Name of Salon: Melissa Timperley Salons Ltd
Location: Northern Quarter, Manchester City Centre
Owners Name: Melissa Timperley
Tell us how you came to open your salon
Having trained with Sassoon in Manchester, I became a member of the Fellowship for British Hairdressing F.A.M.E. Team in 2016. I was also a finalist in the internationally recognised IT Girl Awards run by Creative Head and a finalist in HJ’s British Hairdressing Awards Newcomer of the Year Category all in that same year. I was just coming up to my 24th birthday and it felt right to do my own thing, so I opened Melissa Timperley Salons in December 2016.
Why did you choose Manchester?
Manchester has always been recognised as a creative city and the Northern Quarter is at the centre of that. The Melissa Timperley salon is on Tib Street just off Market Street, the main shopping street in Manchester. Tib Street has transformed itself into something of a hairdressing enclave in recent years. It now boasts no fewer than 10 hairdressers and barbers, with each salon or barbershop focusing on a different market.
What were the major challenges in making your business a success?
I honestly didn’t appreciate just how much was involved in terms of company registration, leases, tax, employment and building regulations, health and safety rules, dealing with the utilities - and a hundred other things simply to get up and running. There have been times when I’ve thought it’s all too much but with every problem that gets solved, I get stronger and more confident.
What have been the main highlights since opening your salon?
In our first year of trading, the Melissa Timperley salon has been voted Best New Business by the National Hairdresser’s Federation (NHF) and won Best Independent Salon from the Fellowship of British Hairdressers. In addition, the Salon has been voted Best Newcomer Business at the Talk of Manchester Awards, which covers all business sectors in the Manchester area.
I also reached the finals of the Inspiring Women Entrepreneur Award, having been nominated by a client, and my image won the Best Male Photographic Image in the NHF Fashion Photography Awards. The salon team have also created two collections which they showcased at Pro Hair Live.
What makes your business stand out from the competition?
What we do here is to design beautiful hair – as judged by both the client and ourselves after a thorough consultation. My team and I are all Sassoon trained, and specialise in precision cutting and creative colouring. We work with our ethos of the three C’s– precision Cutting, beautiful Colour and great Condition. We want our clients to get exactly the result they want and that involves really listening before giving advice on what would work best. That’s the reason why we have one-hour appointments to enable a no-rush approach for each client. The test for us at the end of our work is ‘is this hairstyle beautiful’? Of course, individual style is in the eye of the beholder, but most of us looking at a random selection of hairstyles on any given busy street would be able to pick out those styles that really suit the individual and enhance their image. We believe your hair is your best (and most visible) accessory.
"The ‘client journey’ is the cornerstone of our success..."
How do you make your clients feel special?
For us, the ‘client journey’ is the cornerstone of our success. Our ethos is to create beautiful, wearable and maintainable hair; we want to make clients feel better about themselves and their world. We can’t change the world events, but with each client, we can encourage a better outlook on it. Recent research clearly shows that a fabulous visit to the salon makes clients feel better about themselves. The salon also offers clients a choice of 35 speciality teas, coffees and soft drinks, and the opportunity to pre-select any favourite songs or pieces of music in advance of their visit. These are then added to the playlist for the day. It creates a great talking point as well as demonstrating the truly bespoke nature of our approach.
How do you motivate your team?
We all have the same attitude to our work and client service. We recognise that we are all in it together to create what we hope will be something great. Every day brings its successes and its challenges, of course, but we feel that we have ‘got each other’s backs’ and can move forward together. It’s a collaborative effort drawing on the skills and experience each of us brings to their role. We are still on a steep learning curve but have some good solid team principles in place like short, regular team discussions, and planned individual one to one conversations to make sure that we are all on track and thinking the same way.
Tell us why you introduced KeraStraight to your salon offering?
We specialise in designing beautiful hair and we have a balance of precision cutting and creative colour. It was only natural to introduce a treatment that would help enhance our clients’ hair and make it easier for them to maintain it. This is where KeraStraight came in to help clients who struggle with frizzy, unruly and damaged hair.
What KeraStraight services do your clients love the most?
Our clients are loving the KS Ultimate treatment which gives them incredible results every time. Their hair is transformed into healthy, straighter and smoother hair that will last for up to four months. Clients can't believe the difference in texture and the shine from their hair. One client even commented 'It has changed my life - my hair has never felt this good. I hated my frizzy hair and now it is so much easier to manage, everyone has noticed the difference'
"[KeraStraight] has changed my life - my hair has never felt this good."
How has KeraStraight benefited your business?
We've been amazed by how many clients already know about KeraStraight and request it. For others who don't know about it, it's easy and natural for us to talk about the benefits of having a KeraStraight treatment during our extensive consultations. After experiencing a KeraStraight treatment, our clients leave the salon looking and feeling great. This is wonderful for the salon in terms of repeat visits and referrals. We have lots of our clients’ friends and family members calling for an appointment after seeing our work and the condition of our clients’ hair.
What plans do you have for the future of your business that you can share with us?
Personally, my long-term business dream is to make Melissa Timperley Salons a recognised brand name in the way that Vidal Sassoon did, but in my own way under the strapline of ‘Designer of Beautiful Hair’. The team are already exploring opening a salon in the Middle East where their research has indicated that there could be a significant demand for their approach in spacious luxurious spa-like surroundings. The salon attracts several clients who live and work in the Middle East, but come to Melissa Timperley in Manchester for their cut and colour.
Can you share with us an on-trend look you have created using KeraStraight products and treatments?
As a style trend, the bowl cut has been very popular and we feel that it is going to go from strength to strength. This cut can be styled to all hair types and adapted to all ages. We can add as much texture and colour as the client wants. It can be classy or edgy, it can be androgynous or ultra-feminine. Shine is essential with this hairstyle which is where Kerastraight can help achieve the perfect frizz free, shiny hair.