Man, I feel like a Woman!
Last week we celebrated International Women’s day where we remembered a few women that made a mark in the hair industry. But this celebration wouldn’t be complete without chatting to Sally Montague, the founder and proud owner of the Sally Montague Hair Group, in business since 1983.
- Sally, you opened your first salon in 1983. When you look back and think about everything you’ve achieved, how do you feel?
I haven’t had chance to look back yet but when I do I would be proud of what I've achieved not only with growing the salon group but with the amazing clientele and and homegrown team which we now have.
- What advice have you got for young entrepreneur women?
If you are going to have your own business then you need to be ready for the journey of a lifetime. You have to live, sleep and breathe your business from the day one and never take your eye off the ball, however if you’re prepared for the pressure then there's no greater feeling.
- Do you feel there was an advantage or disadvantage starting your own business in 1983 as a woman?
I do think it's harder now than it was in 1983, there is so much red tape to trawl through and sometimes it just feels like there are so many barriers in place that it’s difficult to do the job you love. However, starting a business as a young woman in the 80’s was incredibly difficult to be taken seriously as a new business owner. I do think that situation has improved greatly for women in their early twenties now and they would have to jump the same hurdles as men.
- How does it feel to have your daughter Angel following your footsteps and your daughter Emmanuelle working with the Sally Montague Hair Group?
I’m immensely proud of my girls for being in the business (I have a third daughter who works for a corporate events company). Angel is so strong and really enjoys the variety of her work - at the moment she’s working in Dubai and is having a great time. Emmanuelle is the salon group Brand Manager and is such an important part of the management team. She brings so much creativity to her role with her different skills while both girls have worked hard to grow our salon art team - We’ve just heard that we have five teams through to the L’Oreal Colour Trophy regional finals which is a salon best.
- Angel, has your mother Sally always been an inspiration to you?
I've grown up in and around my mother’s six salons so I've always seen the hard work and time she puts into her business. One thing that massively inspires me is that she never complains and her ambition doesn’t waver so she always puts 100% into every day. A great piece of advice she gave me once is 'you are only as good as your last haircut’ and I try and work to this mantra every day.
- Have you found it difficult to break in to any part of hairdressing due to being a female?
I spend most of my time now in the session industry and that has been hard because I think guys can talk about their skills and what they've achieved often more easily that women. I like a challenge though and just believe that your work speaks for itself.
- Do you feel there is equality in the hairdressing industry?
Yes I do, we are part of a fantastic profession which is ever evolving and I feel proud to be involved in it. I think men and women bring different personalities and mannerisms to the industry which is important to add a bit of variety.