Welcome to the Salon Owner’s Podcast, Phorest FM Episode 48. Co-hosted by Killian Vigna and Zoé Bélisle-Springer, this show is 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 you can join. Phorest FM is produced every Monday morning for your enjoyment with a cup of coffee on your day off.

Phorest FM Episode 48

There’s constant chatter about going green and being eco-friendly in the workplace, but what does it actually take to make it happen?

This week on the show, we chat with Jennie Lawson, salon owner and founder of Mimosa Beauty, in Chelmsford. After 5 and a half years of running her salon and hoping to get an eco side-project off the grounds, she’s instead taken that same business and turned it into the UK’s first eco-innovative salon.

“Every decision with the expansion of mimosa has had the planet at its core. If it is not “clean” for the planet or people it does not enter the salon. It has been both exhilarating and challenging. When you have a vision as huge as helping every single person on this planet to have clean water, and stopping ocean animals dying from ingesting plastic every tiny step in the right direction helps.” – Mimosa Beauty

Read more at <https://www.mimosabeauty.co.uk/eco-innovation/>



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Killian Vigna: Welcome to the Phorest FM Podcast, Episode 48. I’m Killian Vigna.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: And I’m Zoe Belisle Springer.

Killian Vigna: This week on the show, we interview Jennie Lawson, founder of Mimosa Beauty, the UK’s first 100 percent eco-friendly salon, where we’ll discuss the idea of building a business around eco-innovation.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: As always, we’ll top off the show with our upcoming Phorest Academy webinars.

Killian Vigna: This podcast is produced every Monday morning for your enjoyment with a cup of coffee on your day off. Now, let’s get into the show.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Good morning Killian.

Killian Vigna: Morning, Zoe. So, I’m interested about this one, because this one actually came from an article that you found from Mimosa Beauty’s Instagram.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Exactly, yeah.

Killian Vigna: I’m really looking forward to it. It’s a hundred percent eco-friendly salon. The UK’s first hundred percent eco-friendly salon.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: So Mimosa Beauty is a multi-award winning luxury skin and beauty salon and medispa in Essex. And I’m really curious to see how exactly she got around to get a hundred percent eco-friendly. Because to me, there’s some parts of it that I really don’t understand how, exactly, you got to that point.

Killian Vigna: Yeah, it sounds like it’d be a really expensive process to go about anything like that. Because you know yourself, when you buy eco, free range, things like those, you’re always paying that little bit more.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: I guess we’ll find out!

Killian Vigna: I guess we’ll find out. So without further ado, we have Jennie Lawson on the line here. Hi Jennie, welcome to the show.

Jennie Lawson: Hi. Hi.

Killian Vigna: Jennie, you are the UK’s first one hundred percent eco-friendly salon.

Jennie Lawson: Yeah.

Killian Vigna: And while we’re dying to get into that, we’re just going to kind of… We’d love to know a bit about yourself first, and I suppose how you got into this whole, the angle of “I want my salon to be a hundred percent eco-friendly.”

Jennie Lawson: I’ve been in the industry ten years now. It’ll be eleven next year. I started at 17, trained up in London, and then I’d had spa experience. I worked up in Staffordshire for nine months in a spa. Then local salon. And then I went and worked for Virgin, so I had this tick list, a bit like I do with everything in life. I wanted to tick off all these things. I wanted spa experience because I wanted to see how a spa ran. I wanted small salon to see what it was like right at the bottom. And then I went into corporate because I just wanted to see what it was like within a team, within a franchise.

And then set out on my own in January 2012. That’d always been the aim. I guess it took a lot longer than I thought, just because I ended up staying places a lot longer than I’d planned.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Right.

Jennie Lawson: But I think that just happens when you get into a bit of a rhythm. And what I’d learned about being in salons versus being in spas, was just about client base and building up a client base, and have a rapport with people that, when you’re working in a spa, which is just… I can’t even imagine going back to it now. You only see people once, so you almost need to have a repeat of “Hi, how’s your day going? Hi. Have you enjoyed the pool? Hi.” God.

Killian Vigna: Becomes repetitive small talk.

Jennie Lawson: You can just imagine, can’t you?

Killian Vigna: Yeah.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah.

Jennie Lawson: You have to repeat… But that’s what it was like. And I was eighteen. And it was the best experience I had because it just teaches you time management and teaches you how critical that is, which I don’t think a lot of people really get the experience of. But when you’ve got a thirty-minute allocation of you need to get that person from the waiting room, naked on your couch, massage them for 25 minutes and then back out and back to the room and you’ve got the next person in, within thirty minutes. It’s… yeah. It teaches you.

