Skip to main content

_MG_2702-2It was by word of mouth that I dis­covered Scout: my reg­u­lar hairdress­er was fully booked through the fest­ive sea­son, my hair was an over­styled, bleach-burnt mess, and so I turned to the Inter­net for help. A Face­book plea for a new salon was quickly answered by Scout’s devotees, a group forged over just eight months in busi­ness. Own­er Anna­bel Kin­ley says that’s how most busi­ness is reach­ing her door­step – with cli­ents refer­ring friends, fam­ily and colleagues.

Many also fol­lowed Kin­ley when she took the leap to leave her role man­aging The Powder Room and open her own salon in July last year, after 17 years in the industry.

It was time, she says. “Mum and Dad, all my friends, have been push­ing me for years to run my own place. I got to a point last year where I had an amaz­ing Christ­mas and New Year’s, I threw myself out of a plane on New Year’s Eve, and then my grand­moth­er passed away and I just went, ‘It’s time, it’s time to do my stuff and to do it for me’.”

It was a for­tu­it­ous series of events that led to her leas­ing the tucked-away site – and almost didn’t even­tu­ate: she already had an offer in for anoth­er salon in Lyall Bay. But things turned out in favour of the cent­ral city spot, which Kin­ley and a small group of experts and friends fit­ted out in just 15 days.

It was com­pletely empty. There was no floor, there was noth­ing. We just got to work. We built everything on site,” Kin­ley says. “My boy­friend and I laid the floor togeth­er – that was our second date. It took us a while but we got there, and I’m really proud of it. I love the fact that I can look around every single corner of the salon and see some­thing that I did.”

Kin­ley col­lab­or­ated with loc­al design­er Matt Smith, whose team built the interi­or, while she com­pleted the paint­ing and stain­ing. She says Smith reined in her pre­ferred 1970s vibe to cre­ate a space with a naut­ic­al feel, tak­ing inspir­a­tion largely from Wes Anderson’s film Moon­rise King­dom. But it wasn’t the film’s scout char­ac­ter Sam who inspired the name – it comes from To Kill a Mock­ing­bird’s child prot­ag­on­ist, who Kin­ley sees as an inspir­a­tion­al woman.

Kin­ley is hope­ful the salon will con­tin­ue to grow this year, while she will also be enjoy­ing the free­dom of busi­ness own­er­ship to take up more oppor­tun­it­ies out­side the four walls – includ­ing wed­dings and photoshoots.

Right now, she’s still bask­ing in the joy of what she’s cre­ated. “I love walk­ing down the alley and see­ing my sign. I just want [Scout] to have a chilled-out vibe; that every­body enjoys being here and feels relaxed and feels like they’re get­ting a good job with good cof­fee, good magazines and nice people.”


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.