What better way to start the year than hearing from our co-founder and director Salv Mulé? In this blog, Salv reveals how he first got into hairdressing, what he loves most about working in the industry, and what the future holds for Academy Salons.
What inspired you to pursue a career in hairdressing?
I moved from Italy to England when I was 16 years old. My cousin had a salon where I used to hang out, and I soon realised that hairdressing was the path I wanted to take because it was very social and didn’t really feel like work! I completed a three-year apprenticeship in a small, family-run salon, working four days in the salon and one day at college. The three years flew by, and before I knew it, I had my NVQ 2 & 3 qualifications.
It was at this point that I decided to move salon as I wanted to experience working for a group of salons. After two years working in this new environment, I was headhunted to manage a new salon that was opening. I jumped at the opportunity to become a leader, but it also made me realise that I wanted my own small group of salons. Five years later, at the age of 28, my business partner and I opened our first Academy Salon. We now have five salons and an education centre all based in Surrey, and I am proud to say we still have most of our amazing team that we started building nearly 20 years ago.
What do you enjoy most about working in the industry?
The best thing about this industry is you have the freedom to achieve anything you want – the harder you work, the more you will earn. There are plenty of avenues beyond salon work such as teaching, show work and photo shoots, and you can apply your skills anywhere in the world. You also have an opportunity to really make a name for yourself – just look at the likes of Vidal Sassoon, Trevor Sorbie, Nicky Clarke and Toni & Guy, to name but a few.
All I will say is this: hairdressing has been an absolutely amazing career for me. I still love it, maybe more than I did nearly 30 years ago. I don’t think of it as work; for me, it is my passion. As the saying goes, “Do what you love, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.”
Why is Academy Salons the ideal place for aspiring stylists to start and develop their career?
Academy Salons is an amazing place to work because we can provide the platform to achieve any of the above. We have team members who have worked with us for over 15 years – starting out as apprentices and now managing or educating the next generation of stylists. Our motto at Academy Salons is that all dreams come true with hard work, and the harder you work the more successful you become. My goal is to make sure my team achieve their goals.
What have been the highlights of your career to date?
Winning the Best Retail Salon award at the Salon Business Awards 2018 was definitely a highlight, but it was also amazing to be named a finalist in the Best Local Salon category. However, the one that tops it for me personally is our Cobham salon winning the Retail Salon of the Year award at the British Hairdressing Business Awards 2018. After being finalists in both 2016 and 2017, it was fantastic to win an award we’d been chasing for three years.
What’s next for Academy Salons?
In 2019 we’re aiming to invest a lot more in our Education programme, which we see as key to our success going forward. I’ll also be educating our team on why it’s important to make our clients feel like a king or queen while sitting in our salons. We’re incredibly passionate about helping people take their first steps in the industry and giving them the tools they need to succeed. There’s nothing I love more than taking somebody on as an apprentice and seeing them grow their career with Academy – especially as it’s something I can relate to!
Looking to follow in Salv’s footsteps?
If you’ve been inspired by Salv’s story and would like to discover more about opportunities at Academy Salons, please pay a visit to our careers page where we’re currently advertising for a number of roles. Our Education programme is also a great way to begin your hairdressing career or expand your skill set with a view to moving into management.
For more information on our training programmes, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or give the team a call on 01932 252 464.