Pet dog main attraction at Hampstead salon with rock star regulars Liam Gallagher and Nicole Appleton
PUBLISHED: 21:28 08 April 2013 | UPDATED: 21:28 08 April 2013
In the latest of our interviews with Hampstead independent shopkeepers, business partners Sean Spence and Gary Ingham reveal that A-list clients are not the only attraction at their exclusive lifestyle spa and salon.
The owners of a celebrity salon have said that their pet dog brings in more business than rock star clients such as Liam Gallagher and Nicole Appleton.
Business partners Sean Spence, 43, and Gary Ingham, 45, opened Gary Ingham Lifestyle Spa and Salon in Heath Street, Hampstead, in April last year.
They have had huge success with all-star regulars including the Oasis rocker and his wife, as well as professional footballers such as West Ham’s Rob Green and Watford’s Manuel Almunia, who used to play for Arsenal.
The business partners believe that the popularity of their pet, miniature schnauzer Holly, often seen snoozing in the salon window, brings in more business than their Roladex full of A-listers.
“I swear, more people know [the dog] than they do me or Gary,” explained Mr Spence, who runs the business side of the salon. “She’s in the salon for four to five days a week. We’re a dog-friendly salon, we always would be, but it’s brilliant in Hampstead.
“So many people pop in with their kids and say ‘oh, is Holly here? Can we say hello?’ We have a very relaxed atmosphere.”
Mr Spence said the idea to open a salon came out of “a bit of a mid-life crisis” as the two gave up well-paid jobs to pursue a dream.
“We were approaching our 40s. I had been in film distribution and Gary was a hairdresser and we thought ‘well we could just keep bobbing along, a bit bored’ but we thought ‘oh sod it, let’s do something on our own’.
“It was the best thing we ever did. We could put into action all those things you wish your previous bosses had done when they employed you.”
At first the two opened a salon in Perrin’s Court but as it became successful they moved to a bigger site in Heath Street.
Since Liam Gallagher sought out a new hairstyle at their first salon five years ago, the list of celebrity clients has steadily grown.
“We benefited from Liam Gallagher looking for a new hairdresser when we first opened,” said Mr Spence.
“He came down to the old salon and then stayed with us when we moved. His wife also came here, which was cool.”
Though Sean and Gary had different backgrounds they both knew that, combined, they could make their dream of owning a salon come true.
They are now moving from south London to be near Hampstead Heath.
“We absolutely adore being in Hampstead,” said Mr Spence.
n Gary Ingham’s Lifestyle Spa and Salon is a member of the NW3 Hampstead Business Association. To find out more, email firstname.lastname@example.org, visit www.nw3hampstead.com or follow @NW_3Hampstead on Twitter.
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