Archives for posts with tag: Gill

Christmas 2014So many of our clients come into salon at this time of year and share their plans for Christmas. Many of those plans are joyous, visitors coming from far away and family gatherings for meals and presents. Some of you are taking trips to sun-filled places for Christmas.

We also know that many of you find this time of year tricky. Family gatherings are not always easy – and they are often, even when enjoyable, hard work if you are the host! So with raised glasses to the hosts, the cooks, the carers and the constant shoppers we are focusing here on you! Here are a few wishes we have for you this Christmas:

 We wish you a good book in a comfortable chair.

 We wish you long hot baths on cold dark nights.

 We wish you one or two (boxes of) chocolates!

 We wish you a chance to catch-up with an old friend in person or on the phone.

 We wish you health, and your family too.

 We wish you happy times.

 We wish you evening films that make you laugh and cry.

 We wish you patience with family and visitors that outstay their welcome.

 We wish you pleasant memories of people who can’t be with you.

We wish you a very merry Christmas and a happy new year.

From all the staff at Gill Goddard Hair x

Gill, Hanna, Fern, Leanne, Asia, and Demelza

Welcome to Amsterdam

It was a welcoming 21 degrees in Amsterdam. I sat outside in my shirtsleeves with a glass of wine by the canal with other salon owners from UK who had come together to visit Keune.

I recently spent a weekend in Amsterdam, courtesy of my products suppliers and Keune. Last year at Gill Goddard Hair we took a pretty massive step and changed our product range to So Pure from Keune. It was a great move and this trip has confirmed why I think that Keune is absolutely right for us and our customers.

This was not going to be my first visit to Amsterdam so I was excited in a really relaxed way. I am one of those people who like travelling a lot, but I get lost. I’m missing some pretty vital navigating and directional equipment. I do however know how to read the positive signs of a good company or organisation.  All the signs from the Keune family (and I know now why they call themselves a family) are great.

I love the Keune brochures, pictures and really love the products. So I imagined the weekend with them would be a positive and enhancing experience. It was!

Meeting (Mr) Keune

The Keune Factory

The Keune Factory

Our bus drew up to the Keune factory, which seems to double as a modernist Statement with a staircase entrance hall complete with show car, office, pristine canteen and eating area, lecture theatres and an amazing hair salon set up for cut, colour hair collections, photography and modelling.



At the entrance we met Editha, Star of the Show – the Educator come Hostess. She’s amazing, intelligent, quick witted, performic, informal and chatty. She guided us through the Keune product portfolio and collections like a pro public speaker. This dynamic approach to information and education is something I really appreciate. The enthusiasm is catching!

Me and Mr Keune

Me and Mr Keune!

We sat and watched a presentation about the company – from its beginning to its flourishing contemporary place in the global hair market. Even more amazing than the history is that for the involvement of the Keune family. The grandson of the founder, Mr George Keune has a house attached to the factory and is available for the staff 24/7 or so it seems. A strong dedication to the business and its evolution.


Demos at Keune

Two hair educators appeared on stage and we are treated to cut and colour processes. Then it was time for lunch. Back down in the canteen I could hardly believe how good the food was – obviously cooked from scratch and really healthy!

Highlights and dizzy heights 

Hearing all about the Keune processes

Hearing all about the Keune processes

Back to our itinerary and for me it was the highlight of the trip: a tour around the factory. It sounds dead boring but this is no ordinary factory. For a start the Keune company employs 17 people with learning difficulties who work five days a week on light manual labour. They know everybody and everybody knows them.

Smelling the delicious Keune products

Smelling the delicious Keune products

Editha explains the many processes that will eventually end up in our salons as tubes of colour, perm, shampoo and conditioner. Thousands of tubes and bottles of product are produced each day and the factory workers do shifts to meet the demand. We visit a section where the essential oils are stored in a funny dry airless way where if we stay too long we will start talking with a funny voice.

Up high with Keune

Up high with Keune

We visit the lab where scientists are constantly testing and evolving this natural range of products. We visit an area across the road similar to the loading bays in Ikea Bristol. Before I know it I’m up in the ceiling in a fork-lift truck, four times the height of my house with a strange man at the controls!

One microphone, a table-top and a whole lot of food

After our return to the hotel and many, many photographs and documentation notes, we changed for the evening meal at an amazing karaoke bar. Again no ordinary karaoke or food!

The Dutch are fab – they know how to make an evening meal really special. All the waiters are singers and the maître d’ welcomes our party of British people to the table by announcing an “eighties” hits night.

Amsterdam meal

Delicious food, great company

They began a tradition of shared food. Every four places along the table there is a delicious tapas starter. Then spaghetti fongoli followed by Ice cream and cake dessert. They even catered for gluten-free guests, cooking a special meal. Every 15 minutes a waiter sings with a microphone – and it’s not the champagne flowing – they really are excellent singers.

By the end of the evening the salon owners all know each other really well and some of us have even danced on the tables to roars of delight from the other guests!

Coming home with a thank you

In the morning I found a café of the beaten track where a Dutch man cooked us double eggs and bacon with strong coffee. We all sat in companionable silence. I reviewed my trip and wrote up my notes. It had been all at once exhilarating and inspirational. I can’t really complain about being on my feet all day in the salon at home now I know about this fast pace and great workforce all behind the scenes at Keune making the exceptional products we work with everyday!

Thanks Lee and Gary, everyone was looked after us including Editha, Mr Keune and his team and the other companies involved with the trip. I had a great time, and it will bring fresh insights to my salon in deepest south west Devon. X



ImageTwo new customers came in together today. One had booked for the other and herself to have new year restyles as a treat. I was prepared. When I have restyles back to back in the appointment book we highlight them to make sure there is enough time for consultations. Once a customer trusts we’re really listening to what they want they ask our advice about making long term changes to their hair like colour and length. This time one of the friends had prepared herself for her consultation by drawing a picture. She drew her own head and the style she wanted with a biro and pencil on a sketch pad. The drawing was lovely – it was detailed, lively and very 3D. It was very clear to me exactly what she wanted and she was confident I would understand it.

I’m always really excited when customers draw themselves and create the style they want and show it to me for my interpretation. To me a drawing is very special. It’s so great that the customer is confident with this drawing for working out her new look with me. And more often than not, it’s been reworked into a longer or shorter version on several pages to consider different versions of the same cut. So before they can snatch the drawing away because they feel embarrassed I ask if I can use it during the cut. And because it’s quite unusual to work from a drawing all the other stylists sneak a peek.

One of the teaching aids we use in the salon is a sheet of A4 with four different aspects of a head. Sometimes describing one cut the paper goes on for five sheets as it’s taken in step by step by the hair stylist. If we want to describe a style or cut to each other we use photocopies of this template of a head and we simply make marks on it to describe different layers or graduation. And of course there is a lot of explaining and describing techniques.

Similarly we learn lots by using these templates for working out how to develop understanding of colour work. Hanna loves drawing out her formulas for corrective colour work on the mirror instead of a piece of paper. Great hairdressers are able to think in pictures and diagrams and through dialogue. It’s a flamboyant thing to mark a mirror in the salon but it’s a temporary and visual aid that works like a drawing. It gets us all excited about the possibilities of restyles – it’s something new and we love creating something individual for our customers. Restyles are always a challenge and we talk about them a lot and sometime photograph the before and after. This time I’ve photographed the drawing.