STANDING TALL / 50 GOLDEN YEARS

This year is a time for celebrations all round at Q Hair and Beauty as they mark a very special anniversary – rejoicing in 50 years of first-class service that’s a remarkable achievement for a business that continues to thrive and look to the future.

There’s something very special about a long-established independent business that has stood the test of time thanks to its philosophy of combining the very best traditional values with the ultimate in professionalism and innovating techniques.

A superb example of this is Q Hair and Beauty, Chichester’s leading, multi-award-winning salon which celebrates five decades of top-class professionalism and an outstanding reputation for never settling for anything but the best even in challenging economic situations that have arisen over the years.

Much-loved by its large band of loyal clients – regarded as welcome guests – home to Q is an elegant Georgian townhouse. Those who choose this beautiful building as their workplace are encouraged to feel a genuine part of the quintessential Q ‘family’, creating a warm and relaxing atmosphere.

At the head of the business is the pater familias, owner Anthony Barnes-Smith. He began hairdressing when he was just 14 and won his first competition aged 17, going on to win a host of national and international competitions and twice being part of a successful world championship team.

He established Q Hair and Beauty in 1972 and employed a magic touch in combining the very best of the old and the new in the historic building, sympathetically adapting it to house superb facilities while retaining its original character. A leader by nature, Anthony has a strong foresight of how hair and beauty should be delivered, how people should be made feel at home and truly enjoy the coveted skill of excellent service. This ethos is still alive and imprinted on brand Q.

Director, Dawn Lawrence Grant is a forward-thinking and caring visionary who encourages every member of her team to be the best they can be. With an impressive background in finance, she joined Q in 1995, transforming it over the next two decades from a small but highly-respected ladies’ salon into a booming business, expanding Chichester’s use of space which is constantly evolving and now has sister branches in Midhurst and Donnington.

Kain Lawrence, who joined the business 10 years ago, is now the General Manager of the Q Hair and Beauty group, allowing it to make great strides and develop its potential even further thanks to his technical expertise – the digital age at Q started with him and he took it to the next level.

 

Dawn encouraged Kain to champion change in the business, from moving with the digital times to reviewing running costs. Notably pioneering social engagement opened up a whole new world for the business and this proved particular critical during the pandemic lockdowns, keeping the business functioning throughout.

Supporting the teams of a three-salon group, Kain has helped develop and evolve the business into areas lesser known, creating new opportunities noting the current business climate. Team building is high on his agenda, the salon has a new generation of management as well as future professionals.

Important to everyone is creating a caring and supportive environment where everyone feels the salon is a fantastic place to work. They are proud to be members of a close-knit team in a progressive and successful business that really cares about the people and community it serves.

Q is at the heart of the community, supporting numerous charity efforts and working closely with many local organisations and companies to help at eye-catching and exciting events throughout the area. Its commitment to charity, which includes local, national and specific, is a running theme year on year.

Involving the local community is a daily pursuit, providing gifts and prizes for school fete events, Christmas markets, prizes and shows. Similarly the salon is the first to offer hair and make-up for any local charity fashion shows. There’s nothing Dawn and her team like better than spreading the love.

The same ethos has been instilled in the sister salons which Q opened in Midhurst and Donnington in recent years.

The strong spirit of independence has allowed Q to be a pioneering business, always leading the way in introducing innovative initiatives, including its constant efforts to be as eco-friendly as possible.

A unique after-school project, the Tiger Club had been a popular initiative that Anthony had launched, being a big believer in the new generation. Ever since it’s been the basis for the salon’s very high proportion of ‘home-grown’ talent. Dawn, who reinvented the project fourteen years ago, encourages the youngsters to research the industry so by the time they have the opportunity to join the business, they have a real understanding of it.

A first-class team is at the heart of any successful business so recruitment, particularly of apprentices, is another important part of Dawn’s focus – she cares deeply about her team and is very careful to employ the right people.

As members of the Q ‘family’, team members at all levels benefit from ongoing education and training and although the cost of providing this is considerable, it is regarded as an essential commitment to ensure everyone feels happy and fulfilled, as well as being able to progress at their own rate within the business.  A key feature of this team is that everyone is offered flexible working, be it working hours, days of the week and/or locations. Dawn says ‘we work around your lifestyle’.

Guests and all the team find the special events held throughout the year enormously enjoyable, as well as the lively programme of fun and informative workshops, now both in person and online. The Christmas Gathering has become a sell-out event, part of the Chichester social calendar (and not to be missed!).

The salon has also had a wealth of achievements to celebrate, winning numerous prestigious national awards including a lifetime achievement award for Anthony.

Q has never rested on its laurels, always striving to be ahead of the game. Under Dawn and Anthony’s leadership, it continues to evolve and looks forward to many successful years ahead.

Q Hair and Beauty was awards ULTIMATE SALON (large salon) at the SB Awards 2022 on 13 June in central London, crowning the perfect accolade to their 50th year.