Killian Vigna: So, you were saying you were working in the salon. And what I found really interesting is, a lot of people we talk to, they’ve spent most of their careers in a salon. But you actually decided to go more corporate and move away from the salon for a while.

Jennie Lawson: Well, it was a salon. Virgin was a salon. It was a spa. Their salon was in the gym.

Killian Vigna: Okay!

Jennie Lawson: Virgin… It was Virgin Spa [inaudible 00:04:04]. I don’t know if they’ve rebranded again now. But I just wanted to see what it was like within a bigger organization.

Killian Vigna: Oh, I get you, okay, so move away from the smaller business, is it?

Jennie Lawson: Yeah. Yeah. Because obviously, learning it all now, bigger places are a lot more systemized, because they have to, because they’re franchises. I wish I could go back in now, just for like two weeks, and just pick it all apart again. Whereas you never do when you’re actually in that space. You never think “Oh, yeah, when I’ve got a salon and I’ve got a team of five, I’m gonna have to remember how we did those one-to-one things.” But yeah. It’s all different now. Different game.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: So with all that background, what was your vision when you set up Mimosa Beauty? Without talking just about the eco-friendly just yet. Just like your vision about running your business in general.

Jennie Lawson: Well, I’ve only become completely eco this year. The new building I launched in March this year. Right before that, I was on my own for five and a half years. My big thing was to put people at the core of my business. Which doesn’t come from lowering your price and putting yourself lower to be able to accommodate every single person. It comes from the fact that people were the reason I was doing what I do. Because I love what I do. I’m really, really lucky, I’m really blessed, I found a career very early on that I’m very happy in. And I have excelled in. And I think that was my focus. Especially coming from a corporate. Coming from Virgin, no offense, but you’re so targeted. You’re a target breaker. If you don’t bring in that six and a half grand, or four and a half grand, or whatever you’re targeted to… every single person that you look at is a money machine.

Killian Vigna: Yeah.

Jennie Lawson: You have to look at them at how much they’re gonna spend. How much retail are they gonna spend? What kind of course you can sell them.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah.

Jennie Lawson: It probably had… not necessarily put me off in my own company, but my staff aren’t targeted. I mean, maybe that’s not necessarily the right way to get staff motivation, but at the end of the day, I don’t want them looking at my clients like they’re money. I want them looking at them like they’re people. And I want them to look at them from a part of empathy, right, which is where I come from.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah.

Jennie Lawson: Of actually, “Okay, this person’s a human being and they’re walking through my door, and how can I help them?”.

Killian Vigna: Yeah, it’s true, because when you get to-

Jennie Lawson: That’s always been my ethos. And it’s self-respect. It’s also a mutual respect. I’ve done really a big self-respect piece with my staff now, with no-shows. Just because actually, we get people that are really snotty about it, because we charge. And my argument is, actually, it’s really disrespectful. It’s our time. And if we respect ourselves as artists, and we respect our worth, and we respect that actually, we do know what we’re talking about and we are experts in what we do, and our time is worth what people pay for it, then why should we not be charging for no-show appointments? I think it’s building a respect and a rapport with people. You’re not just a check out at Tesco’s. You’re actually a human being. And if you respect them as a human being, they’ll respect you back.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah.

Killian Vigna: Well, like you were saying, you’ve got ten years under your own belt. So that’s not just ten years of you working in a salon. That’s ten years of you upskilling, learning-

Jennie Lawson: Touching people, yeah.

Killian Vigna: …building a team, and upskilling your own team. You’re not gonna go to a doctor’s and go “Can I get a discount off a visit?” Or anything like that.

Jennie Lawson: Oh, God.

Killian Vigna: A lot of professionals have no-shows.

Jennie Lawson: Yeah. We have one line written on our desk on a Post-It note. We do not negotiate on price.

Killian Vigna: No, completely, yeah.

Jennie Lawson: When people say “Oh yeah, but you can discount that, right, ’cause you’re the boss?” It’s like, we do not negotiate on price. Full stop.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: And that’s very fair.

Jennie Lawson: Deep breath.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: So if we move in a bit into the eco-innovation part.

Jennie Lawson: Yeah.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: What does this term mean? For people who wouldn’t necessarily know what it involves, exactly.

Jennie Lawson: Okay. Well, eco-innovation is about re-innovating business to become more eco-friendly and sustainable.

Killian Vigna: So how did you-

Jennie Lawson: Come up with that? It’s not mine. There’s a company called Parley (laughs).

Killian Vigna: Yeah.

Jennie Lawson: Basically, the salon became eco because it was just a series of events that happened that… It was like a Domino effect. You say one thing, and then the whole Domino happened. I joined a Mastermind, a business Mastermind eighteen months ago. And that… When you’re really trying to find your purpose-

Killian Vigna: Yeah.

