Erin Fryer has been a hair stylist for 14 years, starting her apprenticeship right out of school. In 2016, she launched Knot, a hair salon where they strive to set the benchmark in the industry for professionalism, service quality and creativity through the use of high-end products, proficient stylists and a relaxed and refined atmosphere.
Erin is a creative person and believes that being a stylist has been the outlet for that creativity to flourish. She’s also extremely goal driven and has big plans for her business.
• What journey led you to start your own business?
I’ve been in Newcastle for about 15 years now and I’ve been hairdressing for 14 of those years in two really high-end salons in Newcastle. I was in a management role, and I think I was kind of treading water a little bit. I was like, I don’t know what to do, I’m not sure where I should be going with my career. I have done a lot with stylists and working backstage in places like New York. I didn’t know where to go from there. So I decided to pack my bags up and move to London. I was over there for about nine months.
While over there, I decided that it wasn’t for me and while thinking about coming back home, I was trying to work out what avenue I would take in the hairdressing world. That’s when the salon idea came along. Every day for about three months on the train ride into London and into my hairdressing salon there, I created my salon idea and what I wanted my mission statement and the seller name to be. Everything down to how the front door would look when you walk in. I think it was just a big collaboration and I always knew that I wanted to do it, it was just the right timing.
• Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
I think deep down, probably not. But within the 14 years of doing what I have been doing, I’ve always chased dreams and goals and I’ve always ticked those boxes. Through owning a business and getting into the business world and meeting a lot of people through business, I’m definitely looking at avenues and ways to grow myself and what I can do while still be in the hairdressing world. It’s opened some more avenues within that, just not creatively.
• What is one action or task you ensure you incorporate into your diary each week?
Every week, probably nearly every morning, I contact my Business Mentor, Libby Cornish, who is based in Newcastle and runs a SalonPreneur program. It’s all about becoming an entrepreneur and how to run a small business. Even this morning on my way here I was telling her about the interview and how excited I was, and then she just gives me feedback. She helps me a lot with my staff, with my figures, on how to grow the salon, on marketing, how to network and what I should be getting to and going to in a business environment.
• What do you attribute your success to?
I think it really depends on how you take that question and what success means to you. I’ve really had a hard time figuring that out over the past couple of years.
A couple of years ago, success meant being famous and being in the hairdressing world. To get to that was a lot of hard work and a lot of dedication and a lot of free time and working weekends. Now, for me success is just being able to walk into the salon every day and for the girls to be happy. Then to also have my time off and enjoy that as well.
It really is hard to break a balance between business to personal life, as it’s always on your mind. I think success to me means having a bit of balance within the world, but also hard work, dedication, long hour and paying the bills. But other than that, just loving what you do.
• Which local entrepreneur do you find inspiring?
The most inspiring local entrepreneurs to me are Libby, as well as Sandy Chong. I see them as huge mentors within the hairdressing industry and they do a lot for the industry. They’re really approachable, so I’m always contacting them. I’m probably annoying. But they do motivate me and inspire me.
Also, anyone that’s in the Newcastle East area; it’s such a big community. I’m always chatting to Edward Cross and his wife, who are next door. To Kayla who is around the corner and does my laundry; she has four kids and lives in a studio apartment above the laundry. I just love her and I’m like, how do you do it? I think where I am in Newcastle East and the community that’s there is truly inspiring.