I have been invited to the Skattwalk Hair, Make-up and Fashion Show 2009. It will take up Perth’s largest venue, with about 1200 people seeing a single live runway “performance” involving 120 models, showcasing hair styling, makeup, fashion design and entertainers.
I really enjoy the theatrical side of fashion. You know, the glitz, the glamour, the unwearable-but-still-stunning-looking clothes, the music, choreography, etc! So I am very keen to see how Skattwalk all comes together.
I was introduced to Skattwalk’s creator, a lady named Lisa Grinceri, who I quickly discovered is only 25 years old. And since Skattwalk is now in its fifth year… some quick maths… she was only 20 when she started it.
Lisa has also created her own chain of beauty salons called “Skatt”. So I certainly had some questions for this lady who has started her own business so young.
Karen: How big was the first Skattwalk, five years ago?
Lisa: The first Skattwalk event in 2004 was held at the Onyx Bar with just 25 models. So quite humble beginnings.
Karen: Did you find that it was harder, or easier, because you were only 20 years old? Were people reluctant to take you seriously?
Lisa: I think it was harder being young at the time Skattwalk started. With the common perception that age equals experience, I think people found it difficult to believe that such a young person could run a premier fashion event. It also meant that I didn’t have many contacts in the fashion industry. I had to rely heavily on the support of my hairdressing industry contacts.
Karen: I guess a lot of young girls dream of doing something in the area of beauty or fashion when they are young, but you have obviously taken it all the way to reality. When did you decide you were going to make beauty your career?
Lisa: I always wanted to be in business and am passionate about fashion and everything to do with hair and beauty. In 2003 I studied commerce at Curtin University and halfway through my course I decided it was time to start my first business. There was potential for a successful business and I would get to be part of an industry I really loved.
Karen: I notice that your salon experiences are so clearly targeted to both women and men. What proportion of your customers are guys?
Lisa: 20 per cent of our cliental are male. Slowly men are coming to realise how great beauty services like facials, massage, waxing and manicures can be.
Karen: What is the Skatt salon theme?
Lisa: The same as the Skattwalk shows – to celebrate fashion! Our salons have hot pink illuminated catwalks to hold regular fashion shows, as well as large screens to showcase the latest fashion events.
Karen: What was the biggest problem you had to overcome while building your business?
Lisa: Being so young and with little experience, I had to learn from my own mistakes and it wasn’t always easy. As with any new businesses I learnt to trust my instincts and always plan, plan, plan to keep the business running financially and, in turn, to enable it to grow. I think you also have to be open to new ideas and partnerships as not everything will always pan out as you may have imagined.
Karen: Who, or what, inspires and motivates you when things get tough?
Lisa: I find inspiration both in my team and in my clients. When I watch someone transformed into a fantastic new look, or see a Skatt apprentice hairdresser gaining new skills and confidence, I know I am in the right business.
Saturday, 28 March 7:00 – 10.00pm
Perth Convention Exhibition Centre
Tickets for Skattwalk are available from BOCS outlets.
or from the venue on the night.
I’ll be there myself in the front row (baby three allowing!)