Gladstone hairdresser: 'Home salons' are hurting my business
CALLIOPE hairdresser Amanda King pays her bills first, her employees second, and herself last ... but she barely gets to herself.
The owner of Hair Attraction works full-time at her salon on top of her second job bar tending at the CBD's MiePlace to draw a wage.
Her team of five "are my business" and "without them, I'd be lost".
But in the cut-throat world of hairdressing, Mrs King has fallen victim to former employees with her clients' numbers banked up in their phone running off to another salon.
Before she bought her business, she didn't understand the extent to which new "home salons" would continue to pop-up on Facebook and she says there's "more than a handful" around her salon.
The third-year apprentice, who bought the salon with her insurance after the 2013 floods ruined her home, is weighing up if she should renew her lease at the end of this month.
"You'll find that clients who are happy with their hair dresser will follow them to the ends of the earth," she said.
"Because of the uncertain economic circumstances, it's a massive gamble.
"I can't afford to put any extra money into the business if it's not giving me my wages."
She said she'd notice a trend where the owners of the salons often have husbands who'd finished work on Curtis Island and they needed extra money, or they wanted to work around their kids.
She said home salons are cheaper without overhead costs of rent, insurance, and work cover in some cases.
But Mrs King said while she's heard horrible stories of women rinsing their hair in a laundry tub or being left to rinse out colour at home, nothing would beat the pamper women receive at a fully equipped salon.