The end of a year usually brings reflection of some sort and when we look back at Neon in 2016 it's quite amazing how far we have come. NEON Hair & Beauty School was launched, apprehensively, on January 1st 2016. Apprehensively because we were unsure how a new style of training would be perceived, we initially though we might have a couple of students on our courses we never imagined our courses would be full with a waiting list!
The start of the year was focused on planning, making sure our hairdressing courses were robust and fit for purpose with a strong emphasis on practical training. With lots of experience in teaching and learning this was fairly straightforward, endless paperwork but nothing we couldn't handle! Finding premises was more of a challenge but Toni & Guy Jersey very kindly allowed us to use a floor in their salon. This allowed us to "test the water" and while it was great to be able to use a working salon we quickly outgrew our first home.
The creation of our website, marketing our courses and everything in between has been dealt with in-house and one of the biggest challenges has been finding enough hours in the day to get everything done. There are many, many late nights behind the scenes but in order to offer a high quality training provision this is necessary. A personal assistant would be nice but we are not quite there yet.......
We welcomed our first students in August, all 17 of them, and they have embraced a new style of training. They produce consistently good work, achieve excellent results in their exams, are genuinely passionate about the industry and above all are an absolute delight to teach. I hope they would agree that their time at NEON is fun but more importantly that they are constantly learning and advancing their techniques.
In September we opened our doors to the public, offering high quality services at reduced rates. Developing a loyal clientele is a priority for us as our students need to practice their skills. We place huge importance on the customer experience and we have gained a loyal following. Many of our sessions are fully booked and our clients regularly give us excellent feedback, we are always delighted when we receive 5 star reviews.
October was a busy month, we attended Salon International our main industry trade show. This is a key date for any Hairdresser who wants to keep up with industry developments. We crammed shows, meetings and equipment updates (shopping!) into two very full days. As always we came back with lots of new tips, techniques and updates to pass onto our students. A key trend for 2017, UV NEON hair!
October also saw us working with our friend Garry from The Great British Barber Bash. We were delighted to bring Darren Jones over, not only is he an amazing (seriously good) barber but he is also an inspiring and talented trainer. Feedback from industry professionals suggested this day was a success! We look forward to working with him again next year.
November was our busiest month to date. We looked after lots of clients which in turn meant we completed lots of important assessments. Our awarding body completed their first inspection visit and we were delighted to receive an excellent report. We know we are offering quality training but it was good to have this confirmed. At the end of November our school closed for a month as our students are needed in their salons. Christmas is a busy time and our salon partners need the help of their apprentices, this is also really valuable industry experience. We also found our new premises this month, 21 David Place, formally a pharmacy and perfumery for over 100 years. A perfumery that held a royal warrant, perfect for us!
At the time of writing, 30th December 2016, our new premises is a building site! We open our doors again on the 9th January and we are optimistic that everything will be finished, at this stage what's a few more late nights? We need to be in our new premises as we have lots of plans for 2017 and can't wait to get started. If you haven't been to visit us yet we hope to see you next year and keep an eye on our Facebook/instagram for updates.
We wish you a Happy/Healthy New Year from all at Neon Salon & School x