Urban Escape is a high end, holistically focused hair and wellness retreat stocking Aveda products. They invite their guests to experience a sensory journey of relaxation away from the outside world. It is this revolutionary ethos that led Urban Escape to be announced as the winner of the National Telstra Micro Business Award in 2014. They have also been crowned winners in the Australian Achiever Awards for two years running for their excellence in customer relations with an all time record score of 99.26%. These achievements have been the crowning glory for Craig’s hard work and dedication to his craft.
As Craig explains: “From the moment life was given to Urban Escape it was, as the name suggests, about creating a blissful retreat where our guests would come to be pampered and where our team could be proud. It was about creating a beautiful, environmentally friendly workplace & to inspire others that the two can live together, hand in hand in the hope it will initiate & encourage a greater awareness.”
Their dedication to the environment led them to Orb Distribution. Craig says, “We sourced a great company to provide us with environmentally friendly options. This allows us to make less of an impact environmentally.”
Craig explains why he loves all of the Orb Distribution brands:
Easydry: “In my role as an Aveda professional, I had used Easydry towels so I was keen to implement disposable towels to the salon. On researching the options available, it was clear Easydry from Orb Distribution provided the most comprehensive range to fit the needs of Urban Escape.”
ECOHEADS: “I always want to support other environmentally friendly businesses. We were delighted that ECOHEADS clean the water with Tourmaline charged crystals. This is a massive plus for us at Urban Escape.”
Refoil: “Refoil, along with Easydry and ECOHEADS has meant we have made excellent savings from an environmental viewpoint. Implementing these Orb Distribution brands is the icing on the cake for Urban Escape and filled a void for us which was a genuine concern.”
So how does a salon owner make their salon an eco haven? Here are the top ten ideas:
- Reuse and Recycle: They began by removing all pollutants & recycling everything possible including the carpet. During the renovations they even limited the amount of power tools utilised & instead opted for the more environmentally friendly option of doing everything by hand. Throughout the build they filled over 6 huge dumpster bins with our cardboard and paper recycling. Everything not used or left over was recycled whenever possible.
- Water Efficiency: Research on the best way to maximise our energy efficiency & conserve water. Urban Escape has upgraded their system to run a commercial gas system which runs at a low capacity thus minimising their carbon footprint. They replaced the toilet with a half flush water saving toilet & the reverse cycle heating/cooling system is also motion-sensored.
- Sourcing and Customising: Reclaimed railway sleepers were sourced and recycled for the colour table I designed and hand built the entire table on site. The colour dispensary bench, the sink & staff room bench are all made of locally sourced large steel off cuts recycled & welded together. All sealants are water based & eco-friendly. The paint used on the walls is VOC Free which means as the paint breaks down over time, it does not emit chemicals into the air. An old bathroom mirror that has been left on the site was combined with an old lemonade / milk crate from the early 1900’s was upcycled into a beautiful hand held back mirror. The professional products stand is a reclaimed 1950’s plantar box.
- Lighting Efficiency: The entire lighting system is LED or energy efficient globes with motion sensors in bathroom and staffroom & our shopfront lights are on timers. Our main space is broken down into 10 small sections which we switch off when not in use. We have dimmers over the basin area which insures complete relaxation for our guests. We also utilise dimmers on the pendant light & colour bench to maximise efficiency.
- Ethical Purchasing: All stationary, business cards and refreshment menus are printed on recycled paper with soy ink. Urban Escape only serves Fair trade coffee & teas from sustainable sources utilising coffee from the Rainforest Alliance.
- Orb Distribution: Urban Escape love the reassurance that comes with purchasing eco-friendly products like Refoil Ecoheads and Easydry from Orb Distribution. As the products are eco-friendly and have the proof to back up their claims, it means salon owners can buy fantastic products while being assured they are choosing eco-friendly options.
- Eco-friendly Decoration: Bamboo has been utilised for decoration and functional storage. No fresh cut flowers are used throughout salon, only living plants which they grow then plant in their garden. When they set up the salon, beside the shop was a dilapidated area which is now a beautiful garden grown entirely from off cuts sourced from their gardens and those of friends and relatives.
- Promote Recycling in the Salon: The salon has recycling bins everywhere separating paper, plastics, glass and even recycling Aveda colour tubes. They also sourced an abandoned filing cabinet and second hand files.
- Promote Recycling in the Neighbourhood: Their passion has also inspired a recycling policy with their neighbours they encourage them to be environmentally aware & recycle also.
- Promote your Activities: We hope to gain as much recognition for environmental awareness as possible. At the end of the day, it is beneficial to us all, so we all win regardless of awards. Admittedly they help to draw attention.
Top 5 Tips for Business Success from Urban Escape
- Be very clear on your plan and stick to it.
- Get a good accountant.
- Invest in education for yourself and your team.
- Be mindful of your own health – give everything to your business but remember that without you there is no business.
- Believe – if you truly believe in yourself, it will happen!
Urban Escape – links
Like the engraving in their staffroom bench says… ONE EARTH. ONE LIFE. ONE DREAM. Lets make it count!