- Tell us a bit about you and your business, and how it came about.
I am a married mum of 2 children and Paterson SA Director. I love my family and business and combined the two.
When I was a kid I would regularly walk or take the bus past Paterson SA and look into the bustling vibrant salon and wish I was in amongst the fun.
As my time approach to leave school I applied for an assistant position within Paterson SA. I had a mixture of nerves and excitement going for the interview but the excitement took over when I walked through the salon door to discover it was my hairdressing hero George Paterson waiting to interview me.
I was beyond delighted to be offered an assistant position and to this day grateful for the dedicated training I was given.
Throughout my training I was committed to applying myself in both the training sessions and day to day salon life. Asking questions and watching haircuts at every opportunity. I constantly brought friends and family in to training sessions to progress quickly and achieve my dream of becoming a hairdresser.
I am very proud to now be able to pass on my skills learned over 25 years in our fantastic creative industry on to the future of Paterson SA by continually evolving the core training and hairdressing ethos taught to me by George Paterson.
- How did you get here? How did your experiences growing up shape your life today?
Very close to my family and grew up being encouraged to follow my dream and have a strong hard working ethos in our family.
My love for Hairdressing began when I was very young (my mum thinks age 3). I was always wanting to play hairdressers with my friends when we were kids. I loved watching Style Challenge on tv (1996) which featured some of our Hairdressing industry great. I was naturally drawn to George Paterson when he was on the show as the guess hairdresser. I loved his creative ability to transform and make everyone on the show feel good.
- What makes your business unique and where did the name “patersons” come from?
The late George Paterson- driven by a passion for hairdressing, a love of people and with a clear vision for the future of his craft, he set about building a team of likeminded individuals to share this vision with. Even the choice of name did not come about by chance – despite many ‘urban myths’, we can share George’s thinking – ‘SA’ in latin standing for in accordance with art, and in Spanish for ‘anonymous company’ – very simply summed up his vision – a group of individuals with a shared love of hairdressing and art, working together to motivate, inspire and educate each other and their clients.
Over the years the team at Paterson SA has grown to over 50, located in 3 salons and an academy – motivated by excellence, creative in their craft and thinking, and passionate about their future – they are quite simply George’s legacy.
- Where are you based and how did you end up in that location?
I am based in Newington and it’s the perfect location for us!
- What has been an unforeseen difficulty that you encountered with your business? A speed bump that you didn’t expect.
Covid. With the inability to trade and not knowing when we would be able to re-open, however as we alway do we worked as a team having regular quiz nights on Zoom and inspiring each other with online learning.
- As a mum with two kidsand a busy business women, how do you achieve work-life balance? What does a typical day look like for you?
Haha.. Some days work better than others. Supportive family - I love being a business women and showing my children I love my job. I hope to inspire them to work hard and follow their dreams.
- How are you becoming more sustainable in life and in work?
Our green salon collective – Each year 6,700 tonnes of human hair waste is produced in hairdressing in the UK - and 98 percent of it ends up in landfill. We collect hair-sweepings and they are used b innovative recyclers and reusers and are used to make a range of different products, from compost to yarn and ocean-saving booms - and perhaps even, one day, clothes.
What’s most important for us is that it’s used to mop up oil in the sea and to clean up pollutant rivers across the UK and Ireland. It also gets made into hair mats and compost. Hair can be used for rope making. It is combined with wool to make fabric.
The salon is currently about to hit its goal of 100 percent of waste recycled.
- No Inspirational Woman is an island - tell us about your team/who supports you?
Our fabulous team would I respect and love working alongside.
My 2 business partners are amazing. Myself, Elaine & Lynn work together extremely well and share the same values and ethos within Paterson SA. We compliment each other with our different strengths and passion within our business.
- What is your favourite part of your job?
Business Layla- watching the continual development our of team.
Hairdresser Layla - having happy clients walk out of the salon feeling amazing and wearing fabulous hair I have created bespoke for them.
- Did you ever have a mentor or inspirational woman that you looked up to?
I had a fabulous teacher at high school who I am still inspired by!
She encouraged me in the most positive way to work hard and your will achieve the results you want. She made learning fun yet productive. I am extremely grateful.
- What advice would you give to someone following in your footsteps?
Love learning! Use every available opportunity to learn.
- What’s next for you and Patersons?
We plan to continue to grow as a team with the short team goal of becoming 100% recyclable something we are extremely passionate about.
Me … I plan to maintain a strong work life balance and be present when I am at home.