Skip to main content

The Phorest Ignite conference kicked off 2023, taking place the first week of January in Dublin, Ireland. The two-day event featured prominent speakers from both inside and outside the beauty industry, and 500 salon owner attendees from across the globe were treated to a wealth of insights and inspiration.

Each speaker sparked new ideas for growth in 2023 and beyond, and after talking to attendees, we’ve landed on five impactful lightbulb moments.

Workplace toxicity

The theme of workplace toxicity was echoed in several conversations and was very well delivered. Salon owner and entrepreneur Sophia Hilton had the audience scan her Employer Toxic Checklist, shocking many into really thinking about how we tolerate behaviors, both our own and our teams.

“We have to take personal responsibility,” she told owners. “If you want to see change, it has to start with you.”


Gayle Fulbright, owner of Headlines the Salon in Encinitas, California, gathered a similar takeaway from the event opener, Jason Everett, co-founder of High Performance Salon Academy.

“He talked about how your energy is so important to your team. If you walk in with low energy you are going to spread it throughout the whole team,” she said. “It is all about our team, they are our greatest asset.”

Communicating with the team

David Lynch from the Ritz Carlton Leadership Center spoke succinctly during his presentation on elevating the guest experience through effective communication. The Ritz Carlton has a vocabulary of acceptable and unacceptable language used by its people towards guests and one another. The common theme among the vocabulary? Respect. That worked for us.

Meanwhile, Janine Cannon, brand & business development lead at Zazou Salon and Academy in Canada found herself mulling over the idea of constantly evolving the way we communicate. “Lately we are finding that it’s been a big issue for us in terms of communication,” she said. “Our whole team is Gen Z, so we need to teach our leadership team how to talk to this group. The whole conference has been a great educational experience with a lot of inspiration for 2023. 2022 was a really tough year so it’s nice to see the industry coming together.”

Consistent branding

More than one speaker sparkled when it came to branding and consistency. Sophia Hilton had her audience nodding along as she spoke about ensuring the brand messaging was the same across all platforms, from inside and outside the salon to all communications with clients. She inspired Natalie Cranston, owner of Beautifully Gorgeous Salon in England, to make changes to her social media.

“Sophia Hilton made me realize that our branding inside and outside the salon is perfect, but our social media doesn’t necessarily match,” said Natalie. “I am going to make active changes as we move forward.”

Meanwhile, Ricardo Corvi, from the Rainbow Rooms Group in Scotland, was heading home to review his use of QR codes, as he is now planning on posting them on the salon door and window as a way to welcome new clients into its community.

Sustainable pricing

Sustainability was a constant theme throughout the conference, and not just environmental sustainability but also business and employee sustainability. Valorie Tate, keynote speaker and co-founder of Sustain Beauty Co, explained how often we think we are the only person in the room who cares about prioritizing sustainability. However, our perception doesn’t match reality. So start taking small steps towards implementing sustainable pratices, because your team and guests are with you.

Stuart Mesart, owner of Mesart in Scotland, was also intrigued about sustainable pricing, as explored by Jason Everett. This new flexible approach to pricing explores charging more at peak times. [/vc_column_text]

Smarter systems

Meanwhile, more than one attendee described Vish as a game-changer, allowing them to be proactive about pricing and guaranteeing profit with every service. Nathan Plumridge, owner of Energy Salon in England, is a huge fan after just nine months of using Vish.

“Vish is the future,” said Nathan. “Everyone is telling us constantly how to get more money in, but we need to know how to fill those little holes, and Vish shows how to fill the biggest hole which is color overuse and waste. It’s much better for the planet and it’s better for us. What we need as salon owners is sustainable profit, and Vish gives us that.”

Leave a Reply