Jennie Lawson: …in the world, it sounds really deep, but when you’re really trying to find who you are and why you’re here… When you go that far… For me it was I want every single person on this planet to be able to have clean water and to be able to…

For me, I’m a scuba diver, so the ocean is my thing. And the fact that there’s so much plastic in the ocean, I thought “Okay, well, that’s what I want. I want a clean planet. So let’s start by having a clean ocean and then later down the line we can get it to people.”

But then I met a lady in a TEDx talk who was talking about Deep Beauty-

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah.

Jennie Lawson: …which is the regeneration of beauty and how she works within water systems and waterways to plant plants that basically feed off poo. It’s incredible. It’s insane. It’s insane. Her work is insane.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: It sounds really interesting.

Jennie Lawson: She’s [inaudible 00:09:49] up in Scotland.

Killian Vigna: I think I have actually seen that one, yeah.

Jennie Lawson: Yeah. Her TED talk’s amazing. I’ll have to find the link for you guys, but it’s all… She grew up with her dad working in waterways. And there were all these beautiful flowers that regenerate off what we put into the water. So they feed off it. And so she has spent her… She goes around the world and she’s lived in the Philippines, and she basically cleans waterways through plants.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah.

Jennie Lawson: Which is just insane. So I spoke to her. And I’m really proactive, so after I saw her talk I went and got her card, and met up with her the next day. And just said “What you’re doing is incredible, and I have this huge eco passion project I want to do. It has gone off. Yeah. [inaudible 00:10:34].”

And I spoke to her about it because I needed a designer to design this thing I want to make, and she said “Actually, but didn’t you say you were in a beauty salon.” I was like “Yeah.” And she went, “So, why is your salon not eco?”

And the first words that came out my mouth were “It’s not physically possible.”

Killian Vigna: And that’s what we were thinking.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah.

Killian Vigna: So right up until now, this was just you wanting to do it for yourself. You never even had the salon going eco-friendly in mind up until now.

Jennie Lawson: No. No, no, no, no, no, no. I got questioned as to why I wasn’t.

Killian Vigna: Yeah.

Jennie Lawson: If my vision for myself is to be able to have a clean ocean and a clean planet, why am I not walking my walk? I was like “Oh yeah, but it’s fine because I’ll just create another project that’s eco and ignore the fact that all my money is coming from something that actually isn’t sustainable.”

Zoe Belisle-Springer: When she questioned you about that, why is your salon not eco, what was your reaction in terms of after you went “That’s not possible”?

Jennie Lawson: Yeah. It was kind of like, well, okay, she’s got a point. I was quite frustrated. I walked away being like “Okay, well maybe she’s got a point, but I honestly think it’s completely ridiculous, and it’s not possible.” And she was going on about hair salons and recyclable towels. And I’m like “Yeah, that’s so not sustainable.” Like, recycling towels is not sustainable… And then I went to a Virgin disruptors event and heart Cyril speak, who is the founder of Parley. And he talked about eco-innovation and how as entrepreneurs and business owners we are obliged to be supporting our planet.

And, oh god. The images that he showed of seagulls full of plastic. And he was like “They say we’ve got twenty years. We haven’t. We’ve got six. If there’s anybody in here who has got a business, needs to start making it sustainable, because otherwise this planet is not going to survive.”

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Geez-

Jennie Lawson: And I’m sitting there like “Oh, shit.”

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, that must have been a massive wake up call-

Jennie Lawson: Yeah.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: …for anyone who was at that talk.

Jennie Lawson: Yeah. Anybody in that room. I’m sitting there going “[inaudible 00:12:43]”. Yeah, dude, think you might need to re-assign that one. And from then on, I think that was in October last year.

Killian Vigna: So this was only a year ago?

Jennie Lawson: Yeah.

Killian Vigna: Right.

Jennie Lawson: And I’d applied for planning in the September for my building that I’m in. That was when I went “Okay. We need to do something now.” When you see images like that, you’re sitting there and you’re in an amphitheatre. And the whole bloody thing, the whole wall is covered in fish and birds full of plastic and whales that they’re cutting fishing line out of. And you’re just saying, “No. Okay, no.” That hits me. It probably doesn’t hit other people. I was saying to someone the other day, when I was traveling in Hong Kong, I wasn’t as bothered by the dogs and the cats in cages. I was bothered by the fish that were in bags.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah.

Jennie Lawson: I’ve grown up diving since 11. I’ve been brought up in the ocean. I’ve been brought up in… that’s just how I live. So when I then found ways that I could become sustainable, it was just like, okay, well why would I not do this? Why would money matter when you can save something?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, definitely. And so what did that entail exactly, going eco-friendly?

