How She Does It: Amanda Dicker, Co-Founder & Concept Director of The Chapel

The Chapel's "un-salon" environment, focuses on the client (or "guest" as The Chapel team refer to them), with the view to not only give an excellent service but educate them on the process involved in their hair transformation.

Firstly opening in Tunbridge Wells, The Chapel has now expanded their reach, opening another 3 salons in Sevenoaks, Islington, and Verbier.

Each is luxuriously finished, to create a 5 star hotel like setting: with the Islington salon even having its own drinks and coffee bar. Since opening, the Islington salon has seen outstanding success, being named the best salon in London.

Deb Bailey: Thanks for stopping by the blog. Love the idea of hair transformation. Sounds wonderful. So, how did you get started as an entrepreneur?

Amanda Dicker: Great to be here, Deb.I've always been a hairdresser, but I took a year break and worked in a bar. When I was there I talked to women about their hair, and noticed that it wasn't really about their hair itself, but their experiences that they discussed, telling me what they hated about going to the hairdresser, and how they often left a salon disappointed. I found that so many women didn't understand the language, and hated the whole clinical set up.

For me it was about taking that feedback and combining it with my soul purpose to help women feel better about themselves. I wanted to change the environment of the hairdressing salon, making it more like a hotel environment which was completely different to what women had experienced before. And that's just how it grew: from simply listening to women, and acknowledging that it wasn't just about their haircut or colour it was about the experience that they had. I wanted to encourage women to have a much better time in the salon. My job was to build a bridge between stylists and their clients.

Deb: Love your emphasis on the experience. That's key. Any  "lessons learned" that you'd like to share?

Amanda: Always keep to what you know best, your brand values, and your soul purpose. Prioritise what you really enjoy, and always keep in mind why you started your business. Once you start diverting you lose sight of your business. I always try to make my business different, better, yet give a consistently high level of service: they're all key to success. 

Deb: How would you define your ideal client?

Amanda: Somebody that actually wants to learn about their hair, be educated on how to feel better themselves, and those that are open to change.

Deb: What are some of your successes and challenges?

Amanda: My main challenge has been being the best mother, lover, wife, and employer: keeping a balance of that. My burnout has taught me that you can't be everything to everyone all at the same time, you have to have great like-minded people around you and keep a well-balanced measured perspective of it all. If you dedicate yourself too much to one role, and not enough to another it will 'bite you in the bum' in the end really. 

For me success is keeping to our core values. I liken The Chapel to a 007 movie really: you don't have to change the setup of the film but if you keep moving it with the times to stay current, you'll always attract new customers and audiences. Connecting with our customers has been key to our success, making sure that they are involved in our brand.  

Deb: Great point. Staying current is important in order to keep growing and evolving. What's your vision for your business going forward?

Amanda: The Chapel keeps true to its values and in tune with me as a person. When I'm happy my son, my husband, my workplace, and my employees will be happy too. The vision is to build a community of amazing stylists who are constantly driven and are proud of what they do, and also a community for our guests that they always feel a part of our brand and at ease with the conversations they have with their hairdresser. For me, it's about building a much bigger community of people that enjoy doing what they do, and emphasize the importance of hairdressing.

Deb: Thanks so much for stopping by, Amanda! Please share your website and social media URLs.

Amanda: It was a pleasure, Deb. Here they are:

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