Phorest FM Episode 101: Lessons From Over 20 Years Of Salon Marketing

After last year’s hugely successful live recording of a Phorest FM episode at Inside Phorest, a post-Salon Owners Summit day event, Killian and Zoe are back in front of an audience; only this time to discuss lessons learned from over 20 years of salon marketing.

On this episode, the co-hosting duo is joined by Kristian Tognini (Tognini’s Hair Skin Body, Brisbane), David Linde (Headlines The Salon, Encinitas), and last but not least, Connor Keppel (Phorest Salon Software VP of Marketing).


David Linde

David’s love for this industry began a long time ago when he was introduced to the hairdressing world at a haircutting event that a friend took him to. For David, being an artist and painter, it was magical and artistic. He appreciated the creative endeavours it took to create complex pieces of art with hair; so much so that he went through the Apprentice Program for a whole year. Hair was not to be his vocation; running a salon took precedence. David has since been marketing and running Headlines for over 7 years, doubling the salon’s revenue and staff. He is passionate about the people in the industry and always likes to be with those who challenge him intellectually. He lives by the motto “grow yourself constantly and be the best you can be.”

Kristian Tognini

Underneath Kristian’s happy go lucky persona lies a deep drive that questions the industry and world around him. He strives for better results more efficiently and to have a bloody good time along the way.

Amongst many other things, Kristian has presented business seminars nationally and internationally for Kerastase, Haircare Australia, EVO & Goldwell, is the director & co-creator of Joebloe & Josiebloe Products, the director of Togninis Global / liloffthetop as well as the General Manager of Togninis Salon. He also emceed for the EVO International show at Salon International London 2018 and for the Wella Trendvision Australia and New Zealand finals (Brisbane 2018 & Auckland 2017). One can describe him as an innovator, educator, master man-manager, condoner of fluff and “Secrets to Success”.

Connor Keppel

Connor Keppel heads up marketing for Phorest Salon Software. Over the past 6 years he has helped thousands of salons to grow; advising them on marketing tactics that help them get their clients back more often, spending more and generating referrals across the UK, Ireland, USA, Australia and continental Europe. Connor has been instrumental in developing a number of initiatives aimed at directly helping salon owners to grow their business and learn tactics to manage their salons more efficiently; including the Phorest Salon Owner’s Summit event; the Salon Mentorship Hub; the #30days2grow Challenge; and Salon Retail Week, among many others.


Killian Vigna: Welcome to the Phorest FM podcast, episode 101. I’m Killian Vigna.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: And I’m Zoe Belisle-Springer. This week’s episode is all about lessons from over 20 years of salon marketing and for the second time ever on Phorest FM, we’re recording this one live from inside Phorest in Dublin’s Head Office.

Joining us on the show today are David Linde, co-owner of Headlines The Salon, Kristian Tognini from Tognini Hair and Skin and Body, and Phorest’s very own VP of Marketing, Connor Keppel.

Killian Vigna: So grab yourself a cup of coffee, sit back, relax, and join us weekly for all your salon’s business and marketing needs. Welcome to the show, guys!

Yeah, a bit of a diverse one so I’m hoping everyone’s going to be okay with the accents. As we said, we’ve got David from the States, we’ve got Kristian from Australia, myself and Connor are then from Ireland, basically Dublin, and then Zoe from Canada. So, yeah, a good mix.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Good mix.

Kristian Tognini: Great mix!

David Linde: Worldwide!

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Exactly!

Killian Vigna: Worldwide, yeah. All in neutral ground here in Ireland.

Panel introduction & elevator pitches [01:12]

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Do you wanna kick it off?

Killian Vigna: Yeah, so we’ll just go straight in. So, as we’ve already mentioned, we’re live here inside Phorest. This is our second year doing this and really good attendance. I suppose, why did you guys come along today, other than, obviously, being on the podcast? Why did you feel it was important to be here today?

Kristian Tognini: Okay, I’ll kick it off! For me it’s not only learning more about Phorest, it’s very new in Australia, I believe it’s been there since July. So, for me, learning a lot more about Phorest itself and the new products and features that are coming but also to meet everyone that’s here as well. I think that’s really important as salon owners that you talk to other salon owners because people often have the same problems that you are or face the same sort of things that you need to do. People have really good ideas, really good strategies that you can take back home. So, that’s why I’m here. To network.

Killian Vigna: Cool.

