Meet Megan Solomon – the eccentric, sarcastic and loving owner of Perth’s Self Care Studio. Stepping into her space serves as the ultimate dopamine hit – a dreamy world where Barbiecore 2022 meets retro boutique. No detail, from Megan’s use of pink toweling to 70s-inspired decor throughout, has gone amiss. Hannah Gay reached out to Megan to uncover the motivation behind the business owner’s inclusive, service-packed beauty destination.
In what year did you open your business?
“End of 2019… like a bloody genius! [This was] shortly followed by our wedding, just to make EXTRA SURE all our savings were gone before being told beauty salons were to be closed indefinitely while in quarantine post honeymoon.”
Tell us about your background and what led you to opening/managing your business.
“I was failing every subject at high school while working at the local Domino’s Pizza. I [had been] swiftly ‘promoted’ to dish washer when a new beauty salon opened up across the road. Being filled with teenage over-confidence and delusion in my make-up artistry abilities, I strode on over and asked for a job. So, with an ultimatum from my parents to pass all my subjects for the term, I managed to muster some half-hearted C+’s and left school at the tender age of 15. Luckily my parents’ ill-fated bluff paid off and I went on to win Trainee of the Year in 2006. Since then I have worked in Sydney, Edinborough and Fremantle.
I opened the studio partly out of my insatiable impulsivity and also the drive to open a safe space for everyone. [This was] inspired by after work beauty sessions with a friend exploring her femininity, a few years before she publicly came out as trans.”
Describe the look and feel of your space.
“I guess a pastel, fluffy dream space [laughs]; with very regular updates! Clients often comment that something is different every time they come in!”
How many employees do you have?
“I have just the one at the moment, my angel Talei. Talei came to the studio asking for work experience a year after winning a facial in a competition when I first opened. They didn’t know the beauty world held space for a non-binary person and after viewing the space decided to follow their passion and study beauty therapy.”
On your website, you state: “We are passionate about creating a safe, welcoming space for all bodies, races and gender identities.” Do you believe the industry could do better in supporting a broader mix of clients?
“I believe the beauty industry is filled with kind, nurturing beauty therapists that already do a great job in supporting everyone that comes into their space. I think what we are lacking at a client-facing level is vocalising that fact. A simple pride flag in the window, or photos on our social media with different bodies and ethnicities can ease the very valid concerns of our clients. Simple adjustments to our spaces such as larger treatment tables can ensure all bodies can feel safe and relaxed. Sharing information on the protocols in your facials to care for different Fitzpatrick skin types. Neutralising gender-based language in our treatment menus clarifies that everyone is welcome to book in for their self care.
As a cis-gendered white person, I have had to really zoom out from my perspective and think of any possible barriers or concerns our clients might have and do my best to alter a service, update the language used to describe a service, educate myself and my staff, and ensure we share those changes with our community.
My personal approach has changed immensely since opening the studio as I learn to unlearn the beauty standards and binary that affect our culture in, at times, a really harmful way; I’m learning to listen, learn and reflect. And in regards to [whether] the ENTIRE industry could do better in supporting a broader mix of clients… yes, I do think that there is always room for more inclusivity.”
“I believe the beauty industry is filled with kind, nurturing beauty therapists that already do a great job in supporting everyone that comes into their space. I think what we are lacking at a client-facing level is vocalising that fact.”
What are three things you look for in a great employee/beauty therapist?
“Genuine client care. If we start there, all the skill and technique follows effortlessly.”
You offer a little bit of everything! What are your most popular treatments?
“We love a good pamper sesh! A mix of facials, massage and body treatments. We are also well-known for our lash lifts – I love the long-lasting, low-maintenance wow factor!”
What is one of the biggest struggles you face managing a business?
“Self worth, acceptance and trust. For me, being in business has had more to do with personal growth than business growth. As I’ve discovered, one can’t happen without the other. I’ve learnt that if I don’t accept my ‘weaknesses’ and recognise my strengths, I waste time not focusing on what I do well. I have to remind myself to trust my vision and try not to lose sight of the ideas that created the uniqueness of our studio and that nurture our community. I also have to remind myself that trying to take on too much and exceeding my personal capacity can quickly lead to major burnout!”
“I’ve learnt that if I don’t accept my ‘weaknesses’ and recognise my strengths, I waste time not focusing on what I do well.”
What’s in store next for your business?
“Systems! Automation! As boring as that is, it is the next step to make sure my business, clients and staff have everything they need. Then, I can focus on our BIG ACHIEVABLE DREAM of a pastel, fluffy dream house – a spa-like hub where people can off-load the world and come back into their true selves.”
Name the beauty brands you stock across all categories, from skincare to tanning.
- O Cosmedics
- Esthemax Jelly Masks
- Elleebana for Lashlifts
- Bronsun and BrowXenna
- Minx Tanning
- PediPeel from Foot Peel
- Mayamy for brow lamination
- And our favourite: Caronlab Brazilliant Hot Wax.
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