Jennie Lawson: A lot of money. It was hard reading your questions. I just sat here with my PA and I’m like, we’re going through them, and she’s like “Funding.” I’m like, “Yeah. We didn’t get funding, did we?” She’s like “No, it’s really hard work.” I’m like “Yeah, I know it’s hard work.”

What does that look like? That looked like eighty pound a month in recycling cost. We use an independent recycling company called Green Recycling who are landfill free. So 79 percent of what leaves our building physically gets recycled, the rest of it gets turned into breeze blocks.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Okay.

Jennie Lawson: And turned into breeze blocks, that are then given to companies that burn waste [inaudible 00:15:04].

Killian Vigna: Yeah.

Jennie Lawson: LED lights. We’ve got the most sustainable washing machine. My carpet’s 86 percent recycled carpet. I remember the bill though. I found this company. I’d got an interior designer. The only thing I used her for. And it was can you find me a recyclable carpet? And she looked at me like, you’re mental. Like, yep, fine. Just please, I need it nice quality, I want this kind of color, this is what the doors look like. And she came back with this armful of tiny, tiny three by three inch sample of carpet. I gave it to the builder with all the information, I was like, “There you go.” And he just looked at me like, you do realize how much this is about to cost you, don’t you?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Jesus.

Jennie Lawson: And I went “Yeah, I do.” He was like “Okay. Just keep smiling then.” I’m like “Yeah, I know how much it’s gonna cost me, but I know that I want something that…” We’ve got coconut masting in my foyer, but you wouldn’t even notice. It just looks like Hessian. But it’s coconut. It’s so cool. When you get into it, it gets really geeky and really cool.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: I remember you mentioning the towels. So what are you doing in that sense? Are you… you recycle them?

Jennie Lawson: We do everything in-house.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yep.

Jennie Lawson: So we don’t send out our laundry. Everything gets washed on an eco-wash. We use [inaudible] washing powder, which is a sustainable washing powder. And we’ve got a heated airer. So ninety percent of our stuff gets dried on a heated airer, and only goes into a tumble drier right at the end.

Killian Vigna: Was this easily-

Zoe Belisle-Springer: This is blowing my mind.

Killian Vigna: Yeah, I’m-

Jennie Lawson: Sorry!

Zoe Belisle-Springer: No, it’s fine!

Killian Vigna: It’s amazing. It really is.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: It’s really good. And-

Killian Vigna: Even little things-

Jennie Lawson: For me, it’s a plastic and an ocean thing. When you’re… my mom scuba dives in [inaudible 00:16:47] Bay, and she was like “You literally have to sift through crap on the surface of the water to be able to get down to the beautiful creatures that are there.” And I’m like “That’s not okay.”

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah.

Jennie Lawson: I’m going there next October, and I’m already dreading it. I’m like “Are we going to have to sift through the nasty to get through the water?” Oh, god. But it’s what we’re doing. And I guess what we don’t remember. It’s like when people put all these lanterns up into the sky when they’re doing one of those christening things or a wedding.

Killian Vigna: Right.

Jennie Lawson: And you’re like, that is going into the ocean. Where do you think it goes?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah.

Jennie Lawson: And then a turtle thinks that it’s a jellyfish because it looks like a plastic bag, and plastic bags looks like jellyfish. And a turtle then ingests it. And you think, no one thinks about that. We’re so selfish as human beings that we make all these things for our own use and our own purpose, and we don’t think about what we’re doing to the animals that actually have no control.

And people talk to me about sharks. I’ve got a huge thing about sharks. Shark finning should be banned globally. It’s completely obscene. And they cut off their fins and they cut off their tails and then they throw them back into the water. They can’t move, they can’t breathe, they drown.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: That’s horrible.

Jennie Lawson: And somehow that’s okay because it’s a shark, and sharks eat people. Sharks don’t eat people. I had a seven-foot shark a foot away from my face. And the only thing I can say is I have a healthy respect for the fact that I’m in its environment.

Killian Vigna: Yeah.

Jennie Lawson: It’s their home, it’s not mine. I put myself in that environment.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah.

Killian Vigna: So while this is obviously really strong values for yourself, how have you managed to, with your team… Have your team always been on board with it since the recruitment process, or is this something that you’ve had to, I suppose-

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Teach them, almost.

Killian Vigna: Yeah. Like how do you work this in-

Jennie Lawson: I have a combination of both. A combination of both. I guess it helps them that the whole building’s sustainable.

Killian Vigna: Yeah.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah.

Jennie Lawson: And that anything they put in the rubbish gets recycled. So it’s done for them. I don’t know. I guess you have to ask them. I guess it was a massive part of my recruitment, in terms of… For me, like with the building, the line that we walked along was clean.