David Linde: Yeah, same for me. I really was excited about, not only coming to Dublin but meeting people on this side of the world and finding out if they shared the same challenges and things that we do in the States. As well as I was just excited to come to Phorest here and see what this is all about and learn more about the software which I find, just so exciting. You guys are doing amazing things with your software.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: So are we living up to the expectations with the office over here?

David Linde: Yes. Beyond. It’s a really cool office.

Killian Vigna: And of course for Connor, he had no choice. He had to work today.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: So before we get into the show properly, obviously are listeners are gonna be wanting to know a bit more about you guys. We thought we’d do a little fun challenge or a little game here.

Killian Vigna: Yeah we said we’d mix it up a little bit because we’ve only paid the sound guy for an hour, so we’re going to do elevator pitches. So we’re gonna do thirty seconds, a little bit about yourself, the salon you’re from, and I suppose your journey to today. Pretty much. So I think you’ve got a timer, don’t you?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: I do!

Killian Vigna: Which is already on a minute and a half.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: There you go.

Killian Vigna: So, David, do you wanna go first? Thirty seconds?

David Linde: Sure.

Killian Vigna: And, go.

David Linde: Okay, so I got into this building 20 some odd years ago because I was married to a hairdresser previously, so that’s how I started to learn about the business. I’m a graphic designer and marketer so I was already interested in sharing some of my talents with the salon industry and I’m running out of time. So I got with Gayle a while back and…

Killian Vigna: It’s alright, time’s up!

David Linde: That’s the elevator pitch, huh?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: [crosstalk 00:03:52]. Saved by the bell there.

Killian Vigna: Alright, Kristian, do you wanna stall as well or?

Kristian Tognini: So I’m Kristian from Tognini from Australia. I have a salon called Tognini’s. Since implementing Phorest in September, we have had over 650 five star reviews. At the moment we currently run, with our client base, at 5.0 average client reviews, so we believe that our customer is number one. Their journey is super important. We also have another brand that’s called Little Off the Top. That’s an education company. We have eight educators working for us. We do, four seconds, we do- [crosstalk 00:04:29]. We do work in the States, Australia, Scandinavia, the UK, and we have another brand that’s a men’s hair loss brand called Joe Blow, and that’s sold worldwide in ten countries at the moment.

Killian Vigna: Time. Just in time!

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Just in time.

Killian Vigna: You can do it for Connor [crosstalk 00:04:41].

Zoe Belisle-Springer: No, no. You ready?

Connor Keppel: Sure, yeah, go!

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Go for it.

Connor Keppel: So my name’s Connor, I work in Phorest. So, yup started in Agriculture and Marketing years ago. Fell in love with marketing for small businesses and I think that marketing a product and doing marketing for small business is different than anything else because you actually can make an impact in their life and you work with people on a day-to-day level verse if you market to corporates I just, yeah it’s not me. Joined Phorest six years ago as the first marketer and here we are today.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: There you go. Just on time. Thirty seconds. Jesus. You guys are good!

Kristian Tognini: [inaudible 00:05:17] start working at Phorest. He’s got it down to a pat.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Okay, so, we’ll recap your elevator pitches with one sentence. What’s your claim to fame? David? And it can be something funny as well.

David Linde: We’ve been a top salon, Salon Today top 200 for 12 years!

Killian Vigna: Wow! Awesome.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah! Yeah, definitely.

Kristian Tognini: I don’t have any claim to fame, I think. I played Gaelic football for Australia.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: There you go! [crosstalk 00:05:52].

David Linde: That’s a good one!

Connor Keppel: So there’s 32 counties in Ireland, and I’m from like the second smallest county. When I was 16, I won the under 18 table tennis championship in the county. Little did you know, there’s a star among you.

Kristian Tognini: You know that you can upgrade when you turn 18 now. Turn 21 it turns from table tennis to beer pong.

Connor Keppel: I quit just before I went pro, yeah.

The early age of marketing [06:20]

Killian Vigna: We thought he was joking about this. We played last year, he destroyed. Worst lunch ever. Alright, so we’ve broken a bit of the ice. This today is kind of, I suppose talking about marketing lessons you’ve had over the last 20 years because like Google itself has only just gone on to its 21st year. The average age of any social media accounts at the moment is like, what, 12 years?

So what were you guys doing, having been in business for the last 20 years? What were you doing before any of this? If someone opens a salon today, they’ve got access to all these tools. How did you do it when you started out? Marketing?

