The Iconic Stylists hair salon, which neighbours our Metro Realty office, runs by the motto ‘we see things differently.’
Stacy’s approach to styling obviously works, because in a waterfront district best known for dining and entertainment, Iconic Stylists has not only survived, it has thrived.
Curious to know Stacy’s recipe for success, Joseph from Metro Realty chatted with her about running a business in the CBD, the importance of community support and how good it feels to emerge from lockdown and be up and running as a business again.
Hi Stacy, thanks for chatting today. Why did you choose to set up a salon in Barangaroo and what do you love about the area?
I worked in Sydney for most of my hairdressing career, so when it came to opening a salon, we looked at quite a few spaces around the CBD. One day we came down to Barangaroo and had lunch on the water, and I thought if I am going to be working really hard, what a beautiful spot to be doing it in. The whole team has really fallen in love with the area. One of the nicest surprises was to find such a community feel. Our clients really got behind us and supported us which is super different to anywhere I have worked before.
You have been a huge hit in the neighbourhood. What is the key to your success?
The team and I had an existing clientele prior to opening, so I guess that gave us a little bit of a head start, but I think people will always come if you are good, and word of mouth spreads. We really look after our clients and listen to their needs, rather than trying to keep up with the latest thing, because trends don’t necessarily work for everyone.
Trends always come and go, but we found if we work with people and try to cater to their individual needs, we always get the best result. We just want to make people as happy as possible.
Iconic Stylists is a great name. What was your inspiration and who is your personal style icon?
I didn’t want the salon to be just my name, I wanted it to be about the team because you can’t survive without a good team. Everyone on our team is iconic, and together we create something wonderful.
As for my style icon, Marilyn Monroe is definitely my girl! I love everything about her, her rags to riches story and what she achieved in her time on this earth.
Did you always want to be a stylist and what do you enjoy most about it?
Yes, since I was little. I started hairdressing full time when I was 15 and have loved every second of it. I studied science and physiology for about four years after my apprenticeship so I could specialise in colour. It’s all I do now and I am passionate about it.
I love that I can create something that makes someone feel better about themselves. By complementing their skin tone, I can make them look amazing. Each person is so unique and different and that really inspires me; everyone is a canvas that you can work on, so you get to be quite artistic. And it’s very personal, right? Some of my clients have followed me for my entire career and I love that I get to build relationships with people and make such close connections.
At your previous salon you did a lot of work in the entertainment industry, styling for The Voice, Fashion Week, Australia’s Next Top Model. Was that a career highlight for you?
Well, to be honest, even though I’ve done some amazing things in my career, the biggest highlight has been the chance to open my own space and to do it with my team. They are like family, seriously the best team I’ve ever worked with and together we’ve created a really incredible space. I am so proud of what we’ve achieved together.
Let’s talk about lockdowns, how tough has it been?
I guess it’s been very difficult for everyone, but this lockdown was definitely the hardest for us. During the last lockdown we were still able to operate at some capacity, but this time we had to stop trading completely for 16 weeks. Then once we could open again, we were kept to a five-client limit which was tricky, but of course it was better than being closed altogether.
And how about now? Are you being completely slammed?
Yes! It’s wonderful to be back at full capacity. It’s like Christmas week every day! Everyone was on the bandwagon to support us as soon as we reopened, and people have been so excited to come in. It’s been next level amazing, there’s just no downside to that. It makes you feel super loved and special that people care so much to come back, and that this was one of the first places they wanted to come to after lockdown.
Personally, I think this proves how powerful the hair and beauty industry is, and how much we mean to people. We had so many clients come in wearing caps or trying to hide their hair, and when they walked out it was like they wanted to show up to the world again. To go back into society, to meet with their friends and do lunches or events and feel confident about themselves.
Any advice to someone who is looking to set up in the beauty business?
Just keep showing up. For me, it was just about getting up every day and getting here and getting to know people and making connections. And you know, times are going to be tough when you start out, but they always get better. And if you’re passionate about something and if you’re good at something, it will work.
So, what’s next for Iconic Stylists?
We’re just trying to focus on rebuilding at the moment. We want to keep moving forward and get the people of Sydney looking their fabulous selves again. We are halfway through our first wave now. So, I think for the rest of the year, we will solely be focusing on making up for lost time and getting ready, hopefully, for no more lockdowns and a really good 2022.
Thanks, Stacy, sounds great, we could all do with a good 2022.