A swish new hair salon with a focus on sustainability has opened up in Ashburton. Founder Tara-Lee Mitchell had been hairdressing for 15 years – back home in New Zealand and here in Melbourne – before launching the custom-designed studio.
“I always wanted to build my dream salon,” she says. “Finding the right interior designer who really loved what we were doing was a huge thing too.”
Mitchell took over the double-storey High Street shop two years ago, before finalising her vision and commissioning interior designer Danielle Brustman to lead the revamp. The result is a light-filled space with pops of pastels and prominent yellow tones.
“We really wanted yellow to play a part in the branding, but didn’t want it to be cartoonish,” says Mitchell. “We wanted it to be sophisticated and unique … I wanted the space to be quite different from other salons.”
You’ll find a quirky multi-globe light fixture designed by Entler overlooking a mustard-tiled front desk. There’s a huge curved wall made of tiles supplied by stoneware company Artedomus sitting alongside six Maletti basins imported from Italy.
After a wash and a scalp massage, you’ll be taken to one of 13 sophisticated workstations adorned with tiled benches and teardrop-shaped mirrors, and divided by transparent yellow partitions.
“A lot of the custom furniture Danielle designed herself,” Mitchell tells Broadsheet. One item is the curved edge, pentagonal timber table upstairs, which is surrounded by retro-inspired lilac chairs from Daniel Emma. “[The table] has USB ports, so guests can set up there and work while they wait,” she says.
What sets Mitch Studio apart is its commitment to sustainability. It’s part of social enterprise Sustainable Salons Australia, which donates its proceeds to food-rescue organisations Ozharvest and Kiwiharvest.
The Sustainable Salons initiative helps Mitch Studio recycle up to 95 per cent of its waste – by composting hair and using it to soak up oil spills. It also separates materials such as plastics, paper and aluminium, and it filters chemical waste to be made into asphalt.
Mitch Studio also uses Davines hair products, which Mitchell says are “low toxic and vegan-friendly”.
“Our next step is hopefully offsetting all of the carbon in the salon,” she says. “I’m actually in the process of working with Davines to do that now.”
166 High Street, Ashburton
(03) 9813 8715
Tue & Thu 10am–9pm
Wed, Fri & Sat 10am–5pm