18th October 2019
Having achieved the goals he set for his well-respected salon this time last year, Ryan Harris has even higher expectations for what the 12 months will bring to his business.
Ryan is the proud owner of what has become one of Aberdeen’s trendiest salons – Harris & Fox – since opening on Rosemount Viaduct in September last year.
Catering for both men and women, the venue boasts a tranquil and welcoming environment for those who set foot inside.
And whether customers are opting for chic extensions or stylish cuts, there are services on offer that cover all aspects of hairdressing.
With plans already set to expand the space available in his venue even further, Ryan – who made it to the final of the Scottish Hairdresser of the Year Awards in 2013 – is delighted his extensive experience has brought him to where he is today.
He said: “Before I actually got into hairdressing, I left school at 15 and worked as a builder for five years.
“It wasn’t until a good friend of mine – who was a hairdresser and looking for an apprentice at the time – asked if I’d be keen to work with him.
“I said yes and ended up really enjoying it, which was about 13 years ago now.
“I stayed at that salon for about a year and it pushed me to want to venture out and do more creative things with hairdressing.
“This resulted in me moving to Aberdeen from Jedburgh and getting myself a position at Angels Hair Design.
“I did a lot of amazing things with the team there.”
It’s not just the north-east that has benefited from his skills – Ryan has been granted opportunities to showcase his talents all over the world.
“While I was at Angels, I was given the chance to travel to South Africa and San Diego,” Ryan said.
“There were actually four of us selected to represent the UK for the Fellowship of Hairdressing, which is an organisation that promotes hairdressing around the globe.
“We did a few shows involving us styling hair at different venues for people to watch.
“I’d definitely say that period of my career was when I picked up enough skills to feel confident enough to open up my own salon.”
Now a year on from officially opening the doors of Harris & Fox, the salon owner said he never anticipated he would run his own business one day.
He said: “It was only about four years ago now that I was really keen to open up a salon.
“When I left Angels, I went travelling for a bit for fun and spent time in Australia. It was during my time there that I thought about how great it would be to be my own boss, so I started saving up as much as I could to make the salon happen.
“I knew exactly how I wanted it to be inside.
“Creating a nice, friendly environment in the salon was crucial. Not just for customers but for the team working here as well.
“There’s nine of us as part of the team at the moment. There was just me for the first week after opening and it’s gradually built-up from there.”
In 12 months alone, the nine-strong hairdressing team have been recognised in several renowned awards.
Ryan said: “We’ve been shortlisted in the British Hairdressing Business Awards and have been recognised in a few other competitions, but next year we’re looking to put ourselves out there more and get involved in more categories.
“The first year of the salon being open was all about renovating it and building up a clientele, but now we’ll be pushing on to do more competitions and promote the business.”
Although the salon owner is delighted with the success and growth of Harris & Fox, he plans to expand and better his venue even further in the coming months.
“It’s been hard work but incredibly rewarding,” Ryan said.
“We’ve grown a lot faster than I thought we would have and I’m really proud of what everyone’s achieved.
“The salon is definitely where I wanted it to be when I envisioned it this time a year ago.
“Looking forward, we’ll be starting work on transforming the downstairs space that we currently use as a staff room. There will be six hairdressing seats put in place there on top of the eight we have upstairs already, so I’m looking forward to the team growing again.
“Also downstairs lies the customer waiting and relaxation area which is a cool place for our clients to hang out if they’re waiting for colour to develop.
“Other than the extension plans, our aims are to keep pushing ourselves to continue providing great services for our customers.”