Lacey Hunter-Felton

The hair stylist is co-founder of the Hunter Collective, a membership-based, shared salon space for fashion and beauty professionals in Farringdon Road. She tells us about flexible working, hosting ‘secret’ concerts and hanging out at The Eagle pub.

What was the idea of the Hunter Collective?
It’s a practical work place for freelancers in the fashion and beauty industry — I felt it was time to create some freedom and flexibility for freelancers like me. We opened in September 2017, in time for fashion week, and it has been a frenetic few months since.

What’s the appeal of a shared space for beauty professionals?
Our members like the transparency and flexibility and really value the community we are building, as well as the simple things like taking deliveries and a space to store their kit. Our space is so different to what they are used to that if they come in to check us out, they usually sign up — and the first month being free helps too.

What do the clients make of this new approach?
Clients love our space because it’s not your classic salon setup — it’s a beautiful, vast, open- plan warehouse. They also really enjoy the energy within the space that comes from the other activities such as photo shoots that are happening around them.

What are the networking opportunities?
We see networking every day as our members are getting to know each other and sharing skills. Hunter Collective also brings experts and brands to our community, which gives members access to a diverse group of people from the fashion and beauty industry.

What’s your own background?
I have 17 years experience in the hair industry, and I was fortunate to learn from incredible industry names.

Do you think co-working will replace salons one day?
Salons are an essential part of the hair and beauty industry, providing the training that nurtures new talent. We believe it will align with other industries, where co-working environments have become more prominent as spaces for experienced professionals to build their own businesses with minimal costs.

Can you tell us about the building?
The warehouse environment that is so strong in Clerkenwell fits our vision perfectly. Thee fantastic transport links and community vibe felt right. The demolition of the Guardian building next door has been a big project to watch unfold. We’re looking forward to the new style of architecture in the neighbourhood.

What do you enjoy about EC1?
Having lived in Shoreditch for seven years, I had the pleasure of getting to know Clerkenwell by exploring the area on foot. The mixture of design, history, great food, fantastic bars and those warehouses make it a great place to come to work.

Where do you like to relax?
Given our address, we spend many hours in the Eagle pub. Having it as our local has been a definite highlight of our Clerkenwell life. The team enjoys lunch from the street food stalls on Exmouth Market. Spa Fields is also a great little park to walk our German shorthaired pointer Murphy — there is an awesome community of dog owners who meet for lunch time play sessions. Murphy is part of the DNA of Hunter Collective, though he’s very happy to stay in his bed when we have any visitors who aren’t so keen on dogs.

Have you enjoyed hosting ‘secret’ concerts with Sofar Sounds?
Our collaborations with Sofar Sounds are wonderful, the atmosphere is relaxed and friendly and it’s amazing to see people just enjoying the music. The fact that it’s always a total surprise who is playing really makes the event fun. When we have a performance streamed on the Sofar Sounds site, it will be all over our Instagram.

The Fashion Clinic launched recently — what’s the aim?
It’s a dynamic community for new, emerging and established fashion businesses. The first one was great, with panellists sharing their experiences and helping to guide budding entrepreneurs through some of the challenges they face.

What styles will be popular this year?
My thoughts on 2018 styles to watch are very Nineties-based. I have noticed a real step towards understated relaxed fabrics combined with a street grunge originally seen during the Nirvana days. I love this look and relating this to hair, I see a step away from fixed tonged waves and a move towards looser, sexier, more messed up texture.

Hunter Collective
2nd Floor, River House
143-145 Farringdon Road EC1R 3AB