Interview with Kim Adams of Willow Salon

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

dundas ontario

dundas ontario

This Month's interview is with Kim Adams, owner of Willow Salon in Dundas, Ontario. I've known Kim for years through my husband's family and loved her style so much that I used to travel the hour to Dundas just to get my hair done in her salon. (She even came to Italy with us as a guest and to do my hair and make-up for my wedding!) She's celebrating 10 years this year with Willow so I thought it would the perfect time to interview her this month. PS she's celebrating a pretty big birthday this week too (29 right Kim?).

Tell me about Kim Adams.

Introvert posing as an extrovert.
Motivated, but there are days when I can't get off the couch.
Dreamer, loyal, sensitive, empathetic, intuitive.
I've been referred to as intriguing, mysterious, industrious.

What do you love to do, hate to do, wish you could do?

I love making people feel better, being generous, surprising those that I love.
I love wandering around a city with no agenda, staying in hotel rooms where I can escape my 'to do' list for a few hours.
I hate being told what to do, I'm uncomfortable with attention.
I wish I could disconnect. I wish I could cook.

How did you get into the hair styling industry? Was it always your passion?

Hairstyling has been a passion since I was very young, I had no interest in playing house with my Barbies, it was more about dressing them in different outfits and trying different braids and ponytails.  That morphed into cutting, braiding and styling my friends' hair as I grew older. I started talking about wanting to be a hairstylist, but a couple of people responded with: 'You can't do that, there's no money in it' or 'There's no future in that.' My thought was that if you love something, you will be successful at it.

Against my better judgement, I went to Mohawk for Business Administration because I excelled in those courses in high school.  I hated the formality of college and came home every day in tears, I dropped out barely finishing my first semester (always trust your gut).  After a couple of years of traveling and working random jobs, feeling a little lost, I finally said: 'Fuck this - I'm going to hair school.'

How and why did you open your own salon and how did you settle on Dundas, Ontario?

I had been in the industry for about eight or nine years, but was growing unhappy going to work everyday, but loved my trade. After a heart-to-heart with my brother who said: 'When are you just going to open your own salon', I realized I needed to be responsible for my own working environment.  I chose Dundas because I wanted Willow to be a part of a community and close to the client-base that I had built at the salon I was leaving.

dundas ontario

How does your business stand out from the rest?

My team and I pride ourselves on maintaining an environment that is welcoming to all.  We are extremely supportive of each other and a team in the truest sense of the word.  We love what we do and love making our guests' visit the best it can be.

You’re celebrating 10 years with Willow? Do you have plans to expand?

I flirt with the idea of a second location, but there's something to be said for the Steamwhistle slogan: 'Do one thing really, really well.'  That said, I am working with a marketing team to tighten up and refresh the Willow brand and designers to keep the interior current. You have to constantly evaluate, look for areas that can be improved and updated in terms of your trade, business model and aesthetic. I'm not comfortable coasting.

Favourite type of client?

All of them - they make us who we are as stylists.  From the one-year-old getting his first hair cut to the 80-year-old who looks forward to her weekly visit with us.  Every guest and every visit is different.

What are you passionate about outside of your business?

I love music and seeing it live. Listening to playlists on songza and learning of new artists or revisiting '80s classics.  I have two nephews whom I adore and an amazing group of friends and family and spending time with them is a priority.

Favourite drink?

Depends which night of the week it is ;).

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Back to London, but with an unlimited budget.  I have a strong English family background - London is inspiring, full of energy and history.

Thanks Kim! To find out more about Kim and her team at Willow Salon visit the website here.

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