Today we’re going to get an incredibly honest and sobering story on how a 1.3 million salon business successfully grew and then crashed out in the global financial recession of 2008. Joining me to share this must-listen to saga is Northern Ireland’s leading hairdresser and industry icon, Paul Stafford of Stafford Hair. Like any true Hollywood Blockbuster this is a dramatic real life story of Paul’s career high’s and lows with an uplifting ending. It’s an interview that you all need to hear!

In 1983 Paul’s magnificent hairdressing career started after a somewhat unexpectedly ill fated collision with some hair bleach and an abrupt exit from school. He was just 15. Ten years later he had become Northern Ireland Hairdresser of the Year, going on to win three times and entering the BHA Hall of Fame. Within this golden 90’s and early 2000’s decade Paul found himself as a resident hairdresser on national tv, travelling the world for many hair brands and opened up his own Stafford Salon business in Belfast City Centre with his wife. It looked to be that Paul had the world at his feet!

By 2003 Stafford Concept Salon was were employing nearly 50 staff and this huge success led to a 1.3 million expansion plan which unfortunately coincided with the global financial crash of 2008. Paul was 40 years of age and in 2012 we succumbed to bankruptcy. Dark days followed!

When your blessed with incredible hair talents, resilience, strong family network and the support of industry friends, the amazing comeback was only a matter of time away. In 2016 Stafford Hair was back and Paul is making big noises again in the industry… and man, I could not be happier for him!

Today we’re all going to be extremely privileged to hear Paul’s open and honest story to how he built – and then patiently rebuilt again – the Stafford brand and business. It’s a perfect lesson in no matter how spectacular a crash you may have, by having a strong resilience like Paul, you too can bounce back from whatever lifes challenges can throw at you!

Now hit play, and lets get this hairdressing blockbuster started!


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Special thanks to Paul Stafford for joining me today.

Until next Monday, Peace, Love and Smiles all the way… Goodbye

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Today’s Guest

Owner of Stafford Hair, Paul Stafford is a multi-award winning and Hall of Fame Hairdresser regarded as one of Northern Ireland’s most respected ‘ever’ hairdressers. Known for his impeccable dressing and Mod-inspired personal style almost as much as for his talented skills with the scissors, Paul has built an iconic profile in the hair industry.

When Paul is not working in the salon looking after his clients and managing the salon he travels the globe in his educational roles as creative director for Denman and Alfaparf Milano’s global ambassador.

A regular in the press and on TV, Paul he is sought out for his original views on anything and everything hair and fashion-related.

Show notes:

Here’s some of what we cover in today’s episode

  • >> 00 min 31 sec: Show intro
  • >> 04 min 33 sec: Background to where Paul Stafford is currently at in hairdressing
  • >> 07 min 15 sec: Why Paul embraced social media
  • >> 08 min 57 sec: Who is Paul Stafford away from hairdressing
  • >> 11 min 19 sec: Accepting challenges in hairdressing not always comfortable to Paul
  • >> 12 min 55 sec: Growing up in Belfast, Northern Ireland and Paul’s early hairdressing career
  • >> 22 min 41 sec: Why a lucky moment led to Paul becoming a resident hairdresser on television
  • >> 25 min 48 sec: How building a business around Paul created the moment for him opening the doors to his own salon
  • >> 28 min 01 sec: Creating an aspirational salon for clients to visit
  • >> 29 min 52 sec: Moving to a new larger concept salon space
  • >> 31 min 23 sec: The dark times of the Stafford Salon business
  • >> 38 min 00 sec: The moment the Stafford Salon business was declared bankrupt
  • >> 40 min 42 sec: How Denman Brushes and Alfaparf provided the spring board opportunities for the Paul Stafford comeback
  • >> 43 min 17 sec: Wanting to get back to what he really enjoyed doing
  • >> 44 min 08 sec: How Paul began to rebuild the salon business
  • >> 47 min 00 sec: Opening and building a new salon business again
  • >> 51 min 35 sec: The biggest issues currently facing Stafford Hair business
  • >> 52 min 22 sec: The Northern Ireland hair scene
  • >> 53 min 52 sec: Creating an education space in Northern Ireland
  • >> 56 min 15 sec: Paul’s top tip to opening up a salon
  • >> 57 min 03 sec: This Modern Life
  • >> 59 min 11 sec: Where to find Paul online
  • >> 59 min 49 sec: Dom’s 5 Quick Fire Questions
  • >> 01 hr 02 min 33 sec: Show outro


This Modern Life




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