Building your Brand: An Interview with Samantha Cusick
She’s the hands behind some of the best hair in social media tending the tresses of Youtube sensations Zoella and Tanya Burr. With 10 years industry experience, London based stylist, Samantha Cusick recently took the plunge and opened her very own salon.
We caught up with her to take a sneak peek inside her stunning space plus pick her brains about everything from career aspirations and branding to why your salon needs to be ‘instagramable’.
What made you take the plunge and open your own salon?
‘I always aspired to have my own salon one day and felt it was time for a fresh, younger more innovative salon concept. I’ve watched my industry be lead and dominated by males and I often thought, where are the women? After all we are the target market. I feel that there is a huge gap in our industry gap for entrepreneurial women and it’s time we take over!
Inspired by my long time clients Tanya Burr and Zoe Sugg, who have both established social media empires I channelled that into hairdressing and began growing my own online presence, which has been fundamental to me being in a position to open Samantha Cusick London.’
Did you have a clear image of how you wanted the salon to look?
‘I’ve had the fortune of working alongside inspiring people and for leading salons’ which helped me gain a clear image of what I would like a salon to be and what the clients salon experience should be like and I knew it could all be a lot more fun.
Many Pinterest boards later I had got a strong idea of how the de?cor should look: Hollywood Regency, think Beverly Hills Hotel mid 70’s with an edgy luxury vibe. The glitz and glamour of the Hollywood Regency style got me. This aesthetic is all about details; minimalist design contrasted with rich metallics, gorgeous lacquer finishes and ornate trims give this style its verve.
Having established the brand through social media it was very important to me that this be reflected in the salon itself and everything had to be ‘instagramable” and reminiscent of the dreamy images pinned to everybody’s Pinterest accounts, so the interior and its accents had to be as beautiful as the hair we create.’
You have a huge social media following – how important has that been in developing your brand?
‘Social platforms have played a major part in establishing the brand. Gone are the days of traditional word of mouth, this is the modern day way of getting your work out there to existing and potential clients. People then tag their friends in your posts, accelerating brand exposure.’
What would your top tips be for using social media successfully?
‘Be consistent. Be on brand. Keep it fun! Post regularly and stay true to what you want your brand to be about. I am committed to establishing a working environment that encourages individuality in styles of work and from that derive a creative collective that support and inspire one another. Social media is a great way of doing this by sharing work, images and quotes that inspire you and co-inside with your brands ethos, just make sure to tag and credit them correctly. There is enough work in this industry to go around so share and support one another.’
What would your top tips be for developing a brand in this competitive industry?
‘Be different. Encourage the individuality of your staff and clients. Recognising the way our target demographic seek out the latest trends and implementing these concepts into the salon make us fresh and individual. Weather it’s having our own snapchat geofilter or the salons photo booth where clients can post their picture direct to their social media accounts complete with hyperlinks to the salons social media platforms or simply the ‘instagramable’ backdrops, specifically the complimentary cocktails bar where offer clients a selection of unique cocktails like our signature mermaid martini derived from glittery candy floss and champagne.
It was very important that the salons website felt more like a lifestyle page than that of a salon. Eliminating stagnant blurb in favour of fresh renewable content. Incorporating a live instagram feed and an Integral blog where we can talk about the latest events, trends and products as well as add links to any press coverage of the salon or team members.
It’s these innovative initiatives that set us apart.’
BRITISH HAIRDRESSING AWARDS