Closing the door on another successful ASPYA conference, De Lorenzo looked back on 30 years of family heritage, success and sustainability in Bali’s luxurious Nusa Dua, writes Cameron Pine and Ida Almasi.
More than 15 years ago the industry saw the launch of a leading salon rewards program that gave salon owners a heightened sense of belonging, underpinned by the strong family ethos of De Lorenzo – a legacy that is now 30 years strong. The journey of Vincent and Anton De Lorenzo from their days producing the Delva brand to the legacy that continues to pulse through the veins of De Lorenzo today, over 300 industry professionals came together like only this unique company knows how at one of Bali’s most magical locations.
This family legacy is so intrinsic to the way De Lorenzo values, develops and maintains industry relationships that the bond is contagious both offshore and on our home soil. Many salons have been with the De Lorenzo brand and not changed companies for decades or more.
Celebrating this emotional 30 years of leadership in sustainability and appreciation for the people that make them who they are, De Lorenzo reminded us that giving back and creating bonds is the heart of success in hairdressing.
This year the conference gained more momentum than ever before, with hair competitions mixed in with three decades of dedication to hairdressing, they left no stone of the journey unturned. From the moment Bali was revealed to be the destination for this year’s conference, the excitement in the air lingered all year up until the De Lorenzo family started taking over the glamorous Grand Hyatt where half day agendas and plenty of time to enjoy the surrounds became a core part of the ASPYA connection.
September 10-12 saw guests enjoy a welcome party in an impressive outdoor amphitheatre, conference sessions and a gala awards dinner which felt more like a family reunion where old stories from the past were shared and endless memories and relationships were made by three brothers, Chris, Vinnie and Anthony who continue to run the company today.
Traditional Indonesian music, dance, and costumes were worn for the first social night, while DJ Havana Brown got guests off their seats and in awe on the Gala Awards night. Overall there were endless laughs and eats that got everyone in the festive spirit
“Tonight we celebrate your commitment to the craft and a life devoted to creative energy,” said De Lorenzo co-director Vinnie De Lorenzo as he opened the conference.
“We are here to celebrate your passion and hard work in the industry over the past 30 years and hope you get inspiration and motivated to grow further. We wanted this conference to be about how good hairdressers are at their job and how we can get even better”, he continued.
On the notion of getting better at what hairdressers do, the first speaker was far from cutting and colouring trends but on what most hairdressers, especially those of the older generation struggle with- stepping outside of their salon services and marketing themselves. Personal branding expert and author, Jane Anderson, shared tools on how to leverage your personal brand and how to become an industry by doing so. She touched on the ‘tall poppy syndrome’ difficulty many Australians have with marketing themselves and how our view of self-promotion can be seen as arrogant and practical tips on what we can do to beat that.
Jane shared that you need to find what she calls ‘touch points’ including innovation, seamless systems in the salon and customer experience while putting a focus on the one that you dominate as your main selling point.
“Once you make your main selling point the focus of your marketing, follow through with pushing it out there by being discoverable through social media. When you make your selling point the focus of your marketing you will become accessible for like-minded clients that find value in your touch points while not feeling like you are mimicking standard marketing hype”, Jane shared.
In reflection of how De Lorenzo has managed to continue to make noise in an oversaturated market, it was increasingly evident that the company’s forefathers set a platform for simplicity that creates results rather than one of complexity that often only creates temporary success. With a product brand that pushes for less is more, consistency, and sticking to your roots, we began to see even more why salon owners find reassurance in the brand.
Up next was Sandy Chong, CEO of the Australian Hairdressing Council (AHC), with some not so bright news of our industry and her plan on how to fix it. Sandy shared the year on year growth of under qualified hairdressers in our industry and gave us a snapshot of a recent survey where results found 95 per cent of people in hairdressing want the industry to become properly regulated.
“Clients pay you because of trust and the lack of risk that you can offer them”, Sandy began.
She followed by sharing her attempt and lack of success in pushing parliament to regulate the hairdressing industry due to the fact we are deemed a small industry in Australia. The only way to stop what she calls ‘kitchen operators’ who are lowering the standard of our industry and to create a regulatory body within our industry – welcome H.A.I.R. (Hairdressing Australia Industry Register) which recognizes qualified hairdressers in the industry by simply registering. Once this regulator body has qualified hairdressers registered, the aim is to educate consumers on the risks they are putting themselves under in if their hair gets in the wrong hands including physical (think scalp burn) and social trauma.
“Hair can change your personality, hairdressing can change your life and who you are as a person”, Anthony De Lorenzo later reminded guests of the value of the industry and how a hairdresser can have a long term impact on individuals.
The first day of the conference concluded with a Battle of the Stylists where the younger De Lorenzo stylists had their time to shine by creating looks in the categories of Editorial, Barbering and Avant Garde where winners were announced at the awards dinner.
Battle of the Stylists:
Editorial – Kristy Sartori, Zarr Hair
Mens – Erin Charles, Zarr Hair
Avant Garde – Brianna Lace, Hoopla
La Unica Salon
Capelli Hair & Beauty Salon
Gosh Hair Armidale
Image 2 Dye 4
One Hair & Beauty
Hall of Fame
Boutique Salon of the Year
Lisa Maree’s Hair Design
Salon of the year winners
Winner – Roca Verde
Second Place – Hair Review
Third Place – La Unica Salon
Day two of the conference began with the ever-inspiring and hilarious Lisa Conway and her program Zing whose aim is to ‘help hairdressers make money’- the room went silent. Naturally, with Lisa’s ability to simplify the complex and add humility, she started with decoding an asset that many hairdressers do not have enough of – time and the excuses surrounding it.
“You need to have a bullet-proof system in your salon, hire a like-minded team of ‘horses not donkeys’ and know the weekly sales and numbers of your salon. If you do this you can train your staff properly and start letting go of some responsibility”, Lisa shared.
She reiterated over again that all this begins with learning how to manage your time properly and suggests to split your time into 45-minute sections in your day where you plan meetings and get things done.
Day two of the conference ended with the ASPYA Awards Night Gala where guests were transferred to Taman Bhagawan, a traditional Indonesian beachfront venue, where the night started with fireworks followed by the annual ASPYA Salon Awards commemorating the hardworking and successful De Lorenzo salons from across the network. After tears were shed and congrats were given the night ended on a high note with a surprise guest, Dj Havana Brown, who put on a show that got everyone up on their feet. It was one of the most memorable nights for all, including dedicated ASPYA members who have been to every conference since its inception in 2002.
On the final day of the conference editor of Collective Hub Magazine, Lisa Messenger shared how she managed to succeed in an oversaturated print industry with a renegade mentality of collaboration at the core of her business.
“I am constantly asking people what can I do for you and what can you do for me”, she shared on she went with a model where people feel a sense of ownership and belonging to her brand and how it has greatly contributed to its growth.
The conference closed with a nostalgic history of how Vincent De Lorenzo’s visions journey started a brand that still carries his passion 30 years later following with the reveal of Auckland, New Zealand as the location of where the 2018 ASPYA conference will be held.
Although the curtain has dropped on another ASPYA conference, everyone a part of the family once again feeling proud to be in a community within the hairdressing industry that values real products and people that support Australians and the environment. Whether a salon owner, speaker, industry mentor, organisation, partner or guest – the De Lorenzo family opened their doors to create a community that leads with the heart.
Trends come and go, but family lasts forever and don’t we know that De Lorenzo.
For more information visit delorenzo.com.au