David Linde: I think that I was doing email blasting and that was a big thing for us and then putting flyers everywhere and doing grassroots marketing. That’s all you really could do, I mean, that’s how we were getting clients.

Killian Vigna: So what email were you using, any provider, platforms or was it like AOL? Hotmail or something? I don’t even know.

David Linde: It was a long time ago [crosstalk 00:07:17]. I don’t even know if they’re still around! I guess I think it was like Constant Contact or something archaic like that. I hated every bit of it, it was just so clumsy. But that’s all we were doing. Word of mouth, networking, you know, that’s the thing.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Which, actually still today is super important. Some things just stick.

David Linde: I think for me, I believe in layers and layers of marketing. I don’t think one thing gets people in the door. I think that if you utilise all the technology and utilise all the things you can, you can still bring in lots of clients. But you’ve got to diversify. That’s my belief.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: And how were things in Australia back then?

Kristian Tognini: It was very similar. We had flyers, we did direct mail. We had advertisements in newspapers and campaigns through there. We did campaigns on bus shelters and things like that to get clients. But always for us, our number one way of getting clients, and still is today, is word of mouth. And through the reputation of your salon. You can market whatever you want out there, but if your team is not doing what you’re saying, what you’re putting out to the world, then… you’re never gonna keep clients. So reputation and word of mouth have always been strong for us. So that’s how we grew our business from the start.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: And Connor, obviously, you’re from the marketing industry, like how were things when you actually got into the industry? What were you doing at the time?

Connor Keppel: Yeah. It was 2007, so I actually started in PR specifically, so it was mainly a lot of direct mail, a lot of email marketing, a lot of schmoozing journalists. But, yeah, I mean it was all just the regular older school channels, but they’re still really effective, and I think it’s like David says, it’s like layers upon layers upon layers at different touchpoints.

So all this new stuff is amazing, but I think the thing that has remained constant throughout the entirety of marketing is quality and trying to cut through the noise and being genuine and, Christina Kreitel talked about it yesterday in terms of having a genuine brand, so yeah. But I would have done a lot of events, a lot of direct mail, a lot of PR, and yeah. That’s kind of where it started.

So it’s been a big transition since, obviously, in the last few years but I think people tend to get too obsessed with marketing channels. So it’s amazing; like there’s Instagram and all these really cool things happening, but they are just tools. You as people and what you do and what you provide is, regardless of what channel you use, that’s actually what kind of cuts through the noise. The channels will change, but the techniques and what’s behind them doesn’t necessarily change and that kind of remains constant.

Navigating change & technology disruptors as a salon owner [09:50]

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Well that actually leads into my next question so as salon owners, both your salons have been open since before the arrival of Google, for instance, I mean no, but it’s true! It’s mad to think about that. Those are big changes. They’ve really affected the way the world works today, you know? So how do you, what was your kind of mindset, how did you stay relevant from moving from that to going through that massive change? And getting to still be relevant today in 2019?

Kristian Tognini: I think for us, our salon based on, there’s a lot of education too, so the way that we market to probably hairdressers and such to come and work for us is through our education so they know if they come to us, they’re gonna get educated. So then, with the consumer, that part of it hasn’t changed. So you’re still giving the service, you’ve still got that analog touchpoint which is the client. So as long as you’re doing good things with your clients, I believe that you’ll always have a clientele. You may not have the hippest clientele because this new person started doing and they have a thousand photos of balayage. That’s not your clientele. But it’s their clientele. So we’ve always had our ideal customer, and we’ve always marketed towards that. So I think for us that’s how, I don’t know, that’s how we do everything, so it still comes back to that service that you provide in your salons.

Killian Vigna: And Christina was talking about that yesterday, as well, about that ideal client and we’ve done an episode too so how did you go about finding your ideal client? Was it like, kind of like what Christina was saying yesterday, is like me, I’m my ideal client? Or did you have to dig any deeper and research them?

Kristian Tognini: We did some research with a third party. I did it with a head of marketing for [inaudible 00:11:30] actually so for [inaudible 00:11:33], and they came in and did a session with us which was fabulous. And the person that was heading up their marketing used to head up Woolworths so, which he talked a lot about ideal customers and then basically broke it down for the salon, so our ideal customer is… her name’s Isabella.

