Klone Hair

Strong leadership creates prosperity and longevity

  • Klone Hair

    The stylish interior of Klone Hair.

Karl and Danelle Radel opened the doors at Klone Hair in Dunedin back in December 1999. Since then, the business has grown significantly, with twelve staff now on the payroll; two of whom have been with the salon since day one.

When they opened for business, the husband and wife duo, who had worked together prior to opening Klone, established clear boundaries to ensure the relationship thrived in the salon. “I am both a stylist and the manager of the business, while Danelle is completely focused in her role as senior stylist,” says Karl. “It works well – we know where our responsibilities lie and we don’t get in each other’s way!”

With a busy family life (the couple has two sets of twins aged seven and nine), Danelle works part-time in the salon. It is this open approach to work-life balance and his high standards that Karl credits for his staff remaining loyal. Retaining staff can be challenging in an industry known for its transience, but that hasn’t been a problem for the Radel’s, as Karl explains.

“We are about training ‘from within’. Meaning, we take on staff from their first day in the industry. We’d rather take them ‘fresh’ as it were, and mould them into what we want, without them having pre-conceived ideas or ways of doing things. As an owner manager of a hairdressing business, it’s incredibly important to know exactly what you are delivering and guaranteeing to a client,” he says.

Karl also has a strong philosophy around leading by example. “Our staff self-governs to a certain degree, but we have strict procedures and systems in place to ensure expectations are understood and met. By having staff with us from an early stage in their career enables them to fully understand our culture – they buy into it. But I think the most important thing as a business owner is to lead from the front and be strict on what you want.”

Fun, enjoyment and creativity are also important to Karl and the Klone team. For many years the salon has been a sponsor of ID Fashion Week, Dunedin’s iconic fashion design event and in 2012, became the salon hair sponsor of the Emerging Designer award.

Karl has “lost count” of the years he has been working with Markhams Clarke Craw director Denise Gow and admits she “does everything” for Klone.

“I do hair, not numbers,” says Karl. “Denise takes care of all our financial needs from GST, PAYE and all other tax matters through to our annual accounts. She also does the weekly wages for the salon staff – I just provide her with the raw data.”

Denise is also a sounding board for Karl and Danelle, who bounce ideas off her regularly. “At our AGM we’ll look at the year ahead and the year that’s been and Denise is instrumental in that process.”

One particular aspect of working with Denise that the Radel’s enjoy is the “vibrancy” found in the Markham Clarke Craw’s offices. “There’s an energy about the place that we relate to. They aren’t boring, staid types!” laughs Karl.

At the moment, Denise is working with Karl on refining procedures and systems to make them even tighter, and options with an eye to the future. “If it ever came time to sell, we’d have the perfect package,” he says.

Klone’s bulging appointment book supports Karl and Danelle’s focused approach towards business and their management style. “Our aim is always to deliver a top level hairdressing service and ensure it’s an experience for all of our clients.”

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Published Winter 2013.

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