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Six months ago, we welcomed The Vanilla Room in Hornchurch, Greater London, to Colourstart.

Kerry Larcher opened the salon 28 years ago and after recently struggling with her manufacturers’ new skin testing policy she decided to introduce her clients to Colourstart. When we heard that they’d adopted the strapline ‘a one off payment for a lifetime of colour treatments’ we loved it so much we had to share it…

ES: Overall, how has it been implementing Colourstart into The Vanilla Room?

KL: It was definitely the right decision for us, and the support from Colourstart has been excellent. They have given me so much advice to help with the transition. There are always challenges with any new system in a business. For example, we underestimated the number of clients who do not understand technology! But we’ve helped the clients that have struggled through the process, and it’s worked well.   

ES: What key lessons have you learnt?

KL: It’s worth planning as much as you can before you launch Colourstart to clients. Training our team in every aspect of Colourstart really helped to make the process easier. We have revisited the training frequently, so everyone totally understands why Colourstart is the best option for our clients. Consider having a plan in place for backing up what the stylist are doing.  I’d also recommend having a dedicated page on your website for Colourstart. We have all the information they need there and a video of how to apply the test.  This has made it so much easier for our clients once they have left the salon.

ES: What’s been the biggest challenge?

KL: Being able to see the Colourstart dashboard on our main salon computers. We ended up investing in an extra screen to have the dashboard open and available at all times. This has been such a worthwhile thing to do, as it allows us to check the client is using the Colourstart system and retaking the questionnaire every visit.

ES: Has price been an issue?

KL: There’s been less resistance than we anticipated. Initially we supported regular clients by giving them loyalty points, but we adopted the strapline ‘a one off payment for a lifetime of colour treatments’, and clients seem to really connect with this. A lady came in the other day and thought it was the best thing ever that she could now have any colour and that we had tested her for everything. There will always be the odd exception, but now all our new clients are told they need to use Colourstart. 

ES: Any words of wisdom to other salons about to embark on Colourstart?

KL: Do it now. It is the only option that protects your business and your clients alike. It’s a great feeling to not be controlled by a colour house and to be able to use any colour we like, when we like.