Through lockdown a new salon in Aberdeen emerged, boasting a bright and ultra funky interior. Harley Somerville the salons owner tells us her inspiration for the business and why above all collaboration is the key.
Harley can you tell us, how did Hive + Co begin?
I have been a Brow artist for 6 years and have worked in various salons and also from my home whilst being in full time oil & gas employment. I decided in 2017 to leave the oil industry and attend college to study event management, for me events and the industry go hand in hand. After a year or so of being self-employed and graduating from NESCOL, I wanted to create a unique space for other freelancers. I have always desired to own an eco-friendly salon for like-minded individuals and help them to grow their brands.
From this, I established Hive + Co in October 2019 in Aberdeen, Scotland. After an incredible first year, it became clear that we could expand to a bigger premise due to the high demand we had gained.
How do you stand out from your competitors?
Our 3 C’s are community, collaboration and collective – Branding!
I incorporated the word ‘collaborator’ into the brand because I wanted all the freelancers to be a part of the team but still have the opportunity to focus on their own individual business. We are all collaborating on projects together and working within a collaborative salon space doing what we love!
What advice can you give to others wanting to open a salon?
Be prepared to have no work life balance for a few months initially and then embrace the joy of working for yourself! Start with a basic business plan, look into funding and make lots of to-do lists. Don’t be afraid to ask someone who you inspire to be like how they got where they are. Most importantly though start SMALL as you can always grow and growth is beautiful to watch.
What’s your plans for the remainder of 2020 and beyond?
2020 for us has been an incredibly weird year – we opened in October 2019 and on 23rd March 2020 we closed for 4 months due to the national lockdown. Now we have moved to a larger premises with 3 new collaborators joining the team. This year for us and many others is a year of celebrating small victories and survival but also planning for the bigger future we all desire! In the future, we plan to expand nationally and remain focused on encouraging many other hair and beauty industry workers to make the brave and bold step to creating their own brand.
The salon looks amazing Harley, how can we book?
All our collaborators are self employed and look after their own diaries so it’s best to check our Instagram @hiveandcollab see which collaborator and service you’d like and contact them directly however if you require some guidance or have any queries feel free to drop us a message on firstname.lastname@example.org
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