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Explore the Leeds hub shaking up the beauty & wellness industry

By Rebecca Hitchon | 27 January 2022 | Brands, Feature

koncept studio

Scratch chats to Isabella Gilmartin, founder of Koncept Studio, a hub of multi-functional spaces for independent creative talent in Leeds.

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It was in 2019 that Isabella first had the idea for Koncept Studio, after years of perfecting her skills in different areas of the beauty industry. She had begun to notice one thing that each aspect of the sector had in common.

“The effects of the modern day fast-paced lifestyle were kicking in, leaving myself and others I spoke to longing for a more personal and profound beauty experience,” she tells Scratch.

“To me, the idea of beauty and wellbeing had so much more to offer than what I was seeing; I truly believed that appointments should be more than an ‘in and out of the door experience’ and that clients should leave feeling uplifted, with an enhanced sense of wellbeing and peace.”

Challenging the norms of the beauty industry was a key part in creating this new beauty experience, Isabella explains. From asking herself why there aren’t more unisex salon spaces to why some clients feel uncomfortable having certain treatments or can’t identify with those providing these treatments, she was able to create an inclusive foundation for the Studio.

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But it wasn’t just clients’ wellbeing that interested Isabella – part of her vision was to provide a ‘home’ for creatives to work from, where they could be part of a community of like-minded people. This, she says, is just as important as the overall client experience and is why the Studio has launched a series of collaborations to empower industry creatives. Its first collaboration was with wellbeing platform and consultancy, Female Magik, hosting an event where female creatives could share their journeys and uplift one another.

“The mission was to provide a safe place where all felt welcome, and a journey that would not only enhance the client’s outward appearance but work to nourish their inner glow and wellbeing.”

Despite having a clear plan for Koncept Studio, Isabella admits that the journey to getting the space to where it is now has not all been smooth sailing. The hub launched one week before the first lockdown in 2020, leaving Isabella and her team uncertain about the future of the business. But they managed to weather the storm and can now see the Studio blossoming in line with Isabella’s vision.

Even with the challenges brought on by the pandemic, Koncept Studio was able to launch an education platform in July 2020. Koncept Kollege offers courses in barbering and make-up artistry, with nail and eyebrow courses set to be released. With those that don’t thrive in traditional structured learning scenarios in mind, the education shares the same focus on inclusivity as the Studio. It promotes the success of each student by constructing the courses around their learning characteristics, using information gathered from a questionnaire and personality test.

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So what’s next for Koncept Studio? “We are so excited to continue to spread our message throughout the local community and beyond,” Isabella tells us. “We certainly love the idea of expansion and growth in the future, but at the moment we are content in enjoying the journey.”

Read Isabella’s top tips to promote wellbeing in the workplace here.

Follow Koncept Studio on Instagram and Facebook.