Hair Festival 2022 was an extravaganza of all things hair – with education, business elevation, competitions, partying and shopping all coming out in full force. The shopping component was courtesy of the Hair Festival MarketPlace, an oasis of product innovations, business know-how, new tools, live education and so much more. This bold space was totally free to register for, and ensured the doors of Carriageworks were exited only with bags and bags of purchases on the arms of guests.
Anchoring the space were three dedicated hubs. The Festival Hub was the space to pick up a coffee or snack, take a shopping break and network with the rest of the national industry, reuniting after far too long, as sponsored by Timely. Thank you to AMR for supplying portable basins, stools and barber chairs for the MarketPlace and Education Sessions, to facilitate a multitude of important spaces through Hair Festival.
At the Barber Hub, AREA Academy collaborated with The Barber Academy, Dyson and Motion, in support of The Jack Reed Foundation, to deliver a sense of community and live education that stopped shopped in their tracks. Other inspiring men’s brands around the MarketPlace, such as Barberco, which had three stands across the floor, ensured the barber sector was well represented from the hub and beyond.
“It was a successful weekend for us, we went there wanting to show our clients and hairdressers all the latest tools and we gave the clients the opportunity to come in and feel and see the products before they purchased them so we were able to achieve a lot of sales out of it” shared Lincoln Thomas of Barberco. “It was a great environment to connect with hairdressers, it was absolutely brilliant, and I think the effort we put into out stands did reap rewards, we didn’t take any shortcuts, we had some new products that were a hit and very successful.”
The Business Hub was a go-to destination that put business skills, knowledge and technology first. Platforms such as The George Institute, HaiR-3Rs, Energy Australia, Austbrokers Countrywide, Payleadr, Your Leasing Co., XETA and TAFE NSW focused on the multitudes of running a salon – from education, to rent, energy, membership platforms, helping vulnerable clients and so much more. Throughout the MarketPlace, renowned institutions such as The ZING Project, Thryv, Timely Software, Smartpay, Kitomba Salon and Spa Software, Phorest Salon Software, piiq Digital, Quest Accountants, Salon Lane, Afterpay, the Australian Hairdressing Council, Headhunter Recruitment and Caitlyn Menzel built on these significant concepts of salon growth, salon technology and smart technology, unique payment innovations and exciting salon suite models from the US with Salon Lane. The salon of the future could be experience in every corner of MarketPlace, with business expertise as a cornerstone.
The industry’s social conscience was also strong on the MarketPlace floor. H2Cuts brought their world first Hydrogen Fuel cell powered salon to the floor for live cuts, while Sustainable Salons championed an environmental message beyond the education rooms and stand – ensuring sustainability in the waste and signage throughout the event. BeauTex showed off fashionable salon uniforms made from recycled plastic bottles in their effort to push environmentalism into fashion, and charities such as Hair Aid and Community Hair Project inspired with the philanthropy that can be achieved in hair. HaiR-3Rs also showcased their powerful message for how hairdressers can help combat family violence.
Highlights abounded throughout the salon floor, from Sharon Blain showcasing the exciting ELEVATE PRO STYLER in the middle of the floor, to curly hair expert Rumbie Mutsiwa of Rumbie & Co. entertaining a long line at all times for her curly hair knowledge. Wuli Grooming also showcased new curly hair technology and Apotecari Bioactive Hair Care explained the latest in ingestible products, while big-name platforms such as BondiBoost, De Lorenzo, Excellent Edges, Mizutani Scissors, Smiths Collective Brands and Pivot Point Australia added their presence to the MarketPlace. Brands such as Sensus Hair, Seamless1, Phoenix Nationale, Osaka Scissors, Number 4 Hair Care, MPMB Distribution, Mayo International, Mamako, Love That For U, Lil J, Végétalement Provence, TNS Hair, Sharpline Scissors, Shui Scissors, Ibiza Hair, Insight Professional Australia, K18 and Ecoheads from Ozdare, Easy Hair, Elgon, Floractive Sydney, Foxy Blondes, Hemlock Designs, Hair Beauty Ink, Hair & Beauty Collective, Alter Ego Italy, A.M. Williams, Airpath, Arvo Haircare, Base Hair Extensions, BKT Beauty, Davroe and Colortrak offered the latest in hair extensions, colour, care, style, tools, scissors, furniture and so much more.
“I thought the MarketPlace was exceptional, for me, as a new brand that launched six months ago, it was a wonderful opportunity to really expose myself to the hair industry and understand what salons and hairdressers are looking for and how they operate,” shared Amadou Doumbia of Wuli Grooming. “I went in there with the perception that it would be more of a trade environment. Yes, I made sales, but I gained more in terms of education and knowledge of how hairdressers operate. One of the biggest advantages was that I ended up learning more about working with hairdressers in two days than I could have ever imagined, it would have otherwise taken me probably me weeks if not months to gather the same level of intel. In addition to that, I did come away from it gaining some great contacts in the retail and distribution channels of haircare products, who I’m now in conversations with to further my brand.”
INSTYLE was on site too, with our own stand showing off the latest issues and updates with INSTYLE and Styleicons, such as the website relaunch, and talking to the industry throughout the floor as an unparalleled opportunity to reconnect with the hair community.
Truly the hub of everything hair over the Queen’s Birthday long weekend, the MarketPlace was the social and shopping haven we were all waiting for for two years – it proved worth the wait.
For more information visit www.hairfestival.com.au
Photography credit: Natalie Page – Oneill Photographics