Management Practices

Inside Look: Blue Hair Studio

Alison Alhamed | July 10, 2011 | 1:35 PM

When Will Bostock opened Blue Hair Studio, his goal was to give clients a creative experience that went beyond hairdressing. Ten years later, he can safely say he’s surpassed that goal. With live jazz on the weekends, an artists’ gallery and creative-clothing boutique, the salon is a vibrant crossroads for creative arts.

Q. How did you get your start in the salon business?
A. My first salon was with a partner. We were two crazy, naive 23-year-olds jumping into business and figuring it out as we went along.

Q. What is your salon’s business philosophy?
A. Always keep a commitment to progressive education, encourage individuals to express their creativity and trust their vision. We always welcome and accept every kind of person (being hip is being comfortable in your own skin)—negativity and creativity cannot co-exist, so be responsible for your emotional exhaust.

Q. What makes your salon unique?
A. Valuing creativity and client comfort over maximizing every inch of space for services. We have an experimental lounge space with roomy areas, and Art Deco vanities and martini cabinets make up the cutting stations in a historic hotel—the vibe is eclectic.

Q. What niches do you target?
A. All of our ads or promotional pieces say “Be Different … Be Blue,” so we target people from all walks of life who are looking for something new or unique. From brides who don’t want typical hair and make-up, to a person looking to change her whole look.

Q. How is your salon celebrating its 10th anniversary?
A. To celebrate a decade of creativity, we are doing a “starving artist’s” special. We are doing makeovers for musicians, artists and dancers—completely free of charge.

Q. What has been your greatest challenge in your business?
A. To have a work environment that’s fun, loose and spontaneous, but to maintain professionalism and accountability—sometimes it’s a difficult balance.

Q. What was the last event you hosted?
A. A night of Cuban jazz with the Grammy-winning talents of the Elio Villafranca Quintet. This event was a Valentine’s Day 2008 fundraiser for the Ray of Hope Foundation, a nonprofit I co-founded to help disadvantaged Philadelphia families with home repairs.

Q. How has incorporating live music affected your salon?

A. The spontaneous nature of live jazz makes for an expressive, vibrant atmosphere that inspires the staff, relaxes the clients and gives back to the artistic community.

Q. What are your plans for the future?
A. To continually make it a better place to work: put more back into the business, tighten up systems, invest in staff’s educational travel and branch out into more editorial and teaching opportunities. Also, to always look outside of the box for the next thing we can be involved in—possibly a body art boutique.

Inside Look: Blue Hair Studio

Blue Hair Studio

Established: 1998
Spa setup: 13 chairs, two treatments rooms
Square feet: 3,400
Employees: 23
Prices: cut $35-$60; single process color $45; spa services $65-$80
Salon software: Elite Management
Equipment/furnishings: Belvedere and antique
Primary hair care line: Profound Beauty
Primary chemical line: Wella
Primary skin care line: Neo Strata

 Inside Look: Blue Hair Studio
Will Bostock
Blue Hair Studio
Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania
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