She’s 30. She has one child. She’s fashion-conscious. She has a social conscience. She wants to be seen in the newest places. She has disposable income, but she knows where to spend it, so she loves quality, but it doesn’t have to be brands. So everything that we do, and everything that you project out there needs to fit that lifestyle. With what Christina was saying yesterday. My ideal is not me. I don’t have a barbershop. I probably don’t want my ideal client to be me, but I think it’s fantastic if you’ve got that. I know at Phorest you guys have an ideal customer. So coming here and talking to everyone with salons, it’s actually like talking to someone that knows exactly the same issues, the same challenges, the same problems, but also has the same rewards and wins too. So it’s not just, you haven’t got someone at an A and a Z level. Everyone’s forging forward to do the same thing.

Killian Vigna: Yeah, you’re not casting a net out and just hoping to capture everyone. It’s more fine-tuned targeting, and I think Paddy, he was speaking about this earlier, but the Instagram, it’s not just creating an ad that’s gonna target 30,000 people in you’re area, it’s 30,000 of your ideal clients. So moving forward with that technology. With the transition of social media and stuff like that, how did you adapt to it? Did you have to go and do courses or did you just set up a Facebook business page and kind of wing it, go for it?

David Linde: For us, we knew we had to get into Facebook. We knew we had to get into social media, so we started a lot of education for ourselves and for our staff, saying that this is what’s going on. Because we do monthly staff meetings and part of that communication is letting them know what’s next, what we should be doing, how we should be going after our ideal client like he was talking about.

And we just knew we had to transition into it and so now we have a whole social media group of people that that’s what they do every day and we have a leader that leads them all that makes sure that Instagram is always moving, that we have stuff on Facebook, that we have stuff on YouTube. It’s what we do today.

Killian Vigna: Those social media people, are they part of your salon or is that outside?

David Linde: Yeah, they’re part of the salon.

Killian Vigna: So you basically give your team opportunities to start working other areas of the salon as well?

David Linde: Yeah, it’s part of how we grow as a team is that we give them more and more opportunities. Everybody likes to do, not only hair or skin, but they also like to be involved in the salon and do other things that excited them. So we kind of find that out through learning about our team members and you know, what else do you like doing? And oh my God, I just love doing photos, and so we let them run with that stuff. Helps them grow as people.

Killian Vigna: That’s great, yeah.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Do you have a similar structure in your salon at the moment or…?

Kristian Tognini: Yeah, similar. So there’s people that do the social media as well. We have a WhatsApp group, if people use WhatsApp here, so basically all the staff send the photos to the WhatsApp group from their salon that curates those photos, and it all gets loaded into Hootsuite and then from there, basically myself and my brother normally go through the Hootsuite and then curate the Hootsuite from there. So it’s almost like, as a business owner, using Hootsuite as something like your P&L where you’re looking at a report and seeing what your staff are doing. So it’s not just an absolute free for all.

David Linde: Right. Right.

Traditional marketing vs digital marketing [15:20]

Killian Vigna: So, Connor, I know you’re the Head of Marketing here. What about for you, when you got into marketing? Would you have been doing quite a lot of traditional marketing or would you have just, like myself and Zoe, jumped straight into the digital?

Connor Keppel: A little bit of both. So I think, I kind of. I guess came out of college by 2007, so Bebo, European, which would have been MySpace in the US. So I did a bit of that from a business perspective. It wasn’t really used that much from a business perspective. I did everything. I did all of the traditional channels. What was kind of bigger at the time, really was kind of coming into vulgar for marketers at the time was a lot of run search optimisation, so it had been there for a lot longer, but this was becoming a required skill set for a marketer. I was pretty terrible at it, I’m gotta be honest.

And websites as well. So I know it sounds really silly these days saying websites are important, it sounds obvious, but the experience in trying to push that traffic towards website and it just became really, really important as well. So I guess trying to figure out how to use a content management system, how to actually not just put everything on your website but to think about the journey from a user’s perspective. Like why are they coming to your website, what are they looking for, often less is more. So they were kind of digital things at the time. Instagram, not so much. That was well pre-that, but yeah. A lot was happening in the space at the time, but it was very early doors, I guess.