I want clean people, I want a clean building. It has to be clean. It has to be sustainable. I’ve bent that a little bit now, employing people, because that was obviously living in a very idealistic world, that they were gonna eat clean like I do. I’m not vegan, but I nourish my body. And I was expecting them to do the same. Which was a little bit unachievable now I look back. Especially when they come in with bags of biscuits and chocolate and God knows what else.

But it was just about educating them on body fuel. If you’re going to do six hours of massage back to back, you’re going to need to eat something other than chocolate and treats. Because your blood sugar’s gonna go.

Killian Vigna: So you’ve got a very clean canteen.

Jennie Lawson: Yeah. But I guess in terms… they know where I stand on it.

Killian Vigna: Yeah.

Jennie Lawson: I guess I’ve made that much very, very easy. They have reusable plastic bottles. They know I get really snotty when they come in with plastic bottles, like just an Evian plastic bottle, and throw it in the bin. I bought them bottles as part of their welcome pack, so they have bottles with carbon filters in them that filter the water for them.

Killian Vigna: So you’re giving the opportunities there. Because like we said, it’s not always easy to change someone’s mindset or kind of-

Jennie Lawson: No.

Killian Vigna: …force things on them, but you’re actually, you’re providing the resources-

Jennie Lawson: Yes.

Killian Vigna: …so that they would be-

Zoe Belisle-Springer: The transition is easier, yeah, I suppose.

Killian Vigna: Yeah, exactly. So-

Jennie Lawson: Yeah. I’m very, very strong-minded on a lot of this stuff. So I would never want to preach the way that I believe. I don’t believe in preaching, I don’t believe that I should force them to be a certain way. I would hope that some of what I have done gets through.

Killian Vigna: Yeah.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah.

Jennie Lawson: I’m assuming it does because they’re still there! We’re seven months in and they’re still here. That’s the biggest achievement, I think, of my life, because I opened a salon with going from one person and a PA who only worked twelve hours a week, to a team of four in my building. A three-story, five treatment room salon, and we’re all still there, so.

Killian Vigna: Yeah-

Jennie Lawson: …my biggest achievement.

Killian Vigna: It all comes back to culture fit. At the end of the day, you aren’t a salon owner, and you’re only going to… Your salon, your business, can only succeed if you’ve got the right people. Not just the skills in place, but the right people that will fit your culture and share your visions.

Jennie Lawson: Yeah.

Killian Vigna: And that’s what we always say with salons and stuff like that. You’re not just hiring skills, you’re hiring people who are gonna have the same mindset as you.

Jennie Lawson: Yeah. My PA, Rach, who’s incredible and probably deserves way more credit than she gets, the salon wouldn’t have been possible without her. I was in treatment nine ’til nine trying to earn the money to cover this.

Killian Vigna: Yeah.

Jennie Lawson: And she was the one that was there with the builders. I did the floor plans and the drawings of exactly what I wanted, and she knew where my line was, and we’d talk about it every day. But she was the one that was helping me do the research. She was the one that was there with the builders. She knew where the line was on what’s sustainable. She knew that I wasn’t going to be prepared to have lights that weren’t LED.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah.

Jennie Lawson: So they had to be the right colour LED. Washing machine. All the stupid stuff. There was a line. Is it clean, or is it not?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah. And as the first UK one hundred percent eco-friendly salon, did you get any government support at all?

Jennie Lawson: No.

Killian Vigna: No, that’s what. You were saying with the questions, when you read it you were like “Government grants, what?” That’s the bit I find really hard to believe, that all these people are telling us-

Jennie Lawson: And you had… Yeah.

Killian Vigna: …To tell us that we need to go green, fit solar panels, things like those, but they’re not willing to provide any grants.

Jennie Lawson: Yeah. We haven’t got solar panels. We won’t get planning for it.

Killian Vigna: Yeah. So-

Jennie Lawson: Because we’re in a old, big Victorian building, we won’t get planning for solar panels.

Killian Vigna: So because there are no… I suppose there’s no available aids and grants, and you were saying that it was very expensive originally, do you have any, I suppose, advice, for anyone who is looking to move in this sort of direction for their business? Because you’ve obviously done all the hard work. You’ve done all the research yourself. Like you were saying, there was no one that would support you at the time. But do you offer advice or support to other people now, or is there somewhere that people could go to find out more about this?

Jennie Lawson: It’s something I’m looking at. For me personally, it’s making tiny changes.

Killian Vigna: Yeah.

