Known as 'the Godfather of hair', hair stylist and salon owner Paul Edmonds is quite the household name, having worked in the industry for over 30 years and as ambassador for brands such as L’Oréal, Shu Uemura and Kérastase. He and his team are called upon to work on film sets, magazine shoots and A-listers before their appearance on the red carpets of Hollywood, while in London we mere mortals can benefit from his razor-sharp cutting skills at his Knightsbridge salon, the second of which is due to open in Battersea next year. We caught up with the hairdressing veteran to find out what he's gleaned from all those years of working his way up the career ladder...
The best things I've learned about...
I always believe that we don’t learn that much from success however failure spurs us on to look more closely at why we failed and how we can make a success. I’ve almost gone bust a couple of times and it was in those times I learned the most.
I love art galleries and going and wandering about a gallery is a great way to relax and switch off your brain. I also practice mindfulness which may not switch me off but certainly helps to balances me.
It’s better than the other option, when I was younger it bothered me more, I’m embracing my silver fox hair now. I must also add that in the Salon we have an amazing hair and beauty team that help to keep me looking younger than my years.
I could always do with a bit more, but after many years of being friends with many very rich people money alone does not mean sublime happiness. Money was never the thing that drove me to owning a successful business. I was driven by my desire to be better, happy and by striving to make others happy. That’s the trouble with being a people pleaser.
I believe I’m really lucky that I actually really like all my clients and the people that surround me at work and at home. They are amazing, talented and make my life complete.
For me the key to a successful business is having an honest and holistic approach that directly reflects my personal values and ethos – an ethos of sincere and attentive care. We take our time to listen to clients and truly understand who they are as people before using our intuition, artistry and skills. Our branding means a lot to me and as a team we work hard to uphold our brand values so that we live and breathe the Paul Edmonds brand (sounds a bit naff and corny but it’s the truth).
Hiring staff is always difficult but going for people that share similar values and are kind and courteous is key! The skills you can always teach but being NICE you can’t. We have quite a rigorous interview method to make sure we suit the person applying as well at them being right for us.
Confidence at work
I wasn’t confident at work until my late 30s, I always thought someone was going to find out I'd blagged my way through life then I had an epiphany while I was doing a TV program when the director said ‘Hey you are really good you can actually do hair” turns out I wasn’t that bad after all.
Anyone will tell you I’m terrible at organising myself so thank goodness I surround myself with a great team.
The digital age
I’m fascinated by social media as it’s a great way for us hair stylists to showcase our work. I’m not too bad with technology except the reception team are always worried when I try to book appointments on the computer system.
We are lucky our team is like a big family with occasional fall outs but it’s our policy to sort out problems before they become major issues and then move on.