1. How did Jo's Scissors Of Gold start?
Jo's Scissors Of Gold, originally called Golden Scissors, began in 1967 by a Melbourne Hairdresser named Mr Leonard Steel.
I started working in the salon not long after it had opened. Leonard owned the store for almost five years, before he sold it to Lionel and Carol Gadd from Mossman, who weren't hairdressers, but became indentured to me as the senior stylist in the salon.
They completed their apprenticeship and continued ownership until 2002, when they sold it to my husband Stuart (he is the silent partner) and I, which is when we changed the store name.
Today, we are the only original business still operating in Oceana Walk. Oceana Walk was formerly called 'Andrejic's Arcade' after the Andrejic family who owned it. And presently, some members of the Andrejic family are still clients of ours.
We're a small unisex hair salon in the heart of the city of Cairns, and we're proud of it.
Between myself and my employee Carmen, who's been with Jo's for almost 12 years, we continue to run business successfully while increasing our client base, which covers all age groups. Whether it's for families, school formals or the trendy jet set - we cater for all.
2. What do you love most about your job?
I love the instant job satisfaction, and the interactions that I have with my clients.
As a hairdresser, we become an important part of our client's lives - often involved in the weddings, the births, their children's first haircuts, formals and all other special occasions when they're wanting to look their best. And they can rely on us to make sure this happens. We are very fortunate to now have 3rd generation clients.
3. What has been your biggest challenge to date?
Constantly staying up-to-date with fashion and style is always a challenge, but through our suppliers, we aim to stay relevant, educated and current, so that we can make informed decisions to our clients, especially when they're looking to change.
4. How would you say the hairdressing industry has changed in recent years?
The industry has always been very competitive, and that never changes. The styles change, but not the techniques. As an older hairdresser, I was very fortunate that I had to learn about every aspect of our trade during my apprenticeship. I wouldn't be allowed on the floor if the boss didn't think I was ready, and it's a professional advantage for most older hairdressers having had that type of training.
These days, our newer hairdressers tend to specialise in the area they're most interested in - whether that's cutting, colouring or perming.
In fact, some salons only provide services to the exclusion of others, but our salon offers a vast range of services.
5. Can you recall your most memorable client?
As I think about all the clients who have passed through our doors, it's really difficult to choose one as the most memorable.
We've certainly had some very eccentric clients at times, and some very interesting clients who can turn a not-so-good day into a great day for us.
We've had clients tell us their life story in five minutes because they needed to open up to somebody (or anybody), and we've had clients who've shared their innermost secrets that no one else knows - not even their husband or wife.
Then we've also had terminally ill clients come to us to talk about their impending death, because they couldn't talk to their family in the same way without feeling like they're upsetting them.
The more I think about it, the more people I can think of who are memorable for different reasons.
6. What's your salon's philosophy?
As soon as a person enters our salon, whether it be a new or old client, someone wanting advice or even asking for directions - our salon's philosophy is to put a smile on everyone's face. The client is the most important person in our salon, and before they walk out the door, we will do our utmost to have them looking great and feeling better about themselves.
7. In your own words, what does excellent customer service mean to you?
To me, excellent customer service means listening, hearing (two different things) and then interpreting both the needs and the wants of the client. And then of course, delivering this service.
8. What's the best advice you would give to someone in need of better hair care?
Talk to your hairdresser, listen to your hairdresser and act on what your hairdresser tells you. Having healthy hair doesn't need to cost a fortune. It can sometimes be the product you're using isn't suitable for your hair type, or that you're using it incorrectly. Small changes can affect your hair in a big way.
9. Are there any sayings that keep you motivated each day? Or words that you live by?
If I cannot change it, don’t worry about it. If I have no control over it, don’t worry about it. And if someone else is worrying about it, then I don’t need to - that's a waste of energy!
I do try to think how would I like to be treated if I was in the client’s shoes, and then try to treat them that way.
10. And finally, congratulations! How will you be celebrating your store's big 5-0?
Thursday, 1 June is the big day and we plan to celebrate with cake, champagne, balloons and gifts for our clients! As part of what we anticipate will be a fun, enjoyable birthday party, we're offering 25% off our services for the day. We invite one and all to join us in-store, or just come in to have a drink and say hello!
In our 50 years, we've contributed to the expertise and progression of many hairdressers, who in turn, have then taught others to become apart of our industry.
We are very proud to be apart of the Cairns CBD, and I believe there is a healthy relationship amongst salon owners in our area.
We tend to support each other, directing business to others when we're unable to take any more clients for the day, which helps all of us to succeed - especially through the tough times. Competitive yes, but we're still friendly and supportive of each other.
JO'S SCISSORS OF GOLD: CELEBRATING 50 YEARS
In celebration of their big 5-0, Jo's Scissors Of Gold are having a PARTY on Thursday 1st June ...
With cake, champagne and gifts for all clients, along with 25% off all services in-store, it's bound to be an event you won't want to miss! Here, Oceana Walk speaks to Jo on turning 50, having good hair (and gold scissors).