Let your hair be the muse
When deciding on a hairdresser, what do you look for? Years of experience? Beautiful interiors? Price? Speciality? Whatever it is, everyone has their individualised boxes that need to be ticked when deciding on a hair stylist, but there’s one place in Newcastle that has got to tick almost everyone’s boxes; Muse by Hardy.
Originally known as Hardy’s on Hunter, Claire Hardy’s hair salon business has been constantly growing over the past six years with the biggest change coming in January this year; a total re-brand and newly renovated venue.
Now located on Maitland Road in Islington and trading under the name Muse by Hardy, Claire and her team are bringing some fresh and colourful vibes to the up and coming suburb.
Claire Hardy was born and bred here in Newcastle and has literally always wanted to be a hairdresser.
“I think I was telling my mum to stop playing with my hair when I was three, because I wanted to do it myself, and furthermore, play with hers! The reason why I wanted to do it from such a young age, was because one of my parent’s friends was a hairdresser in Newcastle. He would come over and teach me things and I remember it just being the best thing in the world.
“When I was around 12 years old, I was desperate to do something in the industry. I was happy to just sweep hair and be around it. So, at 13 I finally had my foot in the door and I've never looked back. Seeing the joy fresh hair could bring someone is something that touched me and I strived to be able to have that effect on people.”
That was the start of a long and very successful career in the world of hair. From finishing her apprenticeship to opening up her first joint, Hardy’s on Hunter back in 2014.
I finally had my own opportunity. The person I was working for at the time closed their shop and I just went ok, it’s now or never. - Claire Hardy
You might remember the pretty iconic space that sat on the west end of Hunter St with its signature gold branding. After a successful six years in the CBD, it was time for the team to look at bigger things for the business.
It was one of those moments where all the stars aligned at the right time. With Claire making the decision to expand the business and a new development making way on the main road in Islington, it was a few months and many phone calls later and Hardy was due to make a move.
Director and Senior Stylist at Muse by Hardy, Claire has become known across Newcastle her insane colouring abilities. Whether it's blonde, balayage, earthy auburn tones; this one-of-a-kind colour specialist has your back (or your head of hair to be specific).
“This opportunity came up exactly at the right time. I love Islington; it’s so cool and up and coming.
“This would have been about 18 months ago. The build had started and it was still just a shell but I really wanted to come and see it. I got here and realised it would work so we got it and designed everything from the ground up.”
Taking a more feminine approach, the new space has had a complete new rebrand; from the name and the brand colours to the design and furnishings. The new space, Muse by Hardy officially opened to the public earlier this year and have been turning many a head with their neon signage and enticing interiors.
“Having a beautiful space was super intentional. I wanted it to be a really nice place you can hang out and relax in for hours.”
“I had many a swatch of greens to find something that would work in here and we wanted a little bit of depth that would throw off the brightness. Green particularly gives that environmental feel which is really calming, and we also just really love peach!”
Whilst the space is effortlessly beautiful, the name took the team a little bit of work. Needing to obviously change things up, there were some bizarre and sometimes crazy ideas thrown on the table.
“I was thinking of words that described us and had a big list of them, and still wanted to have my name in it. Everything I kept looking up on the internet had reference to the word muse. I floated it with a lot of people and with the girls and it was just something that we all just went YES. We all said we felt really proud to say we worked at Muse by Hardy.”
The bustling salon is home to the close-knit team of three; Claire Hardy [Director], Erin Davidson [Senior Stylist], and Rose Sterjovski [Stylist]. Bringing together some of Newcastle’s best talent in one room.
“Erin’s been with us for three years and Rose has been here for four and a half years. They’ve both been here through all the major changes and the real building of the salon, and the raw talent between the two of them is also super evident.”
Erin, originally from Port Stephens has been working in salons since the age of 19 and has been building her profile up in Newcastle ever since. Joining Claire as a junior stylist back in 2018, Erin has moved up into a senior stylist role and is an absolute colour expert.
Recently turned 18 Rose, hails from a family of hairdressers so you could say she’s got it in her blood! Starting in 2017 as an assistant, Rose quickly became a valued member of the team.
“I’ve always wanted to be a hairdresser as well. I used to set up my doll outside of mum’s salon and just play with my doll’s hair and copy what she was doing. When I came here and trialed and was offered the job I just said yes! It was such a great environment,” Rose said.
When the trio are together, you’d be forgiven for thinking they were sisters; bouncing ideas off of one another, and finishing each other’s sentences. You can see why people want to come and get their hair done at Muse.
So, why make a visit to Muse by Hardy? The girls all have extensive knowledge about hair and have a huge focus on colours. Working with some of the world’s best products from KEUNE, an experience at Muse by Hardy is one unlike any other.
You’re not just a client, we see your hair, your look as your uniqueness, we see it as your story, your life adventure, your feeling.
“We all work together to see each client as our inspiration. There is not a moment where we run through the motions or apply a cookie cutter to a client. Every client has a unique set of micro-decisions to be made, our team works together to ensure a ‘muse’ outcome. We push each other to be better, we inspire each other to be better and we’re always working toward improving for the benefit of our clients,” Claire said.
“We’ve definitely got a bit of a signature style. It’s different and it’s really healthy. No one will leave with fried hair just to get the perfect colour. Everyone is being looked after with our products and there is always an alternative for our clients. We worked with you to find what’s going to work best,” Erin said.
Pair together the knowledge, experience, and quality of products with the team’s bubbly personalities, inviting yet colourful interiors and relaxed but fun atmosphere; you’ve got Muse by Hardy.
“From the moment a client walks in, they really are our inspiration. We’re using you as a muse, to really create the best version of yourself so you walk out feeling the best. We want to make you feel beautiful and uplifted when you walk out of our doors.”
On that note; when are you booking in at Muse by Hardy?