For a salon to have real staying power, it needs to be at the top of its game every single year, and also provide an unforgettable customer experience that keeps them coming back. On top of that, a stellar workplace environment is key to keep top stylists for years on end—decades even. All of the aforementioned are the case for Windle & Moodie—a veritable London mainstay. “As an ex-Sassoon hairstylist, Paul opened Windle salon in 1988, offering skilled hair cutting and fashion hairdressing to its clients in the 90’s through its selected members of staff,” Neil Moodie told Mane Addicts of the salon’s inception. “In 2010, he invited me to come in and re-brand the salon, introducing an even stronger editorial feel to the company, thus developing a unique and creative partnership.” And so Windle & Moodie was born.
“Paul always had an interest in the editorial and fashion side of hairdressing, but felt it was time to really inject that into the company by introducing me as co-owner and Creative Director,” the legendary hairstylist continued. “The plan was to still offer great haircuts but with a strong current editorial edge and keeping our finger on the zeitgeist through my constant work within the fashion and beauty industry. This also lead to the introduction of an innovative electrical hair tools range followed by an extensive and carefully developed haircare and styling assortment that works perfectly both in the salon and behind the scenes on fashion shoots and shows.” Within the eco-friendly haircare collection is everything from foundation sprays to fortifying conditioners, which utilize high-quality teas for red carpet-ready results.
And as you can imagine, claiming a coveted station in Windle & Moodie’s salon is no easy feat. Of the qualifications it takes to earn a stylist or colorist spot, Windle told us, “I interview every person myself.” He continued, “Qualifications are not necessary as we have an extensive education program, but the most important thing is a willingness to grow, work hard, and be nice!” Moodie’s role is a bit different, as he isn’t there on a daily basis. “I have introduced and recommended people to work at the salon, but everybody goes through the same training program if needed,” he confirmed. “I have helped introduce more training for styling techniques used backstage and on shoots which is also not a required qualification.”
Windle & Moodle’s philosophy is all about inclusivity, which we feel is a must in every industry. “Everyone is treated with the same level of care and understanding,” Windle affirmed. “To be the best we can we be and take our time. ‘Life should be slower and deeper rather than faster and cheaper’, is one of our mottos.” Moodie stresses humility, which is one of the most important characteristics that he and Windle share. “There are no heirs and graces, and we let our work do the talking,” he exclaimed. “I think that filters through into our staff too.”
And when it comes to client retention and their award-winning customer experience, listening is key. “Everyone knows what they like, even if they don’t know it,” Windle reminded us. “Once we have understood this, we will then suggest different possibilities. There is no substitute for discussion. Coming to the right choice with our clients is a very creative process that is often not recognized enough by hair stylists.” Moodie stressed the importance of understanding who their client is, not just trying to land a certain haircut or style.
With over thirty years in the business, any stylist could learn a thing, or two, or ten from Windle and Moodie. The former’s advice is all about goals and timing. “When you plan a goal, double the time you think it will take to achieve.” It’s something he’s learned from personal experience. Moodie’s tips? “Take your time to make decisions and never stop learning.” Pretty sound advice from two industry vets. And as for the best encouragement and guidance he’s ever received, Moodie emphasizes the “go big or go home” mentality, pointing out, “Life is not a dress rehearsal, so treat every day as the opening night.” We couldn’t agree more! Windle called reinvesting to our attention. “Take as little as possible out of your business,” he urged. Notes taken.