International Women’s Day – SWH Pop-Up


WH and Good Salon Guide hosted a beauty pop-up in aid of Brighton Women’s Centre to celebrate International Women’s Day 2019.

Change is in the Hair

Despite many of the most well-known names being men, over 80% of workers in the hair and beauty industries are female. It is undeniably women who are the backbone of salons across the UK and world.

Statistics put salons in the top ten of new business start-ups, yet national averages show women suffering poorer pay conditions than men, with fewer options for promotion. We’ve come a long way, but it would seem there’s still a long way to go.

International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day is 9th March and has become a significant date in the calendar. As it’s popularity has flourished, celebrations have begun to extend throughout the weekend. So it was that on March 11th, Good Salon Guide and Brighton’s Simon Webster Hair collaborated to host a pop-up beauty event, celebrating International Women’s Day and raising funds for Brighton Women’s Centre.

Brighton Women’s Centre – empowering women since 1974

Brighton Women’s Centre (BWC) is a holistic charity that supports and empowers women across the city of Brighton and Hove. It’s a safe space for women to come together, talk and access advice and support services. Facilities include a creche, foodbank, meetings and classes.

Since we opened, Simon Webster Hair have been happy to support the centre with donations and by promoting their work. We’ve donated styling services to some of the women helped by BWC and regularly contributed prizes to their competitions. It’s allowed us to see their work at first-hand and we knew the centre was a natural fit for our International Women’s Day pop-up.

Good Salon Guide and Simon Webster Hair

Good Salon Guide is one of the hair industry’s leading accreditors and Simon Webster Hair has been a 5-star member since we opened in 2012. With so many hair salons opening and clients being more discerning than ever, the Good Salon Guide logo is an indicator of quality. Accreditation by GSG is a reassurance to clients that a salon adheres to high standards of cleanliness, professionalism and responsible employment.

SWH Beauty Pop-Up

Good Salon Guide approached us as one of their exclusive 5-star salons, to co-host their first beauty pop-up. Brighton’s a vibrant city with a very proactive community of independent traders, start-ups and creatives, many of whom are female. So Brighton was GSG’s city of choice for their first International Women’s Day event. It’s the ideal city to celebrate womanhood and the work of BWC.

The snug at Hotel Du Vin provided a venue of laidback elegance to host our two-hour event. Four Brighton-based beauty brands presented to an audience of thirty guests, mainly women, on the move towards ethical beauty and fashion. The exclusivity of the event enabled guests to mingle in a relaxed environment, whilst enjoying the demos and browsing the products of the brands presenting.

Natural Beauty

Alongside Good Salon Guide and Simon Webster Hair’s Simon and Caroline, local fashion and beauty insiders came together to reveal the secrets of sustainable everyday styling.

Simon Webster hair’s newest neighbour, Brighton and Hastings-based brand WiDEYE, opened the event. They’re a successful locally-sourced cosmetics brand and discussed the benefits of reducing the chemicals we use in our beauty regimes. They talked about the environmental importance of choosing more natural alternatives and plastic-free packaging. Samples of their delicious products were available to try and take away. All guests received complimentary manicures and hand massages and their aromatic essential oils filled the air.

Saying No to Fast-Fashion

Emily Evans, founder and designer of homegrown organic clothing label Zola Amour UK took to the stage next. She discussed the impact of fast-fashion with personal shopper Carla Webster. The pair explained what ethical fashion means in terms of designing, creating and buying. It’s not a trend, it’s a movement towards more sustainable business.

Emily is a trailblazer in the ethical fashion movement. Her fashion label, Zola Amour is about designing stylish, sustainable essentials; timeless and handmade to last. The antithesis of throwaway-fashion, her garments are perfect for detoxing your wardrobe.

Guests fielded questions on how to make their own wardrobes more efficient and Carla demonstrated the principles behind building a capsule wardrobe. The ultimate lesson for everyone was the benefits of buying less but buying better; investing in key staples to build a sustainable wardrobe with variety and style.

An Empowering Afernoon

After a chance to peruse some of the Zola Amour designs and enjoy a prosecco high-tea, Brighton Women’s Centre were on-hand to talk about their work around the city.

BWC volunteer, Melissa, explained how Brighton Women’s Centre funds go towards improving the lives of women and their families. She explained some of the shocking national statistics of homelessness and domestic abuse. She relayed stories of neglect and family break-up that their users often experience. The tone was in sharp contrast to the plush surroundings of our event. And it brought home the reason for holding it in the first place. The centre makes an incredible difference to the women it works with. But they need more help.

A Personal Touch

Professional photographer, Gary Halliday, documented the event with candid shots of the speakers and guests. He kindly shot individual black and white portraits of all the women at the event, as a personal souvenir of the day and recording their support of Brighton Women’s Centre.


Guests settled for our final presentation of the afternoon. Simon Webster Hair’s Sophie opened with an account of how SWH and BWC have collaborated, before Caroline and Simon took to the floor. They revealed their tips for building the perfect home-styling kit, including the essential cruelty-free products everyone should have for a personalised start-style-finish regime.

We invited guests onto the platform to try out products and tools, sharing tricks for recreating salon styles and tips on how to reduce product waste. The move towards professional-quality PHP-free colour and direct colours was a big talking-point. All were agreed that the reduction in chemicals is the way forward for all colour houses. And consumer demand for refillables is changing product and packaging design. Guests agreed that it was time for a mass rethink as both suppliers and consumers.

An Ongoing Cause

To round-up the afternoon, there was a raffle to raise some last funds for Brighton Women’s Centre. It was bursting with donations from industry names including KMS, BaByliss Pro and Joico. Even more sought-after, were the gifts from local businesses Bend Fit Mend yoga, Lou Taylor jewellery and Brighton Make-Up School.

Good Salon Guide closed the event and thanked the guests and contributors for their generosity. And roaring applause brought it to an uplifting end. Everyone left with an SWH goody bag that was overflowing with treats to take home. And we were inundated with requests to make it an annual event celebrating womanhood and BWC. The event was supportive, empowering and liberating.

For all the individuals and brands involved, it was a fabulous success. For us personally, it was an amazing opportunity to raise the profile of a small local charity that does incredible work for the women in our community. And for us as a salon, we got to celebrate our clientele, our industry and Good Salon Guide.

It was an event not to be missed and we look forward to the next one being even bigger.

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