The mindset needed for building an evergreen brand [16:41]

Zoe Belisle-Springer: So we’re seeing a lot of things, obviously, change very fast these days. Like there was even the rise of another new platform that everybody was raving about and almost wanted to ditch Instagram for it and then about two weeks later it was dead, you know? We’re seeing a lot of that, and we’re seeing a lot of huge tech changes as well just in the world in general.
If someone was to open a salon today, in this kind of era, what’s the mindset that you need to ensure that you do stay relevant in 15, 20 years time when we might be seeing underground highways like the Elon Musk’s underground highways and stuff. There’s stuff that we can’t even imagine that’s gonna happen. Big changes. What’s the kind of mindset you need to keep going, to build an evergreen company, I suppose, or brand?

Kristian Tognini: I think I still go back to that customer service point of view. It’s the one profession that you actually get to touch someone. So I can’t see that changing any time soon so all the rest of the noise that happens around that, you still have to make sure that the person’s being looked after that’s sitting in your chair every single day. And then it goes back to marketing towards your ideal customer. If that’s your ideal customer, the channels can change, like you were saying Connor as well, so if the channels change you just have to realise where your ideal customer is looking at the channel and where you need to go is that’s where it is. So if something comes along in five years that takes over Instagram, if that’s where your clients are, than obviously you’re gonna learn about it and stay relevant and so use that.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Would you agree?

Connor Keppel: Yeah, no, absolutely. I think, as well, there’s a shift, so people are always talking about the changes that are happening in marketing. I think a lot of the changes, believe it or not, in the last four or five years have slowed down a bit. So we have Facebook, we have Instagram, and the features change, but there isn’t a whole new set of channels launching. And the other thing that people are quite worried about as well is, I guess a little bit on data privacy, so there’s a lot of controversy around the likes of Facebook and stuff at the moment, so I think marketing with credibility, helping people understand how you’re using their data, that kind of thing is gonna become really, really, important as well. Consumers and clients of salons are becoming much more aware of how you’re marketing to them via ads that are following them around on the internet and that kind of thing. So it’s a really interesting time.
I’m not sure there will be massive innovations in the next three, four, five years in marketing. I think it will be around credibility and data protection so it could be really interesting, yeah.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: We did see that happen a lot last year with GDPR in Europe.

Connor Keppel: Yes, yes. Massive. Yeah, yeah.

Killian Vigna: It’s one of those things where you’re having a conversation about a product, and you pull out your phone, and you see the ad straight away. It’s good and bad because you’re getting more targeted ads and content that’s better quality, but it’s scary at the same time that they’re just constantly seeing it. It’s great for marketers, but… So yeah, I suppose just like marketing it’s all trial and error. There is no winning formula. Like anything that you do is probably gonna work differently for someone else.

Embracing the highs & lows [19:35]

Killian Vigna: What I’d love to know is, what are the biggest flops you remember, and what are the best campaigns that you remember?

David Linde: Biggest flops?

Killian Vigna: Or most embarrassing even. I know you-

David Linde: I’ve got a lot of those.

Connor Keppel: I feel like this question is designed for me. I’ve had lots. I’ve had lots of terrible marketing campaigns at the start. I think when I started out I probably was like, you know when you’re sitting on the fence? You’re like should I do this, should I not do this. Let’s just send out something, and again combative protection is probably, you know, hit databases I shouldn’t have hit; I probably sent direct mail to people who didn’t want it. I’ve done a lot of that stuff, and I’ve thought if it’s good enough, they’ll really appreciate it kind of thing, and I think as I’ve gotten a little bit older, wiser, over the years, I’ve understood the importance of credibility and the… Great marketing, and it’s one of the best quotes I’ve ever heard from Steve Jobs, if you’re a truly great marketer, you’d be saying no more often than you would be saying yes. What you don’t do is incredibly important from a brand-building, credibility point of view. There’s a reason you don’t do something, and the more people get to know you as a brand, the more they realise you don’t do this because you have credibility or because of who are.

So you don’t serve a certain type of customer maybe, or you don’t use a certain type of channel, or you don’t do a certain type of messaging because it’s not who you are. Not doing something is, actually in itself, almost marketing. So yeah, I’ve had some shocking campaigns. I think there was one company, I won’t get into too much details, but I started in the early days, and I basically sent out a letter to a prospect database, and it was like an invoice with a massive figure on the invoice at the bottom and it wasn’t actually an invoice it was an opportunity cost, like here’s how much it’s costing your business by not using our product and I thought this was an amazing idea but I got a phone call from one person just really upset. She’s like I don’t have the money to pay this and I was like no, you don’t need to pay this. That was a wake-up moment. I think it was Warren Buffet that said it takes 20 years to build a reputation and five seconds to lose it and I was kind of like, okay, now I get that.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Jesus. Mortifying. Yeah.

