A highlight of running the calligraphy workshops across the country has been connecting with business owners, florists & creatives' moving and shaking in their industries! I met Lisa Nguyen of Enough Studio over instagram and have become absolutely enamoured with everything about her business, so I sat down with her over a hair cut in Enough Studio to learn more about her incredible Adelaide wellness centre!
We've been chatting from afar and I've not only fallen in love with your ethos & holistic approach to bringing your ideas to life, but in you as a business owner and creative!
Thanks Lauren, they are really kind words! I have fallen for you too – you’re a beautiful human being and I’m still geeking out over your incredible skill set x
The feeling is mutual! Just to give the blackline community a little insight into Enough Studio, are you able to tell us what makes Enough Studio unique from other hairdressing salons?
The Enough experience aims to blend body, mind and planet health. We want to go beyond the boundaries of an eco-ethical salon by facilitating workshops and creating a space our clients to come back to; to learn and experience what body, mind and planet health looks and feels like. I didn't want to start another salon in Adelaide - there are literally hundreds in Hyde Park and Unley alone. The intention was always to create a studio space that was minimalist and multi-functional - to fulfil its primary function as a working eco-ethical, chemically-reduced salon by day; and a space for community, education, mindfulness and movement in the times between or any reason to celebrate life!
When designing our studio; we carefully considered the layout, the colours, lighting and curation of drinks we serve, range of books and magazines and products to take home. We want to build a community that is informed and empowered with knowledge and tools to incorporate what they've learned and experienced beyond the salon environment and their homes.
It’s so easy to look at businesses like yours and think ‘Great idea! I wish I’d come up with that’ but often they are the product of years of refining and culminating ideas. What was the catalyst or chain of events that led to your deciding to take a holistic approach to hair and starting a wellness salon? Or was it a gradual process?
Enough is a dream that I have been living and breathing for many, many years. The idea for the studio was born after many years of suffering painful chemical irritations and dermatitis on my hands as a hairdresser. I realised there was a huge problem in the industry. Why should we continue to use products that contained ingredients that were toxic and harm both customer and hairstylist? I decided I had had enough of the toxins and chemicals in the products I used for my work and decided to break the mould. Combining my passions for yoga, wellness and hair, ENOUGH was born.
I love that you didn’t accept the norms and standards of the industry and went about providing a solution; that must be extremely rewarding! What have been your most memorable moments in the life of Enough?
When designing our studio, I knew I wanted to create a warm environment that was built on a foundation of harmony, comfort and good people - much like a home. Our studio is a place where everyone can feel accepted, beautiful and free to be their authentic selves. To hear that clients can’t wait to come back again to the space makes me so happy!
Enough was created to foster and nurture a community of like-minded individuals and businesses. This space would not be possible without the power of collaboration, I’m so grateful for our community of like-minded and local brands that have helped bring this project to life who have an ongoing relationship with Enough. It’s been super fun!
I love that you have likewise chosen to place emphasis and value on relationships, and collaboration is such a beautiful outcome of that. But regardless of how beautiful a community you create around yourself, being a business owner & creative sees you constantly switching roles and hats. What aspects of running Enough Studio do you particularly love and what have you found challenging?
Enough is the best thing that I have ever done! I feel grateful every day to be able to create, live my passions, have a sense of achievement and freedom. Living my authentic self has drawn people to me that share the same type of energy, these people inspire me, challenge me and encourage me resulting in enriching relationships and presenting me with new opportunities.
In terms of running a business, I am new to this and am scared daily! I am faced with obstacles and challenges that require me to rise up. The more I know, the more I don’t know, whether this be admin or growing the business. The thought of this is really exciting to me!
Another challenge I face is creating a work life balance, I love what I do so it’s easy for me to go absorb all my attention into my work, putting in the hours and hard work. I have learnt that my health and happiness come first, it’s tough to find a balance!
Amen to all of the above! I feel like a lot of the challenges you’ve cited are common to a lot of small business owners, so how have you dealt with the challenges ongoingly?
I try to not react and take some time to get used to the challenge, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed! I go to yoga or meditate or go for a walk outside to clear my head and reset. I try to change the way I look at things, things are never usually as difficult as they seem. Challenges are often character building and there are always positives to take away from them, something to learn. I’ve learnt that it’s ok to ask for help, it’s not a weakness but rather a strength. Dealing with challenges is a muscle I’m working on!
I love what you said about challenges being character building! And from my experience building a brand is self-inflected growth; you volunteer yourself into a period of intense pressure & change in a short space of time. And often this has carry over into your personal life. Has launching and growing Enough changed you personally? And if so, in what ways?
I couldn’t agree more. Enough has been a really beautiful self development journey so far, and the biggest to date! Believing in my dreams and myself enough to chase after them has increased my self confidence and helped me become a better version of myself for my business and my relationships. Enough has called me out to seek more growth, be more independent, be more dedicated and willing to take more risks. This experience has shown me how to be a better, kinder, stronger person.
I love that! It’s one of those unforeseen benefits of the process that make the journey worthwhile even if the business changes / evolves into something else. Having said that, our main driver in the growth phase is always to keep things going and flowing so where do you turn for inspiration?
When I’m tuned into myself, I’m naturally drawn to things that inspire me. I find inspiration by writing things down, putting thoughts and ideas on paper – often going back and finding that piece of genius! I find inspiration when I’m in nature or in a new environment, the type of environment we are in truly does contribute to our mind. Travelling is always a good source of inspiration, I love travelling on my own, I always come home feeling more empowered with more knowledge and experience.
Women in business inspire me. We are very capable of achieving incredible things – I hope it becomes the norm vs. one of the few. There are many women in the local community that I believe are important but not necessarily recognised as leaders. I think it’s important to celebrate these women in my mind.
I love that you said tuning into yourself helps you find your inspiration because I believe if you know yourself and what processes inspire you ie. Exposing yourself to new environments and experiences, you’ll never run short of ideas. If you had to set Enough Studio aside, tell us a little about who Lisa Nguyen is when the lights are off at Enough! What do you love doing when you've switched off from work?
When the lights are off you’ll find me making time for exercise – I love yoga, hiking and going for bike rides. I will be spending quality time with family and friends. You’ll find me eating and drinking. Whether it’s cooking a beautiful meal at home with fresh produce or going out to try a new restaurant. I am always on the lookout for the latest restaurants, bars, galleries and exhibitions!
Oh Lisa! I just want to pop you on a plane with all your belongings and move you to Sydney! You’re like my creative soul-sister! Thank you for sharing a bit of your thought process and journey with us and I can’t wait to roll out the exciting collaborations that we’ve been planning over the course of the next year.
298 – 300 Unley Road,
Hyde Park SA