Enter Mikelah-Jayde Studio; a chic and welcoming space in the heart of Perth’s Waikiki region.

Brainchild of local talent (and current AHFA WA/NT Hairdresser of the Year finalist!) Mikelah-Jayde Riley, this salon offers everything from creative colouring through to event makeup services; all with practiced finesse… and a smile for good measure!

We caught up with the salon’s bubbly owner for a glimpse behind the reception desk.

TJ: Tell us about yourself and your salon.

MJR: I’ve been hairdressing now for 12 years. 2020 will mark my 13th year as hairdresser! I started as a basin girl before beginning my apprenticeship at age 15. Since then, I’ve done nothing else besides hairdressing and I still find joy in it – every single day!

I’ve owned and operated Mikelah-Jayde Studio for three years now and I’m so lucky to say that I truly love what I do.

TJ: What inspired you to start up your own salon business? 

MJR: Before starting up Mikelah-Jayde Studio, I was managing another salon, which I absolutely loved.

My husband kept prodding me to take the leap and start up my own salon business. Managing the previous salon, I thoroughly enjoyed watching their business grow, and I was excited to apply these learnings to my own space.

The plan was to create something that could make us financially stable. It all kicked off really quickly and the salon has been blossoming ever since we made the decision to open.

TJ: You were recently named a finalist for AHFA WA/NT Hairdresser of the Year. What does this acknowledgment mean to you?

MJR: It is without a doubt one of my biggest achievements! I’m actually nominated in the same category that one of my mentors (Marie Cain) won previously! Win or lose, I’ve won in myself.

TJ: So, what might first-time clients find upon visiting Mikelah-Jayde Studio?

MJR: One thing that typically stands out for most first-time visitors is the atmosphere… it’s a vibe. We do our best to make people feel incredibly comfortable, and we want all of our guests to have fun during their service.

As for the aesthetics, it’s very pink (which I love!) with timber details and assorted rose gold accents. We also have white brick feature walls and down-lights for ambience. My father actually built most of the physical features.

TJ: Describe the Mikelah-Jayde Studio culture. Who is the target client?

MJR: We’re very lucky to have quite a broad clientele. We have one client who comes in once a week for her ‘set’… we have kids, young clientele, middle-aged clients and those seeking fun colours. In all, the clientele is quite varied.

TJ: Talk us through your key service offerings.

MJR: If I had to specify one thing, I would say that we are colour specialists – we love colours – from creative colours through to natural colours. We also do cuts and extensions; a lot of people recommend us for our funky cuts. I think we’re all-rounders.

TJ: What motivated you to align with Joico?

MJR: I absolutely love their colour – it’s phenomenal. You can inter-mix colours and formulas, and really push the boundaries of colour with your creations. There’s no such thing as rules for me when it comes to creating colour…

How does the brand empower you as a salon owner?

MJR: I’m lucky in that Joico really look after me. They’ve seen potential in me from the beginning, and were actually the motivating force behind my entering AHFA – I probably would have never had the confidence to do so without them.

Joico have really opened my eyes up to all facets of the industry – so I’m not on my own as a little creative in Perth. Their reps check in on a regular basis and they also offer training in a number of areas – specifically colour – which is fantastic.

TJ: Any highlights from your time at Sabre’s recent Education Experience (SEE)?

MJR: The highlights would have to be being able to hang out with some amazing, wicked people – with so much talent and intel to offer. Being in a room full of people with so much knowledge was truly inspiring – an experience I’ll never forget.

TJ: What has been one of your most memorable moments with Joico to date?

MJR: On the above – being given the opportunity to visit Sydney and partake in Sabre’s Educational Experience. Brainstorming and creating among my peers was truly memorable – it’s something I’ve never been involved in before.

Another highlight was attending my first Australian Hair Fashion Awards with the Joico team – a memory I’ll always cherish, and a real eye-opener for me as a creative in this industry. I can’t wait until we are able to do it again!

What is your favourite colour look/formulation to create with Joico?

MJR: That’s a tough one as I love them all. They’re all so personalised. I love creating everything from vivid colours all the way through to natural blondes.

I’m a strong believer in using photos for reference; I think they create a mutual understanding between the client and the stylist. Then it’s up to us as creatives to provide the right advice and/or tailor the trend to suit your clients’ needs.

TJ: What are your three must have Joico products?

MJR: Anything in the Defy Damage range; it’s just incredible. I also love the Body Shake Texturizing Finisher – great for enhancing just about any look. Last but not least, the entire suite of Joico LumiShine colours – I can’t live without these!

TJ: Any hairdressers whom you admire or whose careers you wish to emulate?

MJR: Definitely Joico Brand Ambassador Larisa Love… I’m obsessed with her! Also the amazing Marie Cain who has been a mentor for me over the years – she’s both an incredible artist and human being.

Another individual is my former boss, Steph Mullins. She has made me into the boss I am today! Steph is a fair, just, kind and inspiring woman; she has always demonstrated what it means to be a great leader and shown me what true team spirit looks like.

TJ: What have been some of the most challenging aspects of owning/operating a small business?

MJR: Staff management. At the end of the day, you can’t just hire for skill – personality is crucial. Our staff is a tight-knit group of friends who care for and respect one another. The hardest part about being ‘the boss’ is seeing my staff upset in any way.

TJ: What’s next for Mikelah-Jayde and Mikelah-Jayde Studio?

MJR: To survive the current economic and business effects of Coronavirus.

As of last week, I’ve decided to (temporarily) close up shop so that we can help slow the spread, and ensure the safety of my staff and our clients. We’ve had so many people commending us on doing the right thing, but we’re all itching to get back to work!

As for the team, my girls will be finishing their apprenticeships and my goal will be to help them start their next chapters as senior hairstylists. On a personal level, I would also like to participate in more hairdressing competitions!

Watch this space!