Transport yourself North to sunny Queensland and the luxe LaSorella salon, which has recently undergone a design re-fit.

Led by Creative Director Samara Palazzi, the salon has been in operation for a decade and constantly evolved, from a solo 64sqm space initially, to a 132sqm “luxury sanctuary”, a staff of 13 and the new design. In ethos, it brings both clients and staff into the family, making them feel part of something important and truly considering what care means on every level.

“The overall aesthetic of LaSorella is indulgently feminine, evoking the feeling of a Mediterranean spa,” Samara explained. “Soft feminine curves inspire not just the commissioned artwork and various arches used for the salon doorways, mirrors and recessed shelving but also the soft curve of the reception desk and many other touch points. With a neutral colour palette of blush tones and soft whites used throughout, we have used different materials like custom cement renders, terrazzo tiling, curved blonde timbers and soft sheer curtains to give the space texture and depth.”

Samara describes the re-fit design specifically as finding “an equilibrium between opulent luxury and functionality”, cleverly using space to suit possible pandemic-era restrictions, and offering areas that prioritise relaxation and community.

“One of the salons key design features is the designated Basin Retreat. Located away from the main salon floor and encapsulated in floor to ceiling sheer curtains, tranquil music defines this zen zone and is a true escape,” Samara said. “Also, the expansive custom built 8.8m workstation runs centrally through the main working floor of the salon, stepping away from the tradition of placing clients around the perimeter, allowing for an open airy feel, clear access for staff and a sense of connection for the clients.”

The re-fit kept employees front of mind too, with a dishwasher, zip tap, hair vac and custom double back cabinetry that allows seamless access from multiple rooms designed to improve efficiency for staff. This was always going to be a priority for a salon that truly values its team and staff community.

“True to its Italian name, LaSorella translates to My Sister in English and that is really what our team is about,” Samara said. “We are truly fortunate to work with a team that genuinely care about each other. We are there to support each other through all the highs. We celebrate the achievements, the weddings and the birthdays. We commiserate the losses and provide shoulders for the tears. As our workdays can be so busy we try to dedicate time to maintain that connection with each other, with yoga days, breakfast or dinner catch ups, even weekends away. Because we value each other for the vastly different individuals we all are, we have each other’s backs when things get crazy and for this, we are truly grateful.”

While luxury salons are defined by the way they treat clients, something LaSorella takes pride in as well, the salon’s sense of luxury and community is also built by the inimitable way they treat their staff, and how it seamlessly anchors their salon brand in a unique way.

“As we sought to provide balance for our clients, we realised that within our industry a work life balance was really lacking, and we began working on improving this balance for our staff,” Samara explained. “We recognise the importance of time with family and loved ones and have taken steps to allow our staff to work a four day week and have weekends off. Offering clients three late nights still allows times for clients that require appointments outside of their own work hours. The response from clients has been largely positive with many enjoying the fact that their weekends aren’t taken up with appointments.”

This sense of thought and family of course extends to their clients, who are largely women and suit their service specialties of colour, custom lightening and precision cutting, with the salon being viewed as blonde and custom colour experts. Clients also seek the salon for a holistic hair experience that combines these services with true care.

“It is our humble opinion that the culture of LaSorella is what truly sets us apart,” Samara said. “It is our hope that everyone who enters LaSorella feels a true connection with the space and the people who occupy it, and leave feeling more connected to themselves, allowing people to feel truly indulged and pampered. The separate zoning of our salon provides ambience when desired, as do the customised meditations. Care has been taken with the finer details of service. Refreshments are served in custom made pottery, stamped with affirmations and accompanied by homemade treats and angel cards.”

Luxe leads from the services to the products as well, as LaSorella partners with The Haircare Group and uses Lakmé colour ranges such as Collage, Chroma and Gloss, while their retail covers Lakmé Teknia, Evo, Moroccanoil, Olaplex and Color Wow. The salon also stocks KEVIN.MURPHY and uses K18 products.

“Being an Australian family-owned business, The Haircare Group is a great fit for LaSorella. They offer great opportunities to both attend and provide education and the team at Haircare are truly supportive of our salon, our staff and our passions. Our shared values around community and connection make for a perfect partnership,” Samara said.

Giving true thought to design, product, service and their salon family, LaSorella is a case study in how to approach luxury.

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