On a sunny day in Shoreditch, I’m handed a freshly swirled stick of bubblegum-colored cotton candy from a shop window. There’s nothing short of a party—or perhaps a scene better described as a circus—going on. Employees of all stripes and types are decked out in full drag and dancing to the beat. They’re having fun…at the office. Far from London’s stuffy business district, this isn’t your average blow-out bar where women are whisked in and out, or a swanky salon where a trim costs as much as a monthly mortgage payment. You won’t find an assembly line of hairdressers robotically snipping away at customers’ strands. In fact, the only reason that I know what this establishment offers (aside from a sugar high) is the fact that it says “SALON” in neon pink letters above the open front door.
“My company tells people it’s OK to be who you are, to sing to your own tune,” said Not Another Salon founder and director Sophia Hilton, who extends the same courtesy to her in-house cast of characters. “It starts with the staff, the more comfortable and accepted they feel, the easier it is for them to feed this down to the relationship with their clients.” In other words, let your freak flag fly!