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A Flick of Hares: Supporting #girlbosses

Olivia Afiabo and Emily Crabb

It’s always a leap of faith when you try a new hairstylist.

Sitting in that chair—that hair chair, if you will—can be a daunting experience. This time, however, it’s the hairstylists making the move and trying something new.

A Flick of Hares (AFOH) is the latest creation in Canberra’s hair salon community. Lead by Directors Melanie Rhodes and Craig Rhodes—well known for his work on several New York Fashion Week shows as well as Canberra’s very own FASHFEST—the salon is making new strides in the industry. With an aim to empower and motivate Canberra’s hairstylists, AFOH places an emphasis on closing the gap between male and female salon owners.

“In a nutshell [we want] to create a space in the market for more #girlbosses! We know hairdressing is female dominated, yet salon owners are generally male, which made Craig and I think, ‘what’s with that? What is the opportunity to change that a bit?’,” says Director Melanie Rhodes.

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The basic idea behind the salon is to enable hairstylists to be their own bosses by renting out chairs in their beautiful, industrial Nordic style warehouse space. This means that the stylists renting the space have the power to make their own choices and carve out their own unique business models without the added worry and stress that owning their own salon can create.

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“While the AFOH team has a core team of employees, we wanted to give an option for talented freelancers to operate within AFOH, as their own boss and remaining in a team-based environment.”

“We feel passionate about providing this different option for hairdressers in Canberra, like other industries have – like you see a lot in the health care industry – groups of physiotherapists, massage therapist and doctors sharing a space but working for themselves.”

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As someone who is accustomed to the usual routine of occasionally visiting my local hairstylist, I must confess, when I first heard about the idea I was confused.

‘But what if I want to see the same hairstylist every time I get my haircut?’, I thought to myself, missing the point entirely. I envisioned some rotating door of hairdressers with impossible-to-track schedules and limited resources. This could not be further from the truth. The place is sleek, organised, relaxing and a refreshing change.

Amanda Green, one of the talented hairstylists currently renting space at A Flick of Hares, gives us some perspective from someone ingrained in the business model.

Hairstylist Amanda Green

Hairstylist Amanda Green

“I love my industry, but I saw some issues with it that made me question my future within it. I was finding my hours restrictive and after years of working on my skill set I wanted to further grow my income.

“Then I heard about A Flick of Hares, and the opportunity to become my own #girlboss. I could have the flexibility I needed for my hours of work and that my ‘wage’ was only limited by how much I wanted to put in. That’s where AFOH was different. It is a model that has not only given me a new challenge of starting my own business, but to do so within a team.”

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As well as making the big step of hairstylists becoming their own boss achievable—and far less daunting—A Flick of Hares is utilising their beautiful space to do more than just hairstyling. The first of its kind in Canberra, AFOH is not just a salon. The space is also set up to host a range of creative events, like professional hairdressing training, fashion shows, photo shoots, art displays, and performances.

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“Last year we hosted a pop-up shopping evening – #nowshowingafoh – it showcased a range of #girlboss talent in fashion, jewellery, music, desserts and hair. Co-lead by one of our talented team Kate (@katelilydressinghair) and the lovely Erin from @one.hunted vintage fashion,” says Melanie.

“We are hoping to do it all again in 2017, and I’m particularly looking forward to showcasing some local fashion creatives – so keep an eye out and be ready for some runway action.”

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the essentials

What: A Flick Of Hares
Where: Level 1, Cusack Centre, 27 Eyre Street, Kingston
Open: A variety of times across the week, see the website for more details
Bookings: Call 02 6260 8906 or visit aflickofhares.com

Images: Paul Chapman Images

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Olivia Afiabo

Olivia grew up in Canberra before moving off to Wollongong to study creative writing at the University of Wollongong. After receiving a Bachelor’s of Creative Arts degree she returned to the Capital to pursue a career in writing and publishing. The first step in this journey has been interning at HerCanberra and, though she misses the beach, being back with family and old friends has been a welcome change. There’s nothing she loves more than reading, writing and watching football (the ‘no hands allowed’ variety). More about the Author

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Emily Crabb

Emily Crabb has recently finished her final semester at the University of Canberra where she studied Communications in Advertising. Emily’s 2016 has consisted of her travelling nationally and internationally, meeting the creative minds of the advertising, media and public relations industries from Melbourne to Kuala Lumpur to Sydney and to Singapore. These adventures gave her a renewed source of inspiration and motivation but also a renewed appreciation for her hometown of Canberra. Emily particularly enjoys treating herself with clothes she cannot justify buying and eating anything from a brunch menu. More about the Author