Uniforms Or Fashion? Are They The Same Thing When It Comes To Looking Good In Your Salon?

When (and when not) to use different file types

Like it or not, your team is the cornerstone of your business and they play a massive part in contributing to the communication of your brand. In such cutting-edge and fashion conscious industries, being on-trend is vital to your brand’s success – fashion is an instant language (door opens, enter Lady Gaga).

What does your team’s personal fashion style say about your brand? Are they consistent and on-point with what your brand values and represents? Or are they going freestyle like when Britney tried to bring it back and ended up having a meltdown circa 2007?

When you’re in an extremely visual industry; We’re talking about our faves aka. Hair, Beauty and Wellness – image is everything! You need to collaborate with someone you can trust not only with your vision, but also respecting the ethos of your brand.

We recently had the pleasure of sitting down with the beautiful Leesa Dawson, Founder and Chief Designer at The Uniform Stylist – where were not only blown away by the soul-sista connection, but we also drank coffee (add a dash of martini) and oozed over all things on-point and on-trend branding (your salon and spa uniform playing a MASSIVE part in that!).

What makes The Uniform Stylist different to other uniform suppliers in the industry?

Good question ☺ We want to offer a fresh perspective to modern uniforms. We’re a team of designers who think outside the square and provide fashion options designed to be worn as a uniform. Our aim is to give all team members (even small biz) an opportunity to wear an outfit suited to each individual. There’s not one style that suits all, or a one size fits all template with our uniforms.

We want to be flexible enough to be able to cater to SMEs and offer a personal touch in the way that we collaborate. We’re real humans, based in Melbourne – designing for brands with their own unique personality! Not a cookie cutter, pre-set corporate template.

We didn’t want to enter the Uniform space with an offer that’s corporate in style, mass produced or what many would consider ‘traditional’. There are a lot of great suppliers who already cover this.

We dare to be different. PLUS, our focus is on eco-friendly materials, and I think that sets us apart as well.

What does a salon owner/manager need to consider before choosing a uniform for their brand?

They need to be clear on where they see their brand in the market, what their point of difference is compared to their competitors, and if they really want to find a look that is not traditional.

How does a therapist or hairdresser know that your products are going to be practical?

We road test them. Over and over! We painted bleach on aprons, dripped oil on everything, flicked enzymes and all sorts of products on our uniforms to see how they cope in action (and in the wash!) They also need to pass our own quality control tests (this takes time to perfect as you can imagine!).

I also record comments from Hairdressers and therapists when they are trying our styles on. I do this so that I can SEE how they react (I don’t video them un-dressing!!)  and I LISTEN to their words to figure out if they’re matching up to their expressions.  I need to know how someone feels when they wear the products.

The styles that actually make the online store collections are the ones where the wearer is looking at himself/herself in a mirror –  totally digging themselves!

Where do you get your ideas from?

Without sounding too ancient, there is a pretty big catalogue of ideas in my head that I’ve stored away over the years. I spent many years designing for some of Australia’s largest and most popular retailers.  My area of expertise during that time was in the category of fashion for work, professional wear. Even now, I see products in these stores are very similar to those that I designed years ago, just updated with little modern twists or colours.  I’m trained to be constantly on the hunt for what women love to wear to work – so I spot them everywhere. A lot of elements from this ‘catalogue’ are relevant to the Uniform business.

I have friends who are full time trend forecasters that I often collaborate on projects as I don’t like to be too insular in my view of what is relevant (as we can all do while running a business!).

And – the hair and Beauty industry in general inspires me every day. I endeavour to learn more about their needs and passions every single day.

Plus – I love to follow dynamic feeds such as Digital Bloom – being such a like minded business, there’s often inspiration that will spark an idea for me (Keep up the good work Sarah!)

Standing out from the competition is so important these days – How do you create a unique look for each individual salon or brand?

There are lots of little design features and trims that we can suggest to bring an edge to an outfit.  As you know, we’re all about collaboration – so when we have the opportunity to allow our creative energy to flow alongside a really clear brief from the client, we usually find that magic happens. The more a business can share with me, the more I am able to find the perfect look for that brand. (PS – knowing who their competitors are helps, then we can ensure we create something really different and elevated for our clients!)

Are your uniforms bespoke and tailored to the individual brand

They can be. We can offer custom design styles tailored to a specific brand, and in this case, the designs can be exclusive to this brand! However budget-wise, and with high MOQ…this isn’t always workable for small biz. We created a ‘curate your own’ concept where small businesses can utilise our existing design templates, and tweak these products to suit their needs. We try to be flexible where we can!

We can’t get enough of The Uniform Stylist’s talent! Leesa is a fashion-force to be reckoned with – bringing fashion back to uniforms so that you and your team look and feel good everyday! 

You can either shop online for immediate dispatch, curate your own or custom design to match your vision exactly.

What are you waiting for? Get styled – www.theuniformstylist.com