Connor Keppel: Yeah. I actually felt really guilty, it was terrible. These are important lessons you learn. Yeah.

David Linde: Yeah, it reminds me of, we did several, God five years ago, we were gonna do a marketing campaign, and we weren’t even thinking about our ideal client. We got so caught up in this whole- maybe it was ten years ago. We got so caught up in this whole email marketing campaign and wanting to blast out to everybody that I bought a database of like 10,000 people. I think it was 50,000 people. I just wanted to blast out to everybody, and so I blasted out this whole campaign, and it was totally to the wrong segment of people. I didn’t get one response out of 50,000 because I wasn’t targeting anybody. I just was caught up in this stuff. Just a massive waste of time.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Crazy, and I think it happens. I think it happens a lot and it’s stuff that you learn over time. We’ve all kind of done it.

David Linde: Yeah, you make those mistakes.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: I think the most important thing is to learn from those mistakes actually. ‘Cause if not, how are you supposed to grow from it.

Connor Keppel: And the campaign doesn’t even need to be a flop for it to be wrong. So you can get immediate results from some campaigns, but they do come at the cost of, I guess, your reputation. The way I look at a brand is it’s like a battery. It’s either charging or you’re discharging it so in other words you’re either using the juice or you’re charging it, so every interaction that you have with a company is either building or diminishing your trust. So every time somebody has an interaction with something that you do from a marketing perspective, it has to be credible because you’re always trying to build their trust. So even in times of, we’re looking to try to get more salons on board in a rush, or you’re trying to fill your appointment book, that’s when we tend to get into panic mode, and we will do things that maybe we’ll regret, and they have a long term effect. So even though you might get an immediate result or you might get a few people through your door or you might onboard a few more salons for Phorest or whatever, that can come at the cost of reputation. So you have to think about it from a long term perspective which is difficult sometimes when you’ve got targets, and you’ve got results, and you’ve got a business to run, you know?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Definitely. Did you have any or off the top of you’re head, maybe Kristian, do you have any heartwarming results from a campaign? And the same goes for both of you.

Kristian Tognini: Heartwarming? We ran a campaign, we do a lot of charity work with a charity called Hair Aid. So we ran a campaign in the salon. What Hair Aid do is bring hairdressers to, it started off just in the Philippines, it’s an Australian run company, and they took hairdressers to the Philippines to teach underprivileged how to cut hair so they could make a living. So they go over for two weeks.

So we ran a campaign to raise money to take two of our staff members over to Hair Aid and, my God, that was the most heartwarming thing. When your clients are giving money because they believe in, not only the charity that you’re going for but they believe in your staff and that they can actually make a difference. For any campaign that we’ve ever run, that was honestly the best thing. Just people are so generous, and it was nice to see that you, as the company, decide to have a social conscience and support something, but then your clients get on the back of it and support it as well.

Killian Vigna: And has your salon always supported that charity or…?

Kristian Tognini: It’s quite new. We’ve always supported something. Hair Aids has probably been around for about three or four years now, so they’ve expanded from the Philippines to Cambodia. They do homeless haircutting in Australia as well, so we go, our staff go every week to different missions and cut hair as part of their thing. So it’s just the thing that we get behind. It’s actually a Brisbane lady, so my hometown started it, so we’re fully behind it. It’s great. And we’ve seen some really good results from things over there too so they now, there’s a massive salon chain called David’s in the Philippines that takes on now, they look for the best of the best, some people that they want to take forward, and then at the end of every time that they go over, so they do four waves a year, they will take people on and give them a job in the salon. So take them off the street and give them an actual job, which is phenomenal.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: And you also work with charities, David?

David Linde: Yeah, we work with several charities. One of the best ones we’ve done is one called Hello Gorgeous. And Hello Gorgeous is a charity out of the Midwest that helps cancer victims and celebrates them for a whole day in the salon so it’s a big surprise for the woman that has gone through cancer and she’s on the other side but doesn’t have a lot of hair left and so her best friend usually brings her in and it’s a massive surprise of oh, here you are, and you’re gonna get a day of pampering so she gets a facial, she gets her head washed, she gets makeup. We usually, there’s a clothing store that hooks up with us, gives her several new outfits. Then they meet at a restaurant that all of her friends are there and it’s a big surprise. It’s really something giving back to this person that’s gone through a lot of change and a lot of things in their life that they’re not too happy about.

