Behind the Chair – DonnaRare Earth
Who’s Behind the Chair? Q&A with Donna White
Donna is the founder of Rare Earth and one hard working woman. With so much more to Donna, we wanted to really get to know who’s behind the chair.
Tell us a little about your background in hairdressing?
I grew up on the Gold Coast and throughout my childhood and teenage years, I was obsessed with fashion and loved art and being creative. Hairdressing to me is a combination of both art and fashion so it seemed obvious to go in that direction. My parents supported my passion and I picked up my apprenticeship with a one of France’s best hair cutting and colouring experts (Michel Ortega) who just opened his première salon on the Gold Coast. I picked up colouring skills very quickly and learnt how to not only transform hair but bring it to life.
It sounds like you had it pretty made – so what drew you away?
The bright lights of Sydney lured me away, where in Brighton Le Sands I managed my first salon with such a wonderful mentor. It’s there I learnt to “Keep my head and standards high”. As much as Sydney is great, it’s the lights of London which lured me away from Australia and into developing and refining my skills further. “Taking Vidal Sassoon training and adding my own style with Aveda produces is what I loved the most. I felt at home making my clients feel right at home and looking fabulous from London Bridge through to Primrose Hill.
So what inspired you to create Rare Earth?
“In 2007 I started thinking about my own brand, one that would take a new approach and change the industry”. Working for Aveda salons, I gathered my thoughts and gained inspiration. My ‘eureka moment’ was would later have a huge impact on me, it was to create a space that was “better for your hair, body and the world we live in”
Tell us more about why Rare Earth is different?
I have developed the team to approaches hairdressing with fresh, trained eyes and by listening and caring about your needs, creating individual styles and colours which is designed to suit your face shape, hair texture and lifestyle.
What changes everything is our ‘conversation, not consultation’. We like to make the guest feel comfortable and have a nice chat about their hair, their lifestyle and most importantly, how they want to feel. This allows me to create a truly bespoke look for them rather than just an item from a service menu.
Why Chapel Street Prahran in Melbourne?
It wasn’t’ hard to fall in love with Melbourne’s premier Fashion district – Chapel Street – Prahran. Carefully selecting the location, I wanted to change the Australian industry for the better. Creating a space that, when you walk in, you are immediately at ease (designed to create a relaxing tranquil environment) with comfortable cutting and colour bar chairs, soft lighting, calm music and your choice of beverages from our beverage menu. Using naturally derived Aveda products, you know you’re doing your hair and mind a world of good.
Any final words of wisdom?
Love what you do! I love training, developing and investing in my team so that in turn they can make everyone one of our guest feel welcome.