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I first came across Maria on an instagram live a few months back. I was immediately drawn to her kind and calm energy. The way she spoke about leading her team and the kind of salon owner she was, I knew I needed to hear more.Although there are so many incredible accolades in Marias career this epis
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I first came across Maria on an instagram live a few months back. I was immediately drawn to her kind and calm energy. The way she spoke about leading her team and the kind of salon owner she was, I knew I needed to hear more.Although there are so many incredible accolades in Marias career this episode is heavily focused on the business and relationship side of her journey. Maria Unali is a hairdresser whose proficiency behind the chair is evenly matched by admirable business leadership.  Simultaneously awarded the position of AHFA NSW Hairdresser of the Year and winner of the Hair Expo Salon Design Award in 2017, the Western Sydney born mother of two has established herself as a diversely talented star, amongst clientele and industry peers alike. Despite early concerns that a life outside the metro might dilute her opportunity to create an image-led career path, Unali was determined to shape a future that was based on a wide-eyed vision, a canvas confined only by her infinite imagination.  From inception, her approach was full of gusto and grace spending 5 years as a volunteer session assistant learning from highly skilled and respected international stylists including Sarah Laidlaw, Richard Kavanagh and Alan White. Her name appeared frequently on call sheets for popular fashion brands such as Bec and Bridge, Tony Maticevski and Romance was Born as well as large Advertising projects with Marie Claire, Supre and Mimco. In 2013, whilst working with 3 dimensional hair designs continued to appeal, the then 27 year old turned her focus to photographic work. With countless test shoots scheduled and shot and an inaugural collection under her belt, Unali created Neon Pop, a strong and athletic compilation that caught the eye of British Hairdressing royalty who awarded her AHFA NSW Hairdresser of the Year for 2014.   In 2015 Unali’s innate eye for creating beautiful editorial hair and precision cuts was recognised by a cohort of Australia’s top Hairdressers and Media players who selected her to be part of the esteemed Australian FAME Team.  During a 12-month tenure under the Creative Direction of Brett McKinnon (The Murphy Gozzard Hair Community) the young stylist traversed the globe sharing her skill and affection for hairdressing at Hair Expo Australia (Aus), Industry Extracted (NZ) and Salon International (UK).  Whilst regularly praised for her work in hair fashion, perhaps the greatest testament to the stylist’s exquisite taste was the 2016 launch of award winning Salon Kiin.   In a venture that took courage, uprooting a deep family anchor in a local shopping centre, the birth of what has been deemed a true lifestyle salon space, demonstrates the intelligent business vein of a once self-confessed insatiable creative. Attributing the success of her new residence to an exhaustive research phase that identified an evolution in her target market and employee DNA, alongside a solid reputation and heritage, initiated by Papa back in 1981, Salon Kiin is a noteworthy symbol of an unwavering vision in the mind of a brilliant artist.  2021 saw Marias second salon, a stunning Salon Kaia. Located in Wollongong and designed with decadence in mind, Salon Kaia delivers a feel good hairdressing experience that nurtures your whole self—from the inside out.Youtube;https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCs4RSP_rStxASa4xTs4OEYgInstagram;@maria_unali@salonkiin@salonkaia@un_foiled@colourbycrysMARIA’S RECCOMENDATIONS Books for Salon Owners: Dare to Lead by Brene Brown Leaders Eat Last & The Infinite Game by Simon SinekNo Rules Rule by Reed Hastings & Erin MeyerPodcasts for Salon Owners:EntreleadershipA bit of Optimism by Simon SinekWork life by Adam GrantDare to lead with Brene Brown (Spotify)Books for stylists:Braving the wilderness by Brene BrownLimitless Mind by Jo BoalerAtomic Habits by James ClearPodcasts for Stylists:My Millennial CareerKwik BrainSmart People Podcast
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