And what’s really cool about that was this: we started this just because a friend of ours had gone through cancer and a local newspaper ended up hearing about it. They ended up coming by and doing a story on it and then that led to a TV station picking it up and it was really good for our whole community to see that we were giving back and we were helping these people and now it happens just about every other month with us.

Killian Vigna: It’s a really good initiative. And we’ve had someone on the show talking about that, so there’s actually quite a few salon owners out there now working with charities.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Just even businesses, in general, like even Phorest we do it in Phorest, yeah.

Killian Vigna: And we saw with Jo Fairley talking about the fair trade, and I think Ronan was talking with something as well. It is just becoming more and more, it’s great to see businesses like this giving back because sometimes it does feel like it’s all take, take, take, so it’s just good to see you guys giving back to the community as well.

David Linde: Yeah, I think our clients want to see that we’re more than just a hair salon.

Killian Vigna: Yeah.

David Linde: That we’re part of the community and we like you said, we like to give back, and we like to support other things beyond what we do.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah it comes back to, I can’t remember who exactly said that yesterday but if your salon was a person who would that person be, you know? It actually has a personality. It’s interesting.

Reflections & final words [28:11]

Killian Vigna: Cool well listen, I think we’re gonna wrap it up because I know Paddy has his afternoon session now for the product, but just before we go, what’s one thing you’re gonna take home from Dublin now when you go home this weekend, or this week?

Kristian Tognini: I reckon I’ve put on about five stone. I’ll come home with a beer belly and… no, I think some really great learnings, especially from yesterday. Fabulous speakers so some great learnings that you take back home and utilise within the salon but also just really great friends that you’ve met too. I think that’s really important so for everyone that I’ve met here, thank you and thank you to the Phorest team. I’ve really enjoyed myself. Thank you.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Very cool. Thanks for coming over, yeah, absolutely.

Kristian Tognini: Yeah.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Long trip.

David Linde: Huge trip, for you.

Kristian Tognini: When you’re Australian, you get used to it. Everywhere you go is a long trip. It’s a day everywhere!

David Linde: For me, I feel, like Kristian said I think that meeting people here was just a wonderful experience. Yesterday was a great day of learning so many things. One of the things I took away yesterday was, I think it was from Jo, is to really focus on two or three things and make sure that that’s what you’re really good at. That was a little nugget I took away from yesterday, but being here and thank you again for having me and letting me see where everything’s created here. It’s been nice. You all are amazing.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Well, thanks for coming over, absolutely. What about you, Connor? This weekend? [crosstalk 00:29:45].

David Linde: What are you gonna take away?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: It’s the fifth year of the Summit, how do you feel about that?

Connor Keppel: Yeah, it was great. It’s amazing to see [inaudible 00:29:54]. Every year walking it’s like whoa, this is getting so big; but it’s always great to spend time with clients and I think the one thing that you always take away as a marketer, it’s easy to sit at your desk behind a computer dreaming up ideas and there’s just nothing beats talking to people who are using the products and talking to people who are in the industry and learning from them. So the thing that I always learn from Summits is, the speakers are great, but I always learn way more from the clients than I ever do from the speakers and yup, that was pretty good. Pretty good. So I’m looking forward to next year, and hopefully, you guys will be back for it as well.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Bigger and bolder again!

Killian Vigna: Well, listen, thanks very much for joining us on the show today guys and hope you’s all had a great weekend!

Kristian Tognini: Thanks guys! Cheers!

Zoe Belisle-Springer: You’re very welcome. So listen, that’s it for us today. Don’t forget, if you know someone with a story who’d be great on this show, get in touch with us. And if you have any feedback, leave us a review on iTunes or on Stitcher. We honestly love feedback, and we’re always looking for suggestions on how to improve the show. Otherwise, have a wonderful week and we’ll catch you next Monday.

Killian Vigna: All the best!

Related links

Tognini’s Hair Skin Body, Brisbane

Headlines The Salon, Encinitas

Salon Owners Summit Website


This episode was edited and mixed by Audio Z: Great music makes great moments. Montreal’s cutting-edge post-production studio for creative minds looking to have their vision professionally produced and mixed. Tune in every Monday for a mix of interviews with industry thought-leaders, roundups of our most recent salon owners marketing tips & tricks, all the latest in and around Phorest and what upcoming webinars or events you can join.

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