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Pop-up profits

Posted on 12th August 2015 by PROinsider

Working in an office all day has its down points; air con wars, hideous things growing in the shared fridge and the screeching tones of that one person in the office who never seems to come up for air. The same can be said for a salon; a conveyor belt of the same clients, a CD that has managed to play Jessie J seven times by 1pm and the small matter of late/unexpected appointments. Wouldn’t it be nice to take a break from the 9-5 and take your talents to the streets? Well, thanks to the epidemic of all things ‘pop-up’, you can! We speak to the pros of pop-ups to tell you how to get involved…

Leanne Russell, freelance make-up artist and facepainter,

I spotted a job advertisement to work for a company called Vanity Van, a mobile 'pop-up' beauty company. I researched into the company and discovered that they offered a wide range of treatments at festivals and other corporate events, and as I’m always looking for creative work I applied immediately. Part of the interview process was to do a trade test ‘freestyle face art' and make-up, followed by a one-to-one interview. I was so excited when I was offered a position and began working that summer with a team of around 12 great girls. The 'Isle of Wight' and V festival were just to name a few of the amazing events that I was lucky enough to work at.

If you were thinking of having a go at the ‘pop up’ salon, I would definitely recommend it, as it was such a fantastic and unique experience. However, before you sign up, you should make sure it’s practical for your lifestyle. You’ll be working extremely long days and not finishing until late at night. It’s not the most glamorous gig as you camp on site, and most camp sites party for 24hrs!

I personally love to 'work hard' and party hard! So this was perfect for me. The festival atmosphere is like no other, and the clients (happy festival goers) keep your spirits up all day. Everyone has amazing energy, which really helps especially when it’s raining and edging towards the end of the day.

The hard work pays off too, you work on a good commission rate for every client you style. The more areas you are skilled in the more opportunity you have to earn. It’s good to note that massage and face art are always the most popular requests; pretty with lots of glitter for the girls and boys generally ask for random requests on their friends.

I would advise to maximise your areas of qualifications/ skills, to make sure you earn as much as you can. Expect to get stuck into the full festival experience and work well within your team – there’s no room for laziness in such a busy and fast-paced working environment. Look out for the girls/boys you’re working along side and they will return the favour.

John Parker, Salon Director and Owner of Rainbow Room International’s Great Western Road salon and coordinator for their pop-up salon at T In The Park.

For the 10th year running, we have been providing haircuts and styling to the artists appearing during Scotland’s biggest festival of the year; T in the Park. The Salon Directors attend along with our artistic team who are all invited to work in the pop-up salon. We only work with the performers, over the years we’ve worked with celebrities, everyone from Ellie Goulding and Katy Perry to Pharrell have been in to the salon.

It’s an amazing opportunity to work with some of the biggest names in the music industry; we have styled the hair of ‘A-List’ celebrities such as Paloma Faith and Lily Allen. The only negative I would say is the typical Scottish weather – luckily we are undercover but when it rains, it pours!

The whole weekend our Rainbow Room International team have such a buzz about them, it brings all of our twelve salons together and while we are working we are still having fun and enjoying the acts. Each day the pop-up salon is open from 10am – 7pm, and during the salon opening hours we operate on a rota basis with stylists working three hour shifts. If there’s a certain band or artist that a stylist wants to see we try our best to accommodate this – meaning our stylists get a chance to see the acts they have styled as well as work.

The publicity that we gain from working at the festival is always great and helps to draw in new clients including; The Ryder Cup Gala Concert, the MOBOS and Radio One’s Big Weekend. As much as it is great fun, you have to be prepared as you may come across some ‘divas’. It’s essential that you’re on top of the hair trends and make sure you/your team know exactly what they are doing throughout the day. In addition, we like to use T in The Park as a reward for stylists or assistants who have performed well throughout the year.

Stylists, Beauty Therapists, Front of House staff – our Rainbow Room International team have a broad mix of skills. We look for positive energy, real dedication and commitment in everyone who walks through our doors. We regularly update our ‘Careers’ section of our website where you can easily apply online. Visit our website; for further job information.

Braid Bar

Diana Carson, Consultant Designer of Rainbow Room International’s Uddingston salon, and coordinator of their pop-up Braid Bar at Forever21 in Glasgow.

I was obsessed with the braid trend in the run up to the festival season. So much so, that I wanted to get Rainbow Room involved with a high street retailer to promote our braiding services. I contacted the manager of Forever21’s flagship store in Glasgow to discuss the possibility of running a pop-up braid bar and he was delighted with the idea. We set a date and ran our braid bar over the course of one day in the run up to Scotland’s biggest music festival; T In The Park.

We were extremely busy throughout the day with many shoppers opting for a braid complete with intricate accessories like hoops and jewels. These looks were amazing, however they were time consuming and as there were only a few of us we always had a queue of customers. However, this made us aware of our timescales and meant we worked faster making sure everyone had the chance to get their braids done.

It was a very different environment from working in the salon because there’s no backwashes etc, and we were surrounded by shoppers and clothing. It was a great vibe and even the staff at Forever21 got involved and helped us promote the Braid Bar. We set up a Braid Bar event on Facebook which received a lot of publicity, we even had a journalist from a local newspaper come along to try out the Braid Bar and we received a review in the paper too!

My advice for anyone wanting to get into the ‘pop-up’ salon business is to be organised. Make sure you have enough equipment; we had to make sure we had enough accessories such as hoops and feathers. We organized the pop up bar and arranged our own Rainbow Room International branding on all of our pop up stalls. In order to prepare, keep your eye on the latest trends and practice on dummy heads or friends. A good tip is to time yourself, so you’re aware of how long your braiding takes – you don’t want a lot of people standing around.

Are you going to take the plunge and go pop-up? Let us know @SalonServicesUK

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