Claire and her daughter Ella are working together in their family-owned salon Claire Hair Boutique in Mandurah, Western Australia. The talented mother-daughter duo told NATULIQUE how standing behind the chair together created a special bond between them.
Ella was only three years old when she was doing arts and crafts at the kitchen table while her mother Claire was tending to clients in their home salon.
“After 5 minutes she checked on me and I was covered in green paint from head to toe”.
Who could have known that this would become Ella’s earliest memory of growing up in a family-owned salon environment and that, years later, she would serve her own clients in the chair in her mum’s salon. With her mother being a salon owner and her father, Steve, being the NATULIQUE distributor of Western Australia, hairdressing is a passion that runs in the genes of the Footes.
“Mum often asked my sister and me if we wanted to become hairdressers growing up”, Ella recalls. One day, when High-School just didn’t seem like the right path for Ella anymore, Claire’s salon was coincidentally looking for an apprentice at the same time.
During a short trial, it became quickly evident that this was a match made in heaven. “After a week I was hooked. In all honesty, it was the best decision I have made and it made me so happy to see how excited my Mum was”, Ella says about getting started in her mum’s salon.
And the feeling was mutual! “I felt extremely proud because Ella was so happy and she loves learning the craft. She is extremely creative and is not scared of pushing boundaries”, Claire says.
Working together also meant that Claire and Ella had to readjust their relationship for the time they spent in the salon.
“The challenge was adjusting to be her team leader at the salon and going back to being her mother at home”, Claire explains. But sharing their passion helped Claire and Ella get an even closer relationship “It has certainly created a common bond between us. I love how we can discuss hair recipes over the dinner table”.
But it is also important to learn to turn off the business mode every once in a while – especially with Steve’s role as a NATULIQUE distributor. “We both love our salon space and working with NATULIQUE and talk about it constantly. However, there comes a time when it’s nice to come back to husband and wife from business partners.”
Extending the Family: The Footes become part of NATULIQUE
When Claire and Steve joined NATULIQUE, their family-business became part of a welcoming global community:
The NATULIQUE family. “Around 5 years ago we researched, with the help of my sister who is a biochemist, to find the lowest tox professional hair colour in the World. We compared 10 so-called “clean” brands and NATULIQUE was by far the lowest-tox. And we all know how it performs!”
From halfway around the globe NATULIQUE was equally thrilled that Claire and her salon joined the family. Their philosophy ties perfectly into everything the brand stands for. “We pride ourselves on being a holistic salon using only the most low-tox premium products from hair to salon-cleaning. We have a salon sustainability program where we donate all our cut hair to the local community garden where they use it for compost – they will only use virgin or NATULIQUE-coloured hair because the compost must be free from harsh chemicals.”
The reception from NATULIQUE partners everywhere around the world was welcoming. Steve and Claire have been able to connect with many supportive, like-minded business owners in the NATULIQUE family.
“The biggest bonus is that we have met so many amazing NATULIQUE salon owners. We have found that NATULIQUE attracts a certain type of salon owner – talented, forward-thinking and honest.“
In a few years, Ella could imagine continuing the family business. “One day it would be nice to take over the salon and continue Mum’s hard work and dedication. But I’m sure that will be quite a few years away”.
In the meantime, Ella is eager to learn and gain more experience in the international hairdressing scene – just like her Mum who trained with renowned stylists such as Vidal Sassoon and Marc Young in the UK. At NATULIQUE we are convinced that someone as talented as Ella has an aspiring career ahead of her. We can’t wait to see where it goes!