Salon in the Spotlight: Alisa Jade, Stoke-On-Trent
By Callie Iley | 06 October 2022 | Feature, Salon & Spas
Salon in the Spotlight: Alisa Jade, Stoke-On-Trent
Alisa Jade Matthews trained in nails in 2019, passing her qualification just before the first lockdown began, putting a pause on the beginning of her career.
Alisa used the time lockdown afforded her to develop her skillset and create connections with potential clients. “In September 2020, I started working in a newly founded local salon, and was fortunate enough to build a strong and consistent clientele. I was ready to expand into different areas of beauty but the position I was in meant I couldn’t do this, so when I stumbled onto an opportunity to lease a space, I took it.”
“I opened my salon on May 4 2022. I felt it would be a great omen opening on Star Wars day, and it really has been with me since,” Alisa laughs. “Since opening, we have taken on two self employed nail technicians, been licensed for semi-permanent makeup and body piercing, and taken over 650 appointments in 21 weeks.
“My clients all love the new salon and its vibe, and were so supportive when I made the move. I couldn’t have done it without them.”
“I’ve been featured in our local news in two separate articles, the first because I was shortlisted into the finals for two national awards for Nail Tech of the Year 2022, and the second article was to announce the opening of my new salon, Alisa Jade, and my second place award win in the Social Media Hair and Beauty Awards for Nail Technician of the Year 2022.
“I was so excited to feature in the news, as it’s a great opportunity to create new connections locally and it acknowledges our hard work and achievements,” she smiles. “I say ‘our hard work’ as my husband has been my absolute hero in making the dream come true, he has worked really hard in helping me achieve my goals.”
“I was pleasantly surprised to be awarded second place in the Social Media Hair and Beauty awards. Competition is fierce out there, but my clients had my back. The process starts with them – I put forward a few of my favourite nail sets to show my skillset, and once approved, it’s down to votes to get in front of the judging panel,” Alisa recalls. “My clients, friends and family all voted and said some really nice things about my work and about me personally, which was so humbling to read. I say the win is as much theirs as it is mine because it wouldn’t have been possible without them.
“I have also recently won gold winner for West Midlands Nail Tech of the Year 2022 with the British Hair and Beauty Awards, and the salon also came second place for Salon of the Year 2022 with the Social Media Hair and Beauty Boss Box Awards. It’s quite overwhelming how far I’ve come in three years, and it hypes me up for the future.”
“I have trained in other beauty treatments and expanded my skillset into micropigmentation and body piercing. I now have a small dream team of self employed ladies working at the salon offering a range of services as well,” she reveals. “In September 2022, I started offering ABT accredited courses in nail treatments and our first course was a huge hit. I plan to work on getting more courses accredited and training ladies in what I know so they too can become successful business women. I love learning and sharing knowledge, it’s inspiring watching other people grow their mindsets and businesses beyond what they thought was possible.
“I do have a 10 year goal to open another salon. I’m thinking in Spain, but my husband thinks maybe we could open another one locally and rent out spaces again before we head to Spain. I think he secretly enjoyed the renovations.”
“My salon is unique to me, it represents aspects of myself. I have tarot cards in the waiting area for clients to have a play and pull a card which has been a huge hit, clients can’t wait to pull a card before their appointment. I have crystals on display with calming and healing properties, real living plants said to reduce stress and anxieties, as well as offering benefits of air purifying,” Alisa shares. “I did this to create a calm, stress free environment for clients to enjoy their treatments in.
“My favourite thing in the salon though is the Mystery Machine, it’s an old retro toy capsule vendor. Inside each capsule is a nail art idea or inspiration. Clients really enjoy the unknown and saves them time searching through Pinterest or Instagram before their next appointment. It’s so fun and the talk of the salon some days.”
“Another thing I personally love is my neon sign and movie quote walls. The neon sign is a quote from Dirty Dancing that says ‘nobody puts baby in a corner’, which is situated in the pedicure corner, and in the micropigmentation/aesthetics room I have a quote from Grease which says ‘beauty school drop out’ just above all my certificates. Classic movies for a classy salon!
“My salon offers an environment suitable for all ages, all walks of life, and all genders and the best part about it is that it’s not pink,” she enthuses. “Regularly I’m complemented on the shade of green and I’ve been asked to share the paint name and number so they can have it too at home – it’s Wickes Olive Green 830. Beauty doesn’t have to be pink, and I think my clients find it quite refreshing to walk into a salon and not be greeted with pink floral walls.”
“I’m personally trained in nails, lashes, brows, micropigmentation and body piercing. My specialty is nails and hand painted nail art, however I do hope to pursue my micropigmentation treatments more now I have the space in the salon available. I have really been excited about body piercing too, I love when my day takes me from the nail room to the clinic room – it changes things up for me and keeps things fresh.
“I’m a sucker for education, so I’m sure my qualifications will continue to grow over time,” Alisa beams. “I have my eyes set on a facials course but I need a few more hours in the day or days in the week to continue to pursue education.”
“I use a range of products depending on service,” she notes. “For nails, my main products are Glitterama, as it’s the brand I used during my training, and I have recently started moving more into Nailchemy products. I love their artisan art gels and their liquid gold and silver.
“For lashes, I use Lashbase, for brows I use Diotics for Henna brows, and with micropigmentation I use Brow Daddy and Tina Davies as they are highly recommended in the SPMU chatter.”
“When I first viewed the salon building, it was already decorated in a nice pink and gold, but I don’t personally do pink,” Alisa says. “Walking around, I was imagining where things would go and what I could create. Olive and sage green was where I found myself in terms of colour. I wanted sage because of my connection to all things spiritual, but then it occurred to me that the salon’s name was going to be Alisa Jade, and jade is a green crystal. It was always meant to be green!
“I created a mood board for the salon and that’s where gold accents came in, real plants and a ‘wood’ wall. I can’t really say I planned it much before seeing the salon in person, as I had always said If I ever had a salon it would be navy, or moroccan-themed, but this place was telling me green, so I created a calm, tranquil, relaxing yet connected vibe for the salon.”
“Your vibe attracts your tribe. The majority of my clients connect to my salon the same way I do, they say it’s calming, tranquil, relaxing, classy, and quirky,” she explains. “I thought about things to encourage these feelings and influence clients on a subtle subconscious level, such as warm lighting, classic nostalgic movie quotes, calming energies from the crystals, green colouring said to reduce anxiety and depression, plants to connect to nature and lower stress levels.
“The decor has the exact intended influence on clients so they can forget about the chaos that awaits them outside of the salon space for a short while.”