AMIDST the tales of closures this year, Beaufort Street has its survivors and thrivers.
Nick Mammoliti’s Hemisphere Hair joins the Mount Lawley/Highgate strip’s two-decade club this week, alongside the likes of Planet, Fullin Tailoring Co, The Astor and a handful of other long-termers who’ve ridden the ups and downs.
Back in 1999, Mr Mammoliti was already an industry veteran of 15 years.
“I saw the potential in Beaufort Street, and so we started with three staff,” Mr Mammoliti says.
“Within three years I had nine staff, and then we went through the real boom times in Mount Lawley which was great for everyone.”
He says the service industry’s been luckier than retail when it comes to weathering the economic storm as people can’t just order haircuts online, though they do space them out a bit more: A few years back short dos were in style and they’d require frequent trims, but the longer cuts can go for a few more weeks between snips.
Mr Mammoliti says the main reason he’s been able to stick around has been a loyal customer base which has come back over the decades.
“I would say at least 70 per cent of my clients I do today, I’ve been doing for about 20 years.
“I definitely want to thank my great loyal customer base that I’ve had, and I think one big factor in getting return clientele is trying to employ the right staff to fit the salon … you’re only as good as the people you surround yourself with.”
Part-owner Damien Kabay started as one of those staff members. “It was about 14 years ago, and he’d come back from the UK and he walked in to see whether we were looking for any staff,” Mr Mammoliti said.
Already knowing him by reputation, Mr Mammoliti hired Mr Kabay on the spot.
Hemisphere has nine staff but has just moved three doors down from its old spot next to Gelare.
“We’d been bursting at the scenes in the previous salon,” he says, and they’ve now got a bit of space to grow if the hair game remains good.
Musing over what Beaufort needs to make a full comeback, Mr Mammoliti says: “I would love to see it getting back to having more cafes and restaurants.
“I feel like at one stage many years ago we were flush with cafes. Unfortunately that little strip we’re on is in desperate need for more cafes where people can sit down and enjoy a coffee and have lunch, and that’s definitely something that can bring people back into the area.”
by DAVID BELL