“The positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible and achieves the impossible.”
The stylish Michelle Winter of Michelle Louise hair salons embodies all the typical characteristics of her Aries star sign: vivacious, witty and astute, fiery, warm, passionate and expressive with an urge to act now. A courageous leader and a person who likes to take risks, Michelle’s keyword is “action”.
When Michelle first opened her salon back in 2000, she had no start-up capital or investors but had a gut feeling that the quaint antique shop she drove past everyday to her then employer would be better suited as a hair salon - her hair salon. One day as if by fate, the little antique shop was up for sale and ever the initiator, Michelle didn’t hesitate.
Ever since she could utter the word “scissors” Michelle always knew she wanted to be a hairdresser. Whilst everyone else was playing house, Michelle was more interested in playing hair shop and recalls the times she and a fellow playmate called Michelle imagined that they would, one day, grow up and own their own salon called M&M’s! When reaching secondary school, Michelle spent her breaks cutting mates’ hair. It wasn’t long before the rest of the school caught wind of Michelle’s cutting skills; even the teachers formed an orderly queue to be restyled!
Leaving school at sixteen, Michelle wasted no time qualifying as a hairdresser, and two years later, armed with her NVQ Level 2, she started her apprenticeship at a nearby salon, starry eyed and full of anticipation and excitement. She was finally about to embark on her lifelong dream! Michelle was soon bitterly disappointed about the lack of support, training and general low morale and decided to quit, not just the salon, but hairdressing altogether. Michelle spent the next two years doing odd jobs whilst revaluating her career path. Nevertheless it wasn’t long before Michelle missed the hub-bub of the salon environment and the creative outlet hairdressing provides and made the wise decision to go back to what she does best. In 1993, she applied for a position at Francois Michele, a swanky salon in Fulham. Michelle loved her time there and her passion for hair was re-ignited and restored. Every day was enriching and inspiring. It was there that she gained her prestigious L’Oreal Colour Degree and advanced her skill in hair extensions, bridal hair, men’s hair and grooming, cutting and styling before eventually setting up her own salon with the guidance of mentor Francois.
After nine successful years of trading, Michelle had an overwhelming desire to open another salon in the Balham area, which plays resident to young professionals with acres of bars, coffee shops, restaurants and clothes boutiques. With the financial and moral support of husband Tim, Michelle opened her Balham branch salon in July 2010. To Michelle’s own admission, level headed husband Tim - who manages the Balham branch and assists with the marketing and PR of the business - provides the perfect counterbalance to her impulsiveness. Tim puts all Michelle’s ambitions into perspective, making the two of them a powerful and dynamic duo.
When she’s not busy running her two salons or creating brilliant ideas, Michelle loves unwinding after a long day by dining out with Tim, watching shows, reading and as a stylish stylist, shopping! Michelle’s warm and bubbly demeanour is extremely contagious and she’s equally liked and respected by her peers and her staff. Ask Michelle about the future and she’s brimming with inspiring ideas. She hopes to set up her own training Academy to inspire, educate and empower aspiring hair stylists, form an Artistic Team to enter national competitions and take the hairdressing industry by storm with a chain of salons with an unrivalled brand image.
From playing imaginary hairdresser in the school playground to now owning a burgeoning business, Michelle Winter is the epitome of entrepreneurial spirit. Where Michelle leads others can only follow.