Jennie Lawson: It’s not hard. Like, it’s not hard to recycle. I don’t know how good the local councils are at recycling without going any further into it. I don’t know. I’ve heard a lot of stories. If you’re only a single person, it wouldn’t cost you that much to find a recycling company that would do it for you. If it’s forty quid a week, or fifty quid a month, what that’s one max? That’s an hour of your time, out of a full month that… That’s the way that I work it out. Two Hollywood waxes is 84 pounds. Then an hour of my time covers my recycling cost.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah.

Jennie Lawson: It’s that simple. It’s not hard. It’s just making tiny changes. Moving to LED lights. Moving… I don’t agree with single split counter, but some people do that. I don’t know. It’s simple. It’s small, small things that make a really big difference. Having a reusable bottle instead of buying one from Tesco’s, an Evian bottle every day. That makes a huge difference. The less people that are doing it and using… Or if you’re gonna buy an Evian bottle, refill it five times out of the tap. Make sure you’re getting your use out of stuff.

Killian Vigna: Yeah.

Jennie Lawson: To me, a really big thing that we moved into, which was just luck, I would think actually, I love books. So I bought a [inaudible 00:25:17] eight beautiful book. And I was [inaudible 00:25:19] like, my whole thing is hey, beautiful. And I saw that book, and I bought it. Beautiful hardback book. And I had it in my old salon, sitting, and everyone sat and picked it up, no one looked at magazines. And I was like “Why am I spending all this money on magazine subscriptions, when I could just have a beautiful book?” So we now have a library. We now have books. We don’t have magazines, because I don’t agree with monthly magazines. Think how much we throw away. Because that’s an obscene amount of paper. We don’t recycle that. That doesn’t go… We don’t have that in our salon. We have cookery books, and recipes and personal development books, and [inaudible 00:26:00] Mr. and Mrs. Smith books.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: That’s really nice. It must give such a different experience as well.

Killian Vigna: Well, most people are going to sit-

Jennie Lawson: Yeah, because actually people can sit and take a picture of what they’re going to make for dinner.

Killian Vigna: Yeah. But you’d find most people are sitting there in the waiting room on their phone anyway.

Jennie Lawson: Yeah.

Killian Vigna: So you don’t need-

Jennie Lawson: Yeah.

Killian Vigna: …this week’s magazine. Because they’ve already got all that information anyway.

Jennie Lawson: Yeah. Yeah, no. It was one of the small slash big changes. It was just lucky for me. I can now put books through business, because they will fit in the salon.

Killian Vigna: I think you have-

Jennie Lawson: [Inaudible] in my Mastermind group that, I’ll put a picture of my books on Instagram, I’ll turn up to another meeting or I’ll get a book in the post, “This isn’t on your bookshelf.” “Oh, cool, thanks!”

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Amazing.

Killian Vigna: Well, I think you’ve essentially got another project there that you can work on. Maybe, would you ever do a TED talk on this?

Jennie Lawson: [inaudible 00:26:52].

Killian Vigna: Because just from what you’ve told us there-

Jennie Lawson: Yeah.

Killian Vigna: …It’s absolutely blowing our minds. We’re actually stuck for questions. We thought this was going to be nice and fluid one, but you’ve just really opened us up to a whole new world out there. And if you could go around and do talks like that, people are definitely gonna benefit from it.

Jennie Lawson: Oh, do you know [inaudible 00:27:11]. There was a TED talk in Chelmsford, which is where I am, and it’s in a couple of weeks, and I missed the deadline. I only found out about it six weeks off the deadline, but it was underneath the surface. And I’m like “Oh my god, that’s so me!” I was like “Never got a better themed TED talk ever.” But I missed that one. Yeah. I’m working on it. I’d love to go into consultancy on it.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, I think that would be really great.

Jennie Lawson: I’m still trying to get a new business off the ground, technically, although we were running for five and a half years on my own with money. This is very much a new venture, going from one room with very minimal overhead cost to a building that’s costing me twenty grand a month… It’s a lot of money. And it’s really hard work.

Killian Vigna: I’m sitting here smiling. I’m in absolute awe of what you’re doing, because you’re the same age as myself and Zoe here. And the things that you’ve achieved and the things that you’ve done, it’s just like ‘wow’. Really is.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah, it’s very impressive.

Jennie Lawson: Thank you.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Very, very impressive.

Killian Vigna: Yeah. Well, yeah, just-

Jennie Lawson: I just need some eco awards now. Once I get eco awards… That’s our next thing. Eco, yeah.

Killian Vigna: Well, look, we’re gonna be sharing your story online anyway.

Jennie Lawson: Thank you.

Killian Vigna: We’re gonna send you over the episode, feel free to use, but I mean, even write a blog on your post if there was anywhere that anyone could start. Because it’s just starting. It’s just taking one step at a time. And it doesn’t have to be full on like you were doing originally. It’s just little changes here and there. But every change makes a difference.

