From bare bones and barely settled dust when Isobel arrived for the first appointment, my ‘top 6 new independent salon’ now feels like home.

I got the name I’d carried around in my head for years: ‘Material’ is a nod to the principles I taught at Sassoon and a brand we can grow into.

The calm space is important to me too. We’ve got the day-to-day sussed and we’ve solved [touch wood] the niggles. Slick, clean, organised and uncluttered, it means we can concentrate on producing great hair.

I’ve started training my home-grown team. Ali’s love of Wella and bespoke training with Viv keep her getting the best out of the colour. When Tania joined with strong skills from college but no knowledge of precision cutting, I landed the perfect student with the drive to cut 95 models in 3 months under intense direction and the talent to floor me when she cut within a whisker of myself! Eden’s training starts from scratch next week.

Now we’re drilling into making really good customer care great. I’m using my industry contacts and meeting like-minded salon owners; we’re working our minds more innovatively and we’re looking out for people who are really interested in being at work, love hairdressing and want to push things forward and try new ideas.

Thank you to all our clients for your support over the past year. We’re working on getting better for you in the year ahead. Paul