Write because you want to, not because you have to.
Published September 24th 2017
Sueno - where dreams become a reality
Sueno Hair on Magill Road has recently undergone a massive revamp - moving away from the more traditional, Moroccan-inspired decor to a monochromatic and minimalistic layout. To celebrate their renovations, Sueno Hair recently threw their first ever Charity Sunday Sessions, where co-owners and couple Lia and Jim began a new chapter in the Sueno Hair history. Classifying it as a "rebirth", Sueno Hair has come a long way in the last 7 years. Lia, who has over 22 years of experience in the hair and beauty industry and has recently switched to the Wella Pro family delightfully calls it "the best experience so far".
But what's the story of how Sueno Hair came into existence? I was lucky enough to score an interview opportunity with Lia, with special thanks to BPPR for organizing the interview.
Lia: Jim and I worked in a business together. It was quite a busy salon. Obviously, since we were together and got married, we decided that we wanted to start our own business.
Tema: So this was a joint venture? Lia: Yes, it was a joint venture from around 7 years ago - we got married in Europe. We both loved the European vibe and when we were in Spain, we fell in love with graffiti as well. Sueno (in Spanish) means 'dreams' and we built our logo around that concept - where there's a component of graffiti added to the mix. We also had a 5-year plan and wanted to present with a family-friendly salon, because we wanted our space to bring about an ambience that welcomed people of all ages.
Tema: Yes, I've noticed that through my visits as well as on your website, where there is a strong focus on Sueno being a family-friendly environment... Lia: That's right - the children are our future. And if they would want to, one day, set up a business, then we need to raise them in an environment that caters to people of all ages.
Tema: It's certainly something not a lot of other salons do, and it's refreshing to be a customer at one that does emphasize on family values and such. So you said that you were part of another salon - was that here in Adelaide as well? Lia: So, we worked in one around Adelaide. It was a great salon - Jim and I worked there for around 12 years, which is where we met!
Tema: How exciting! That's a really cute story and to see how you both have stuck to your passion in the hair and beauty industry to this day is admirable! OK, so if someone came in and asked, "What's a Sueno experience like?", what would you say? Lia: Again, I feel like we're very family-oriented and we're a very friendly bunch! One of the biggest things here is that we all get along and we're always there for and care for each other. [The staff members] here are really tight and that is the paramount factor that we look at, especially when we do interviews with prospective / new staff members. There's a huge emphasis around not having bullying of any kind. This team here is amazing and I think it's because of the level of energy, we're always there for each other. It also helps build quite [an electric space] for staff and customers alike. The staff members have got each others' backs, so there's a high level of teamwork as well. This means that, as a client, you'll never be left alone, because a staff member will be around to help out with anything and everything. Simple gestures like greeting the customers on their way in and out of the salon also go a long way.
Tema: How do you pick your staff members and create this dream team that we have going? Lia: It's a massive thing for us - going back to big focus on providing a family-friendly atmosphere, I'd like to bring my kids here, knowing that they are going to be in safe and comfortable hands. We're not about the pretentious kind and there is a zero-tolerance policy on bullying. While we have had our share of ups and downs, I think we've finally been able to nail the concept of our business through our team of 9 staff members (including Jim and myself) that we have today. Everyone is so tight and while I don't expect them to hang out with each other 24x7, it's pretty clear-cut that they're here for each other when they're in store. That's all we ask for (at the end of the day), because, we're here to teach aspiring hairstylists the skills of hairdressing, but when it comes to ethics and people skills, they should be able to bring that to the table [without much guidance from us].
Lia: Initially, when we started Sueno, it was just Jim and myself. We were working 12-hour days and never ended up doing a salon open. So, when we did the renovation a couple of months ago, we were thinking of throwing a party to celebrate [the revamped space], invite our clients and thank them and our staff members for all the support we received through this process and for supporting us over the years. But, then, we started talking and decided to get involved with a charity, instead of throwing a party, and make it worthwhile. That's when I spoke with Belinda Peterson from BPPR and we discussed options. We wanted to get involved with a child-based charity, so Belinda suggested Kickstart for Kids, which I hadn't heard about prior. We looked into it and knew that it was the charity that we wanted on board.
Tema: Given how this is your 1st ever Charity Sunday session (and it went so well), do you think that you'd do more in the future? Lia: I would certainly get involved and pull together an event such as this on an annual basis - there's a lot of planning and preparation that goes into it, but I think it would be successful if you take the time to build it up, pull the right businesses together, and involve charities in need of the support at the time.
With the massive success from their 1st ever Charity Sunday sessions and a great line-up of local businesses such as Thomas Hardy Wines, Alitalia Food Van, Cotto Espresso cakes, and Incognito Coffee (to name a few), in addition to bringing the superstars from the Wella Pro team, such as state manager Carina, and representative Charmaine, it will be no surprise to see the next event being even bigger and better. Guests were also treated to the skills by beauty therapist and makeup artist Vanessa Southwell, who is a former staff member and occasionally comes into the salon to demonstrate her experienced skills. Vanessa kindly provided my hands with the much-needed pampering via a manicure during my most recent visit and my nails have not felt this soft in years!
The Sueno team are thankful to the Wella Pro family for their continued support and are grateful that their family principles align perfectly in sync with those of Sueno. Donations from the Wella Pro organization of their products at the event further boosted the support towards the Kickstart for Kids charity and all in all, it was a brilliant event that made for a great family outing - just like the Sueno team envisioned.