you develop a keepsake, and when else would you find the time to do that?”

“Now when I come home after a hard day I have the book to look over. Seeing the beautiful photos of everybody and what we’ve been able to achieve makes me realise how much I love it.”

Register for the 2014 Kitomba NZARH Business Awards today.

With thanks to ALL the 2013 & 2014 Kitomba NZARH Business Awards Sponsors:

Kitomba, NZARH, L’Oreal, Fudge, Wella, Schwarzkopf, Telecom and JustBookMe.

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