Jennie Lawson: Yeah. And I think that being questioned on it, when you have… It literally was a series of events. It was speaking to the right people. It was being pushed in the right direction. It was… You do realise, if you really loved the planet, the thing that you earn your money from, the thing that you spend your life doing, why would you not make it so it’s helping the planet? I’ve got these amazing ideas. Like, I would love for a staff trip, take them up to Scotland and plant trees. I would love to be able to go to Africa and do wells. And stuff like that. And then you realize, actually when you start running it, that costs a lot of money. Maybe not. Hard enough to get them to London for an evening, to find the money to do that, let alone take them off to go and plant trees.

But there’s stuff like… One of my friends that’s down in Brighton, they do beachcombing, and they go and clean up the beaches in Brighton. Well, we can go and do that on Saturday afternoon. It’s the tiny things.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: You could almost make it a team activity.

Jennie Lawson: Yeah, exactly.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah.

Killian Vigna: You can always find time, but-

Jennie Lawson: The grant thing’s really difficult. Finding money is really hard.

Killian Vigna: Yeah.

Jennie Lawson: It’s the most frustrating thing, I think, as an entrepreneur, when you’ve got… I’ve got two brothers, they’re in university, and they get given God knows how much, you can get how much for a degree, thirty grand? And you think, if you gave thirty grand to an entrepreneur, they could turn it into a million if you just let them. And they don’t. I tried to get a grant. I tried to get support. I tried to get local council help. I got nothing. I didn’t get coaching, I didn’t get support, I had absolutely no help at all. I’d gone and found it and sourced it myself. The most I could get on a loan was 2,500 pounds.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Jesus.

Jennie Lawson: And I sat there going “You do realize that my soundproofing alone is seven and a half grand. My flooring is ten grand. My carpet is God knows how much.” And he sat there going “Yeah. Well-“ I was like “Well, your 2500 pounds isn’t gonna help me at all. It doesn’t even touch the sides. That’s one and a half couches. I’ve got five treatment couches.”

When you’re getting some money, it’s just… It’s hard. It’s exhausting. And I think people really underestimate it. They see it as something so beautiful, and you’re like “Yeah, things cost money.” Five and a half years of bloody hard work. Yeah.

Killian Vigna: And do your clients see all this? Do they see how much work and effort you’ve put into it? Or do they just look at it as it’s a salon?

Jennie Lawson: I haven’t done enough, and to be honest, I’ve just been trying to keep my head above the water.

Killian Vigna: Yeah.

Jennie Lawson: And trying to keep breathing through first, having a team, having a building, keeping it functioning. I don’t think people know how sustainable it is. I’m trying to do a lot more on-air, like some of the Instagram posts are “Oh, we’re a hundred percent… by coming to us you’re helping the planet.” All that kind of stuff.

Zoe Belisle-Sprigner: That’s actually how-

Jennie Lawson: [inaudible 00:31:51].

Zoe Belisle-Springer: …I came across it.

Jennie Lawson: Pardon?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: That’s actually how we came across it, through Instagram.

Jennie Lawson: Yeah. Yeah. So I’m trying. It’s just having the energy and the momentum to put into it. I don’t really have PR people behind me. If I had a whole army of people being like “Hey, can you guys wave my eco-flag for me while I earn the money to pay the rent?” Which, hey, it would probably be a lot easier.

I’ve just written an ebook, so I’ve done my first one of them which is all about self-care. So I guess I’ll do another one on sustainability and have it designed beautifully. And then that could be in the salon too.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Well listen, Jennie, thank you so much for joining us on the show today. It was really, really insightful, and-

Killian Vigna: Eye-opening.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: …mind-blowing, yeah.

Killian Vigna: It really has.

Jennie Lawson: Go and get a whole lot of plastic bottles for the office… Oh, you have them! You’ve got your Phorest ones.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yes, we do!

Killian Vigna: We do, yeah.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: [inaudible 00:32:44].

Killian Vigna: ‘My clients, my cardio,’ but Jennie, thanks a million for being on the show today.

Jennie Lawson: My pleasure. Thanks for having me.

Killian Vigna: I hope by sharing the podcast, we can do a little bit to help you and support you in this movement.

Jennie Lawson: Hopefully. Thank you. Thank you for getting in contact. It means a hell of a lot. And I thank you very much.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: You’re very welcome. All the congrats to you, and your hard work. Seriously, you can be very proud of yourself.

Killian Vigna: Yeah.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Very, very proud of yourself.

Jennie Lawson: Thank you. Thank you very much.

