New £1.5million town spa opens in Dalston and offers apprenticeships to local youngsters
PUBLISHED: 15:38 07 November 2013 | UPDATED: 15:58 07 November 2013
After selling his high flying financial company in the city two weeks before the markets crashed, Patrick Mitchell set about fulfilling his wife Luma's dreams by opening a hair and beauty salon.
And now – thanks to the huge success of their Smooth You establishment in Essex Road, Islington which opened in 2011 – the husband and wife team has launched a cutting edge £1.5million town spa under the same name in the heart of Dalston, where they met and used to live.
Taking more than 5,000 square feet of the new Dalston Square development off Dalston Lane, the Smooth You Town Spa boasts a modern hair salon complete with its signature celebrity-favourite hair extensions, as well as state-of-the-art beauty equipment, including a pioneering laser hair removal machine costing the equivalent of an Aston Martin.
The Melvyn Allen-designed spa also offers a range of semi-medical treatments, revolutionary tanning equipment that adapts to skin type, a nail parlour and a raft of beauty treatments with products from the King’s Cross-based Murad skincare company.
Mr Mitchell, who grew up in a working-class family in Islington, said the Essex Road branch – which is a finalist for Beauty Salon of the Year in the Professional Beauty Awards – has built up a cult following, with 6,000 customers on its books.
He says its popularity lies in its first-rate customer service – including offering clients complimentary champagne – and the fact it has broken down prejudices in the industry by styling hair of all ethnicity.
And he’s confident this popular approach will also see the Dalston spa – which goes under the slogan of “Bringing the West End to the East End” – will achieve parallel success, while giving something back to the community by employing local people and starting apprenticeships.
He said: “I love Dalston – I grew up in Islington and spent a lot of my youth in Hackney. As a 15-year-old I used to work in a pie and mash shop down the road.
“We’re not trying to sanitise Dalston – I just believe the people in the East End really deserve an establishment of this kind. Why shouldn’t they?
“Unless you go into a five star hotel in central London and pay through the roof you won’t find anything else like this.”
Managing director Katie Shemesh, who has been with Smooth You from the start, said: “Most people who work here live in the area and we’re looking for 16 local 17-year-olds to join apprenticeships with us, training with Saks Education.”
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