“When I founded Laceys with my wife Paula, I had a burning desire to do my own thing, perhaps I’m a bit non-conformist. I didn’t want a big corporation, instead I set out to create a company with a supportive, family feel. The customer is our focus first and foremost and we’ve built Laceys around what customers want and need for a successful salon.
I care a lot about customers. I love the hairdressing industry and to me it’s not about selling a product, it’s about doing the best you can for customers to support and grow their business. If I say I’m going to do something, I always do. Our life revolves around the business, we are always next to it and have as much energy now as we’ve always had. I think that’s how we’ve managed to help customers through both good times and bad. With over 30 years in the industry, we’ve a substantial depth of knowledge and will always take time to help customers with their business.
Paula and I have stayed true to our business values and that’s important to us. It’s also the reason we’ve grown as we have – a customer first approach, focused on great partnerships to help salon businesses succeed. Laceys today has large premises with a studio and showroom, a field sales team, educators, guest educators, a salon fit-out and design service and we’ve just re-launched our website.
But when we first started in 1989 we didn’t have any of these things. At the time it felt like we were stepping off a cliff, but it really was the best decision. Paula and I had just moved house and had a massive mortgage; we started Laceys in garden sheds at home, building a work barn/office after a while. During the day Paula was working as a hairdresser while I was out calling on salons. We would come home, eat, then pick all the orders, manually add them up, handwrite the invoices and get everything ready by about midnight for Paulas dad to deliver the next day. And we did the same every day!
Paula started working full time in the barn office and after a couple of years we bought our first computer system. We’d been watching the Markham Centre for a while, hoping a unit would come up as we needed bigger premises. When we moved here in 1993 it felt like such luxury! We had one salesperson, someone helping with the warehouse, Paula, and myself at that point. We created a training area and worked with guest educators so we could provide training for our customers. We’ve since expanded into another two units adjacent to us which provided ample space for our continued growth.
Recognising the need for beautiful salon furniture we launched our showroom and design service in 2006. I saw a brand at Cosmoprof Italy that was so exquisite I just had to have it in the building. When customers visit us in Reading they expect to see a warehouse (which they do) but are always amazed to see the showroom; it’s presented as a stunning concept salon feeding the senses with textures, colours and lighting, a great place to gain inspiration. The service we give with design and furniture is exceptional, every project must be outstanding.
I think one of my proudest moments was opening our studio. More than an educational space, our studio has all the qualities you’d expect to see in a luxury salon, along with a stage, full lighting rig, presentation screens, sound system, and meeting equipment. We also have an outside event space ideal for breakout sessions and team gatherings. At our launch event in 2009, Trevor Sorbie presented a show and I remember looking around at our facilities, team, and customers with enormous pride.
We only work with the best brands and business partners so you can be confident anything you order from Laceys will be right for your business. We’re more agile – quicker to make decisions, quicker to identify opportunities, quicker to help customers.
The reason many new accounts have joined Laceys recently is the partnership we offer is relevant to their business growth, salon owners value the education and advice we share. It’s not just about great products, it’s the whole package.”