It’s no surprise that an exclusive Manly beachfront salon has become the go-to destination for beachy blondes and sun-kissed balayage enthusiasts. Michelle Ruzzene catches up with owner and senior stylist, Jenner Dickinson.

Tell us about Studio 8?

“Studio 8 was established in April 2018.  With over 20 year’s experience in the hairdressing industry I saw an opportunity I couldn’t pass up on a beautiful salon, with breath taking beach views and incredibly talented staff, all it needed was leadership to take it from the local salon next door to the hair destination it has become today. I am so incredibly proud of the team and how far we have come in just over a year.”

How many staff?

“We have seven staff members – four senior members, a junior stylist, an apprentice and a Saturday girl.”

Tell us about your involvement with Dress for Success?

“Dress for Success is an amazing, non-profit organisation that supports woman that are going through the welfare to work transition. Beautopia (hairdressing and beauty supplies)  wanted to run a collaboration for International Women’s Day/month with make-up artists and hair stylists at a breakfast event, showing tips and techniques ladies could use on themselves at home, to get them prepared for the working world.  As a mother to daughters I feel very strongly about women having the choice to be financially independent.  I absolutely jumped at the opportunity to support a charity that works to empower women by helping them gain their own financial independence. My eldest daughter, Jessica, works for Beautopia and ran the event – it was a very proud mummy moment.”

Who is your typical clientele?

“A typical Studio 8 client ranges in age and life experience. The one element that all our clients have in common is the love of the ocean and the laid-back beach vibe, this is reflected in the salon aesthetics and the sun kissed, low maintenance hair that has become the Studio 8 signature style.

Work challenges?

“Overlooking the ocean makes you very aware of our environment and the negative impact we as humans have on it. There is no getting away from the fact that hair salons use chemicals and throw out lots of packaging. To lessen our impact on the environment, we are proud members of Sustainable Salons, an initiative where 95 percent of our salon waste, which would have gone to landfill in the past, is repurposed into solutions that benefit the planet. Any profit made through this initiative goes to OzHarvest. We also actively seek out cutting-edge hair brands to work with who have the environment at the forefront of their ethos, like KEVIN.MURPHY, who are cruelty-free and are working towards all their packaging being made from recycled plastics.”

Retail brands stocked?

“We are a Schwarzkopf Professional colour salon, but we also stock Caviar by Alterna and KEVIN.MURPHY.”

How do you maintain a work/life balance?

“Like millions of working mums, life has become a juggling act of work and motherhood full of compromise and rushing around. But I am an extremely lucky lady as I have an amazing team of people around me to support me in both aspects of my life. Running your own business can be hectic but it also gives me the freedom to be at the important things for my kids.”

Plans for the future?

“I’m pretty new to the country, only living here for three years after moving from the UK, so I’m working hard this year to establish myself and Studio 8 in Sydney and in Australia. I’d love to open more salons and the dream is to open my own academy for budding young apprentices. Education for experienced hair stylists in Australia is remarkable, it’s easily accessed and affordable but I feel there is a gap for apprentices and school leavers beginning their careers.”