Gatsby & Miller started as a small hair salon in Amersham, Buckinghamshire but realised clients were going elsewhere for beauty and barbering services. As a result, the decision was made to turn every client visit into an experience.
Gatsby & Miller now features hair, barbering and beauty services and the huge 3,000 sq ft space also has a café and places for clients to relax, play and work. “There are no physical barriers so one area flows into the next. This gives clients a glimpse of what is happening in other zones, with different ‘energies’ and ‘relaxation spaces’ defined by colours, flooring and materials,” explains salon manager Dawn Montgomery.
The salon colour scheme is inspired by the Great Gatsby era of the 1920s (which also gave the salon its name). There are dashes of black and white, dusky grey and muted blue tones. There are also copper features such as the Art Deco lamps that stand in the beauty rooms, nail area and relaxation zones. While, the herringbone designs on the flooring give a nod to the Great Gatsby era and the brand name’s heritage.
When it came to the build, the team faced various challenges, but not without solutions. “Our main design challenge was incorporating a café within the salon,” explains Dawn. “The concept was met with lots of resistance. People questioned whether a food offering would complement a salon space.” After talking to local cafés and working out electrical supply and water drainage points, they came up with a final workable café design. The café has proved to be invaluable in terms of increasing footfall and attracting new clients. “Positioning the café at the front of the salon has drawn people in,” adds Dawn. “Once inside, visitors see salon services working in tandem, which breaks down barriers and converts café visitors into new salon guests.”
The salon has 16 styling and four barber stations, plus breakout areas where people can sit and relax. It truly is a mammoth space, but big doesn’t mean unwelcoming. The styling stations have in-built phone chargers with free WIFI and are comfy to make guests feel right at home. This is also thanks to the Green Hug swivel styling chairs from Maletti Giovannoni Design which feature plump, vinyl padding and varnished veneered plywood.
Catering to every client’s need sits at the heart of the business. “The best thing we did was ask our guests what they wanted from a hair salon,” Dawn points out. “It became clear they wanted convenience with everything under one roof and a wonderful experience while they are with us.” It’s fair to say, Gatsby & Miller truly delivers on that promise.
DAWN’S THREE TOP TIPS1 FIND THE RIGHT LOCATION You want somewhere that attracts passers-by but also caters to your existing guests.2 DO YOUR HOMEWORK Ask other business owners if they would recommend builders and equipment suppliers.3 BE ADAPTABLE As everyone knows, building projects can hit snags. Stay calm and think through the alternatives to ensure you stay on-brand and can still deliver your vision.