Welcome to the first local’s local scoop. This space is intended to educate, inspire and share more about the lovely locals who inhabit our land. I want to shine a light on what they are doing in business and everyday life.
First up, two of my favourite ladies. Amanda & Amelia from Arrowtown hair. Owner and head stylist have joined forces to create something beautiful & it doesn’t stop in the salon. Read on to find out more about why I find these two so inspiring.
Arrowtown hair is quietly tucked away in the quaint backstreets of Central Otago’s most picturesque township. Their beautifully decorated space is worlds away from the hustle and bustle of Queenstown’s tourist scene and is the place to go for the ultimate relaxation experience.
After a two-year-long love affair, I can safely say that I have never had a hair experience like this one. The atmosphere is so inviting as is that of the beautiful people that work there. Welcome to your new haven and a place that cares not just about you and your needs but the needs of our Earth. The Arrowtown hair team implemented methods into their work and home life that have a direct positive impact on our environment. It is apparent in their approach to everything they do that they strive for the best sustainable options within their business.
With plants and greenery adorning the walls, books about eco-living and a workforce so full of knowledge it makes a refreshing change to be surrounded by beautifully like-minded people in a space that instantly instills calm. However, their expertise do not stop within the salon walls. Introducing Our WAI. A social page creating a holistic community for the hair industry. Here you will find videos, blog posts, recipes, photographs and inspiring messages about lifestyle, wellbeing, culture, and care. It’s a retreat for you, a learning platform and a place to go for sustainability inspiration.
In salon, they have ditched the standard salon tin foils. Amanda, the owner created Paper Not Foil four years ago and I’m here for it. Not only do they feel so much better on your head than heavy aluminum foils, but they are reusable. The paper is recyclable, user friendly and the ability to wash them up to three times means little waste, in fact when they can’t be used in the hair they get turned into notepads for the salon. Paper Not Foil is the world’s first sustainable hair foil, researched and developed in New Zealand. Making Paper re-useable increases its sustainable benefits, reduces salon waste and salon costs.
I sat down with Amanda and Amelia to ask them a few questions about business and life in general…
What inspires you in business?
Amanda: Sharing knowledge, inspiring people and seeing success in my team.
Meli: Creating something for yourself! That you have passion for & are proud of.
Why have you made the move to a conscious business model?
Amanda: By practicing conscious living at home and in our other businesses it made sense to bring this into our workplace. It’s part of our story to always be conscious and holistic, it’s new and we are learning as we go.
Meli: I’d say my version of a conscious business model is kindness. Making a safe & relaxed space for people to work and create. Allowing balance in their life.
What major changes have you made in the salon?
Amanda: Ethically sourced and organic products, a strong reuse, reduce recycle policy, Safe chemicals. A holistic approach to supporting staff and our community thus supporting our locals. Providing an up-cycled, greener space to work in, minimising waste and a simple environment, watching what we bring in impacts what goes out. Educating our clients on more sustainable choices… just to name a few.
Meli: The change to Ammonia free Organic colour & hair care range. Cut out tin foil completely and changed to Paper Not Foil for over 2 years now. We stopped the use of chemicals in the salon, creating our cleaning products with natural ingredients and essential oils. We had a beautiful refurb that brought us a plant haven & trying to share more content with people that is hair but also wellness related!
What impact do you wish to have on the industry?
Amanda: I want to reduce and help lower the impact on our environment by sharing with other hairdressers and community to help them also make small changes, providing a more sustainable industry for our future.
Meli: Probably the same answer to if you were to ask me what impact I wish to have on the world, to show kindness & love. To the community, as well as the earth.
Where did the idea for paper not foil come from?
Amanda: Wrapping my children lunches with baking paper! Had to be better then tin foil??? I couldn’t purchase a fully sustainable version so I spent 4 years developing it! Paper that is made of recycled industrial waste, not trees! And it is so much easier to use. We have clients come to us simply because they don’t want tin foil used on their hair, which is brilliant. We were throwing away 3km of foil a month, even if it could be recycled it takes huge emissions. Reusing is key and then when it’s completely ready to throw away it has no detriment to our environment.
What inspires you in everyday life?
Amanda: Helping others & sharing & getting results from sustainable choices.
Meli: How beautiful life is, in the way the earth changes through every moment of the day. The connections you create & build with people, who become your family & are on their own special individual journey.
If you could give one piece of advice what would it be?
Amanda: Be kind!
Meli: Love yourself & find your truth by doing so
What has New Zealand’s lockdown taught you?
Amanda: That we need to take more care of ourselves and our environment! Stop, listen and learn! We can’t go back to the normal and the normal should be better?
Meli: That I have time. Or well, I create my time & choose the importance of it. It has taught me what is important for me, to stay balanced in who I am & in life. To be creative, playful & remove all judgment. It has also taught me a lot about connection, & just like love, you can’t expect to be connected with another without being truthfully connected to yourself.
What is your top tip for a more sustainable life?
Amanda: Reuse, shop local and choose more ethical ways of living.
Meli: Slowing down to find balance within work & life. Find creativity in something! & spending time doing what you love, that’s my three tips.
What are you most looking forward to after lockdown is over?
Amanda: Seeing my team, friends, family and client’s & get back to supporting people. Buying plants, seeds and potting mix… and getting a coffee!
Meli: A coconut latte for sure! To see the people I love! & I’m also a real traveller, I love my overseas trips (Like you) But I’ve fully surrendered to that not happening any time soon and I’m totally okay with it, I’m excited for what’s to come in New Zealand, for the local community support & us all spending more time within this beautiful country.
Do you have anything else you would like to tell us about business / work / salon / life?
We will be really focussing on community help when we get back to work and really trying to support people in need! Giving away our skills not only in the salon but also helping people who are struggling – doing gardens, pick up drop-offs, cleaning windows, babysitting etc.
Can you see now why I love the girls at Arrowtown Hair so much? You can book your own Arrowtown Hair experience with my favourite ladies right here
Photo Credit @darkbelgiumchocolate