Category: Environment, Philanthropy, Diversity, Humanity
WABi SABi Salon
108A Onewa Road, Northcote, Auckland 0627, 108A Onewa Road
Auckland 0627 New Zealand
Mental health is something extremely close to home for me and my life journey. To the point it stops me from putting myself out there at many times in life like for instants these ICON AWARDS. I have had some people close to home in the KM family push me to do it so here I am on the last day to enter at the pits of life in all honesty to submit my story.
I wanted to create a salon space for talented hard working humans who felt a bit out of the ordinary much like myself. Who could find a space to feel fulfilled in life with some work life balance. For far too long has our hair industry been made to feel to work to the bones and not enjoy the important things in life because work and our clients come first.
A few years before I opened my salon in July 2019, I stumbled upon this beautiful Japanese philosophy of Wabi sabi. Our take on it… An ancient Japanese philosophy and state of mind based on that beauty is based on imperfection and simplicity. Appreciating and accepting the flow of life and embracing everything as beautiful. It encourages you to slow down, reconnect with nature and be gentle on yourself.
This helped me to start to enjoy what really mattered in life and to push outside my comfort zone to literally fight for the people around me and that is what lead to my safe humble haven WABi SABi Salon, which opened in Auckland New Zealand 4 days after I moved home from 7.5 year living abroad in Melbourne Australia. Big risk but worth every second of it.
I started with only myself for the first 5 months building a non existent client base in an area I had never lived in before.
Although it seems like my story is about myself it lead me to my 3 main goals in my journey as a hair stylist and now business owner..
1) Be as sustainable as possible and learn along the way to help save our planet.
2) Create a safe space for a team of likeminded humans of any walk of life who come my way and welcome them with love and openness.
3) Work towards a creating a space able to slowly and organically help and support our favourite charity helping our youth with mental health.
In those couple of years till now we have opened a salon almost entirely designed and set up using reused and upcycled furniture, materials and décor. We joined forced with sustainable salons in NZ not long after we open well before we made a profit to do so economically but to make sure our salon was stamping out our carbon footprint along our journey. We have begun a compost in salon to then go on to feed our salons plant babies which we plan to grow to more in the future.
All products that ever join our retail shelves upcycled from scaffolding planks all must align with our values of sustainability, charitability and cruelty free and are to be locally sourced as possible with keeping up quality for our salon guest. These values stem down to everything we can, including locally brewed coffee beans and loose-leaf tea, salon décor and materials, products, flower arrangements, paper and all.
I personally set out on a mission to create a safe space for any human who wanted a purpose in life who felt the flair for hairdressing. I want to help a stylist reach their unthinkable and what they thought, or think is unreachable for them personally.
We offer our team opportunities to grow personally as well as professionally which if they are willing to join and grow can include any growth needed on offer catered to them for example, mindfulness, massage, education, floatation tanks, kinesiology, wine and food or whatever they feel they need to reach the potential that makes them grow to feel they succeed. Offering our team flexible hours and work life balance to suit their lifestyle make a sustainable and happy team.
A moment that made me feel like what the above was starting to happen and creating what I wanted to achieve was the day in around June 2021 when our junior stylist of 30 years of age who joined us just weeks shy of the beginning of the covid pandemic in 2020, just 8 months after we opened explained to me on there one on one the salon and its offering helped her gain confidence in work and life itself in general and gave her the fulfilment of purpose in her life. That then gave my mental health as a business owner the confidence that the salon was on the right track and to keep pushing on to keep everyone’s spirits alive and to continue to grow our small team and continue to grow to do so for other growing professional stylists to come.
Our big mission: To be sustainable enough to be able to donate regularly to a charity based on mental health.
On our first birthday after dealing with the pandemic we set up a charity based celebration with the help, support and push of our KM family in nz with Crew Distributors. Our main guests to this event being our loyal salon guests who joined in the fun and culture and helped us put money towards haircare auctions, hamper giveaways, random local business prizes and salon experiences with us, all designed to give to our charity of choice I AM HOPE NZ.
I AM HOPE aims to promote positive attitudinal societal change around mental health throughout New Zealand, and fund private care and counselling for young people stuck-in-the-mud on waiting lists.
Since then we battle on and only just made ends meet with some few pandemics as many others faced and we gratefully made some life long business friends along the way to help each other through it. Then came our second birthday in July 2021 just before another lockdown in NZ where we just announced our excitement on being sustainably sound enough to be able to give a small profit per booking to our chosen mental health charity. We had also sourced = about 8 months prior to our 2nd birthday, a clothing rack to add preloved clothing to the salon for our guests to purchase which we finally put into place where we started to gain all proceed donations to our charity of choice which we will continue to grow.
It is early days for us and we have yet to really help much in reality, however our mission is not to be big and do the best, it is to inspire all those around us to play their part and grow to help and support what they can to help our people and planet where they can as sustainably as possibly.
The timing of this story really started many years ago but the story is based on the growth from our salons journey which started 8 months prior to pandemic life in July 2019. I feel like we had tried to start the change to slow down and work life balance just before that become the thing to do in 2020.
220.127.116.11 | 31/08/2021