Renee Melek: Rise of a hairdressing hero

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She has a posh little salon in Khar, Mumbai; she is on board of Wahl as a trainer and she loves creating hair tattoos. Meet Renee Melek of Renee’ Melek Salon.

What inspired you to get into hairdressing?

I didn’t plan to get into hairdressing. My granny, a teacher by profession, saw my inclination towards art. To keep me busy during the summer vacation she used to send me at art classes. After my 10th grade, she enrolled me into a hairdressing course (thinking that will keep me occupied during the holidays). That’s how I got introduced to this craft. I totally fell in love with it!

Where did you get your training done?

I got my first training done at Gazelle, in Pune.

Tell us about your struggles in the initial years?

It was tough to penetrate and make a mark in the industry initially. More so for me as I was not from the city. All the renowned salons have very senior staff working who don’t want newcomers to grow and overtake them.

What kind of challenges did you face while opening your salon?

Getting your core team in place and understanding what kind of clientele I want were the initial challenges. I realised after some time that I needed to choose my audience. I can’t please everyone.

Which qualities in you make you an excellent hairdresser?

I am a very good listener. I listen to what my client has to say.

I prefer giving them a style, which they can carry in their day-to-day life. Not something that is fancy till the blow dry lasts!

What plans do you have for yourself?

I am planning to work with international companies to make products that suit Indian hair type and weather.

Any plans of opening more doors or launching an academy?

I am already running an academy in my current salon. Regarding opening more salons, fingers crossed!

How do you maintain work life balance?

I don’t go overboard with either. I give fixed slots for each and make sure justice is done to both the ends.

Top five things a new entrepreneur should keep in mind before venturing in the salon industry?

  1. Identify your audience.
  2. There is no short cut too success. It takes two to three years for a salon to become successful.
  3. Be true to your clients and yourself.
  4. Your staff is the biggest resource of business for you.
  5. Respect nature and the law of the country.

Are there any challenges you face that you think are because you are a woman entrepreneur?

Not really! I haven’t felt I am restricted in anyway to achieve whatever I want due to my gender.

Rapid fire

One must-try hair service at your salon…

Hair wash – as my team gives the most relaxing hair wash, which is most sought after by my expatriate clients.

Your tool kit has…

A pair of scissors, clippers and brushes

One styling product you swear by…

Denman brush head hugger

A celebrity you would love to style…

I don’t fancy celebs. Every client who sits in my chair is a celeb.

A piece of advice to budding hairstylists…

Never say you know it all, keep the passion and hunger to grow within the craft. Be honest to your profession.

Renee’ Melek Salon, E-95, Ground Floor, Adrekar House, 13 x18th Road, Khar (W), Mumbai 400052. Tel: 090828 93270

 

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