Chroma owner Kim Astropalitis does not understand the concept of a dull day. Dashing between the salons – the established original on Highgate Hill and its new James Street sister – the hair guru has owned salons since she was 19. Since then, she has worked with the L’Oreal Matrix Australian Design Team to provide education and inspiration for hairdressers across Australia, engaged in photo shoots, done stage work and entered hair competitions. Of course, there is also the weekly staff training to ensure everyone is up to date on styles, trends, and helping clients find what they did not even know they needed. “My goal is to inspire and empower others,” said Kim. “To continue spreading the love of education through the hairdressing world, be the best educator, boss, mum I can be while running a very successful business and having a bloody fun time on the journey.”
Kim and her husband George, who has more than 22 years of business experience under his belt, opened the first Chroma in November 2009. The desire was two-fold: introduce a new salon and create a place where knowledge could be passed on. “[We were inspired by a] kaleidoscope view into colour, creating a client service centric salon and providing unique hands on staff training and education to future hair superstars,” said Kim.
As both Kim and George had roots in the area, to set up shop in Highgate Hill was a natural choice. “The West End culture is a very positive experience in our lives. Our children grew up in the beautiful surroundings of the multicultural West End State School and share lives with some very special people. Ms Thompson, the PE teacher from WESS, has nurtured and supported many hundreds of children from Prep to Grade seven. I still cut and colour her hair every five weeks.” In the near decade since its opening, Chroma has drawn a loyal following, creating the opportunity for another salon. The second addition also seemed, to Kim and George, the perfect opportunity, to reinvigorate Chroma’s image. Designed by Liquid Blu architect Yuri Dillon, the James Street location reflects the changes to Highgate Hill. New branding, decor and colours have been deployed in both locations.
“We wanted a space that was comfortable, luxurious and had a beautiful energy,” said Kim. “James Street is our new flagship store for how Chroma Hair Studio Salons will look and feel moving forward.” What will not change? The sense of community, which is available in droves in West End and which drew Kim to New Farm as Chroma’s newest location. This, after all, is what rests at Chroma’s core. It is a place without hierarchy, where team members respect and care for each other, thriving in the art of hair styling. “We love coming to work every day because itís the best feeling in the world to see how confident and happy our clients are because they know they look beautiful,” said Kim.
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