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June 9, 2016

Main street week on Goodwood Road: The Basin Haircutters

Happy staff, happy salon. It’s a simple philosophy and one by which Mandy Mattiske and Stephen Arrizza of The Basin Haircutters run their business.

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  • Words: Johnny von Einem
  • Pictures: Josh Geelen

With around 30 years experience each, hairdressers Mandy Mattiske and Stephen Arrizza know how much their industry can offer people who show passion.



CityMag is spending the next five days on Goodwood Road. These profiles are part of a series called Mainstreet Week, where we look into the past, present and future of Adelaide’s highest profile strips

The Basin Haircutters is open Tuesday – Friday from 9am and Saturdays from 8.30am. Find them at 106 Goodwood Road, Goodwood.

Check out other profiles in our Goodwood Road series:
Two Sisters Food and Wine
Pretty Petals
Trouble and Strife

When they decided to set up The Basin haircutters 14 years ago, it was, of course, a salon, but the project had a larger aim.

“We really started the salon… to have a base to work from so we could start to investigate the education, because we’re both passionate about that,” Stephen says.

When CityMag sat down with the duo, they’d just flown in from the Northern Territory, where they’d been running seminars – something they say forms a growing part of their business.

“The general consumer, if you like, is starting to value their relationship with their hairdresser even more,” Stephen says.

“We’re starting to see more people… realise it can be a really, really good career – that it’s not just standing behind a chair and [cutting] hair, it can be so much more. You can travel, do magazine work, and graphic work, educational work, which is great.”

Stephen and Mandy’s investment in the industry is also evident in the opportunities they provide their staff and the workplace culture they’ve created.

“One of the things that… we identify with Y-Genners, which is the generation that we employ and that we will have carrying through our business, is that they are quite goal-orientated,” Mandy says.

“For us, the challenge is – and that’s a good challenge – is to really help direct them to a future and what they can strive for.

“We don’t have to have that duty of care, but we just know that investing into our people makes such a huge difference.”

Though it’s rare to find a salon where the staff aren’t happily chatting away to clients while providing their cut and colour, the light and spacious fit out of The Basin gives a personal tone to the business.

Like the eclecticism of the street they sit on, each individual chair is ready to accept whomever rolls in from Goodwood Road.

“We do crazy hair, and we do conservative hair, and I wouldn’t say that we kind of fit one mould. That’s why I think we blend in really well,” Mandy says.

“And it’s the same with our staff, you know? Every individual is different. My favourite thing is to actually stand in my waiting room and watch my staff come to work, wondering what they’re all going to wear.”

With such a focus on education, passion and the individual development of their staff, the quality service is almost an unintended consequence, but it’s what keeps people coming back.

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