When Rob Webb decided to open his first salon at the age of just 18 it raised a few eyebrows. Could someone so young make a success of a business in the centre of Liverpool?
More than 40 years later, with four thriving salons and an academy all trading under the Voodou name, the answer is a resounding ‘yes!’.
“Even at 18 years-old, I was in love with the hairdressing industry,” recalls Rob. “I just couldn’t wait to get started. It just felt so right. Call me stupid or naive, but here we are more than 40 years later.”
From Strength to Strength
Today the Voodou flagship salon is still based in Liverpool city centre, now joined by Voodou for Him in Bold Street, Liverpool; a blow-dry bar in Button Street; a suburban salon in West Derby Street, Tuebrook and Voodou Training, also in the heart of the city.
Liverpool born and bred, Rob knew he wanted to base his business in the vibrant city, but getting started came with challenges. “I had to adapt from just running a column in a salon to running a whole business at a young age. I learnt as I went along, but I think this is the most effective way to learn.”
Standing Out From The Crowd
"Voodou is bold, brave, fun, individual and quirky..."
One of the major challenges of starting a new business in such a major city was standing out from the competition. Rob has achieved this by creating a brand that is distinctive with a clear vision. “Voodou is bold, brave, fun, individual and quirky,” says Rob. “We stand out from the crowd as we are not a typical salon. We are a salon with an edge and definitely have our own way of doing things and we always like to be one step ahead of the game.”
Part of this individuality is Voodou’s approach to client service. “We offer a down-to-earth approach, which definitely comes from being a Liverpool salon. Liverpool people are the friendliest you will ever meet. We always ensure our guests feel welcome and we are always willing to go that extra mile to provide client satisfaction.”
Looking After Their People
This same level of attention is also given to the teams working for the Voodou brand. Says Rob: “We ensure each and every member of our team is treated with the highest level of respect and that their hard work is rewarded by paying the best wages along with providing guidance and encouragement. We also provide state-of-the-art training for our stylists as we believe there is always room to improve. We provide the team with amazing opportunities, for example, two of our stylists recently won a trip to New York as part of our Christmas retail incentive!"
"We found that one of the biggest problems that clients have with their hair is frizz and KeraStraight caters to all budgets..."
KeraStraight has proved a powerful partner in Voodou’s continued success. Since introducing KeraStraight treatments six years ago, the business has been able to satisfy a multitude of client needs.
“We found that one of the biggest problems that clients have with their hair is frizz and KeraStraight caters to all budgets with the option to have the less time-consuming treatments that last for up to 30 days, or those with effects lasting up to four months,” says Rob. “We wanted to offer something that was suitable for all of our clients and KeraStraight certainly is. Clients find that the treatment makes their hair a lot easier to manage, adds shine, makes hair easier to dry and also makes it easier to maintain hair on holiday.”
"KeraStraight has allowed us to provide a service that can be done on almost anybody, even with coloured hair..."
Rob believes KeraStraight has made a valuable contribution to his business. “KeraStraight has allowed us to provide a service that can be done on almost anybody, even with coloured hair – which most of our clients have, so it’s the perfect fit for us as a colour specialist salon,” he says. “We’re planning to raise even more awareness about KeraStraight and the benefits of it. We are also going to start introducing even more of our male clients to KeraStraight.”
With his focus now firmly on the future, Rob is confident Voodou will still be bringing its unique take on hairdressing to the people of Liverpool in another four decades.