Loni studied at Servilles Academy in 2010 and, after 9 years in the hairdressing industry, is the owner of her own salon (Little Meraki) nestled in the heart of the Coromandel Peninsula.
Tell us about yourself and your salon:
My goal was to create a boutique setting in which clients could feel special regardless of their age, identity, or how their day had been prior to visiting with me! Encompassing my core values of sustainability, creativity, love and soul Little Meraki was established in 2018. I’ve created a salon where I can indulge my love for interiors as well as honour the incredible space in which we live each day and deliver hair magic! I get to immerse myself in a beautiful female-centric environment. I have to pinch myself on the reg! Providing an uplifting experience to the community that has supported both my personal and professional development through the years is my greatest achievement to date. I’ve just celebrated my first year in business.
How did you get into hairdressing?
As a little girl in kindy I lived next door to a hairdresser. Mum knew if I wasn’t home I’d be found underfoot at our neighbour Shelley’s attempting to get involved with every aspect I could!! I’m sure I was way more of a hindrance than a help but Shelley was endlessly patient and my desire to follow in her footsteps was born in her at-home salon.
I started at Servilles Academy as an off-job student during my hairdressing apprenticeship as a 17yr old, signing on for a graduate course (now the Emerging Stylist programme) at academy at about age 20! My eyes were opened to a whole new world of hair, made life-long friends and I competed and placed in my first ever Comp! I completed my course work and the different opportunities and experiences have rolled in ever since.
Who’s your hair icon?
This is really hard! I don’t look to an individual in particular for inspiration. Rather I draw on my past colleagues, my clients themselves and then my surroundings to add fuel to my creative fire. If I had to name names Angelo Seminara for his abstract thinking and the passion he puts into his work, Jaye Edwards for the skill with which he maintains the integrity of the hair itself by creating beautiful lived-in and low-maintenance colour and then the abundance of creatives I surround myself with are foremost in my mind.
What are some career highlights?
Besides establishing Little Meraki it’s the relationships I’ve developed with my clients over time that provide the definitive moments. Witnessing the key events in their lives and becoming friends as we move through these times together is so special. Knowing I’m contributing to their joy is one of the greatest feelings out.
Any advice for aspiring hairdressers?
Just stick at it! It’s one of those things that’s not easy. The hours are long, your body hurts and it’s not always glamorous however I don’t know of another career where I could enjoy the relationships I do. It’s all about the people we meet and spend time with in this profession that make it so worthwhile, and the feeling we get from making someone look and feel amazing.
Where do you see yourself in the industry in five years?
Right now I’m settling into this new version of myself as a salon owner and business woman. That’s where my sole focus is. The evolution of both the salon and myself is a constant thing. I love that I have the opportunity to push my creative boundaries, further my education and inspire others and be inspired. Fine-tuning my abilities as a business owner/operator is definitely a priority and I see all of these aspects of my business remaining central to what I do for years to come.
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