Killian Vigna: So usually when we finish up an interview like that, we’ll have a few minutes’ chat with our interviewee at the end of it, and we just ended up getting so much more gold from Jennie that-

Zoe Belisle-Springer: We’re keeping them in, essentially. And we’ve chatted to her about this and she’s fine with it.

Killian Vigna: So I suppose for the first time ever on Phorest FM, here’s the B side.

Jennie Lawson: I think that was the thing. I don’t tell enough people. I think when I first won the awards and stuff it was all very much “Oh, look at me, hi, here I am.”

Killian Vigna: Yeah.

Jennie Lawson: And now it’s very much “Okay, what can I give back?” What can I give?

Killian Vigna: Honestly, it’s a brilliant story because it wouldn’t have caught our eye, only for the fact that you put up the article about going green in BABTAC. So that one article-

Jennie Lawson: That was hard work. That was hard work.

Killian Vigna: Getting the article, was it?

Jennie Lawson: Yeah. I need to get out a bit more with it. I think when you’re running a business it’s hard enough anyway. I guess for me, I’ve got bigger things. I want a spa that will be one hundred percent sustainable, in every single part of it. Solar panels. I want it in a forest. The water. Everything. Absolutely everything will be a hundred percent sustainable. It’s gonna cost me an absolute fortune.

Killian Vigna: But that adds to the experience of going to a salon. Because isn’t the whole point you’re supposed to… it’s relaxing and unwinding. Which means by being eco-friendly you’re even closer again to Earth.

Jennie Lawson: Yeah. Yeah. I think again, it’s just financial. I guess the more I pump out about this, the more likely I will be to get an investor, hopefully?

Killian Vigna: Yeah. Look, you’re clearly ambitious, and you’ve definitely got the drive, just the fact that you’ve done so much in a year from one TED talk. Honestly-

Jennie Lawson: Yeah.

Killian Vigna: …wish you all the best of luck with it. Well, we don’t need to wish you the best of luck with it.

Jennie Lawson: Thank you.

Killian Vigna: Because you’re definitely on the right track and you’re pushing it, and it seems like no one’s gonna stop you. Which is good!

Jennie Lawson: Yeah. No. I think the recycling stuff helps. Came up with the idea while… I’ve just been away on a retreat. And we were looking at loyalty and actually bringing, for clients to bring their products back to us, they’ll get five percent off the next product. And we can recycle that bottle.

Killian Vigna: That’s actually a good incentive, yeah.

Jennie Lawson: It’s a simple thing, but not, isn’t it?

Zoe Belisle-Springer: It’s a really-

Jennie Lawson: Like, I’ve never thought of that. And you think, oh yeah, well actually… One, I can either use it my the retail display or two, it can go in my recycling.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: Yeah. Definitely. That would work.

Jennie Lawson: I don’t know why I haven’t thought of it before. But it only comes from having conversations with people. It comes from being surrounded by people that are-

Killian Vigna: Like-minded.

Jennie Lawson: …are in line with what you… they’re there to help… I’m very much an advocate of business groups and Masterminds. I do spend a lot of money on it. But my God, I would not be where I am without them. I would not be there without the support of having people behind me going “Okay, well is that eco?”

Killian Vigna: Jennie Lawson, founder of Mimosa Beauty, UK’s first one hundred percent eco-friendly salon. Just to wrap off our show as always, we have our webinars.

Zoe Belisle-Springer: This week on Phorest Academy, we have The Salon Growth Series: Get More Bookings and Work Less. So that’s on tomorrow from 3 PM to 4 PM, UK/Ireland time, 10 AM to 11 AM US Eastern Time. And we’ll show you how to increase your salon’s bookings and revenue, eliminate no-shows and last minute cancellations, and essentially, how to get up to seven hours of your life back a week. So if you’re looking to get more bookings by working less, this is the webinar you want to tune into. So again, 3 PM to 4 PM UK Ireland time, 10 AM to 11 AM US Eastern time. Tomorrow, October 24th.

The next webinar we’ll have is on November 6th, and we’ll chat more about that one on next week’s episode. It is Part 2 of our series with Valerie Delforge, so if you are eager to learn more about that you can also have a look at our Facebook Events section. And that’s also where you can find tickets for the Salon Growth Series webinar. So if you go onto our Facebook page, events section, find the Salon Growth Series event, and then go to Find Tickets or Ticket Information, sign up there, you’ll get a unique link through your email after signing up. And that’s how you join in on the day.

Killian Vigna: So as always, if there’s anything you want to hear on the show, if there’s any particular person you want on the show, or even if you want us to create a whole new webinar for you, give us a shout, let us know, give us some feedback!

Zoe Belisle-Springer: We wish you a wonderful week, and we’ll catch you next Monday.

Killian Vigna: All the best.

Thanks for reading!


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