The annual event brought together over 300 of the industry’s elite members, including franchisees, top performing team members across retail, salon and piercing, support centre personnel, key suppliers and special guests.  Hairhouse Warehouse is a 26 year old hair and beauty service and retail provider that boasts over 130 salons in its expansive network and is the largest employer of hairdressers in Australia. In terms of national industry hot spots, its annual epicentre event was the place to be.

Beyond the important work being done across the event, the brand ensured it wasn’t all work and no R and R for these busy business owners and hairdressers. With most attendees arriving on the Sunday, it was their chance to relax and soak up the RACV Royal Pine, which boasts an 18 hole golf course, spa facilities, a gymnasium and majestic pools. Perfect weather and the ultimate down time provided the perfect precursor for the next three days of education, inspiration and business intel.

The focus of the 2018 conference was on transformation. Company Executive General Managers Emad Nayef, Michael O’Connell and Steve Terry announced bold plans to reform the direction of the business from being traditionally sales driven, to a brand and service led business. This new pathway is built on a clear vision to become Australia’s pre-eminent hair and beauty service and retail provider.

Beyond looking forward, the team also looked back to toast to their many achievements. There were several milestones celebrated over the three days including an announcement from company Chairman, Ahmed Fahour, best known for his previous roles as CEO at NAB and Australia Post, who outlined his investment in the business, joining company Directors Tony Lattouf, Joseph Lattouf, Emad Nayef & Gavin Nixon.

Ahmed Fahour, Ann-Maree Mason, Steve Terry, Joseph Lattouf, Michael O’Connell, Emad Nayef, Tony Lattouf

The relative newcomers to the business, Steve Terry, Executive General Manager and Ann-Maree Mason, General Manager of Sales and Services, took the lead during conference day sessions, proving throughout what stellar hands this major company is in across the board.

On day one, Steve introduced a new focus on brand direction. Steve joins the business after living in Stockholm, Sweden for the past 25 years with an immense breadth of industry experience ranging from being one of TONI&GUY’s key international art directors working closely with Anthony Mascolo. He launched a row of highly successful beauty businesses in Sweden including transforming the Scandinavian hair and beauty industry with massive salon, store and online retailer LYKO before fate found him back in Australia where he was introduced to Hairhouse Warehouse.

This dynamic day concluded with a Comicon themed night event, where hairdressers lived up to their reputation as the country’s most celebratory industry and dressed up in requisite fashion. Think Star Wars meets Game of Thrones and beyond in what was a spectacular way to announce that the conference and the party had officially arrived.

Day two was the all-important buyers’ day where franchisees met with the major supplying brands to review ordering opportunities and develop closer business relationships.

The event was set up as its own all-inclusive and self-contained expo, which brought together over 40 key hair and beauty suppliers showcasing what’s new and different in the industry right now.  Fittingly, the day concluded with a market style dinner event with food stalls set up outside. Cuisines ranged from Eastern delicacies to classic Aussie fish and chips and everything in between, with a fresh outdoor atmosphere that proved the ideal opportunity to walk around and network.

Day three was centred on the salon, with Ann-Maree taking the lead. Ann-Maree comes from a multi-faceted background within the service industry of hair and beauty. Also starting out as a hairdresser, her passion for growth and contribution led her to a career working with market leading brands both locally and internationally, including Redken, Matrix, ghd and Oscar Oscar Salons. Ann-Maree discussed the fact that the hair industry is in the energy business. The industry is like a Broadway show, she explained, and hairdressers are like actors, who spend their day in front of the proverbial screen of clients, necessitating constant service with a smile. The group also heard from industry keynote speakers during the inspiring and informative day session.

With new direction and inspiration flowing, day three concluded with the Gala evening that celebrated the best of the best in this talented family. Compered by Clint Paddison (conference MC) and Renae Ayris (former Miss Universe Australia), the night started with the talent of the Hairhouse Warehouse Artistic Team and their impressive hair creations, attendees were treated to an impressive hair show led by MUK Haircare Global Artistic Director Clive Allwright.

With a delectable dinner served, notable talents were celebrated for their outstanding performance over the past 12 months. The depth of talent is so considerable in this community that the award for Manager of the year even resulted in a tie! Congratulations to the award winners!

With so much to look forward to and a remarkable amount accomplished in the long and storied legacy of this hairdressing giant, Hairhouse Warehouse once again reminded its enormous family of the power of community. It’s a feeling we won’t soon forget.

HOUSE OF HAIR 2018 AWARD WINNERS

HAIRDRESSER OF THE YEAR: Mat Ralston from Albury, New South Wales

Mat Ralston

APPRENTICE OF THE YEAR: Megan Delaney from Warrnambool, Victoria

Megan Delaney with Jenni Wright

MANAGER OF THE YEAR: Brooke Moore from Doncaster, Victoria and Jodie Falknau from Ipswich, Queensland

SALON TEAM OF THE YEAR: Ipswich, Queensland

FRANCHISEE OF THE YEAR 1-2 STORES: Nikki Robson, Franchisee from Ipswich, Queensland

Nikki Robson with Renae Ayris

FRANCHISEE OF THE YEAR MULTI UNITS: Nic Nayef, Franchisee from Knox City, Greensborough, Doncaster, Plenty Valley & Chadstone, Victoria

Nic Nayef & team

HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES: Chris & Marie Morrell, Eastland & Chirnside Park, Victoria

Chris & Marie Morrell

For more information visit www.hairhousewarehouse.com.au