Sam James is a stylist on a mission – she has over 16 years in the industry and has earned a collection of prestigious awards. Her latest project is bigger than ever: this year she opened her own salon, SJ Establishment in Adelaide. Located on lively Prospect Road, her new space is thriving with a team of award-winning stylists, and of course their sustainability is supported by Sustainable Salons!

She spills her secrets to success, and told us the surprising moment that lead her to embrace her green side…

When I won at Hair Expo this year, I felt…

Shocked! Especially because I had my new business going at the same time, and everything was so busy – not to mention that I was coming up against friends and so much other talent. It was just so rewarding and humbling to be recognised, I was really honoured.

The drivers behind my success are…

Determination, I’m a very determined person. A lot of it comes down to that, and I think the rest of it comes down to the people I surround myself with. It’s so important to have support from the people around you, and I always find myself aligning with people and brands that are ready to help each other grow, collaborate and learn from each other.

Sustainability became a part of my life because…

Of Jamie Oliver! On one of his shows he had a segment that showed how much waste we were creating from packaged foods…there was just so much. That was really the first thing that came to mind [laughter]. It made me passionate about reducing what I send to landfill.

I stay green by…

Choosing more sustainable options for my needs. The Sustainable Salons program helps a lot because we can see exactly how much we’re using of each material. I could see my paper bins were getting full much more quickly than our other bins, so we brought on software that helps to make our business as paperless as possible. And it’s the same with the other bins, just being able to see how much is going in the bins makes us use less of it.

In the future, I’m most looking forward to…

Our partnerships with local artists. The space at SJ Establishment

was designed to be a salon as well as an exhibition space, so lots of plain white walls and open spaces. Our first partnership was with Cat Dean who painted a beautiful mural on our wall. At the moment, we’re featuring local artist Heather Little as part of the SALA Festival. I can’t wait to put more of our local talent in the spotlight and play a part in more exhibitions!

Thanks Sam for taking the time to give us some insight into your life! Find out more about SJ Establishment here.

Sustainable Salons provides the most comprehensive waste free systems to the professional hairdressing, beauty and pet grooming industries. We collect and recycle up to 95% of a salon’s resources and reward the salon for their recycling efforts! Contact us here if you’d like to become a member of Sustainable Salons.