Life & Style


Meet the sisters of Sorella Salon

Busting at the seams with authentic fare and some of the best coffee spots in town, Hamilton is widely known as the home of the foodie. But there's a new kid on the block. Well, two sisters to be exact.

Perched between two commercial buildings on the corner of Tudor and Steel streets, is Newcastle's chic new home of hair and beauty - Sorella Salon.

Sorella, or 'sister' in Italian, is the brainchild of Illiana and Marisa Conway of Lambton and is their first venture together after 16 collective years in the hair, brow, and makeup game.

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"We have worked in Newcastle doing hair, makeup and brows for some time, developing our skills and learning from some of the best. Marisa said.

"The two of us have always wanted to work together and the timing felt right - so we are extremely excited to be taking this leap,” Marisa said.

Older sister Illiana, 28, has worked as a hairdresser for eight years and loves the art of colour and up-styling. Marisa, 26, is at home with a pair of scissors in hand, but shapes a killer brow and can paint a face like no other.

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“I think we work well together because we both bring different techniques and ideas to the table and we learn from each other every day,” Illiana said.

What is most extraordinary about this salon is the creation of the space itself, which came together with the help of the girls' parents, closest friends, and relatives.

In a nod to their European roots, Keeley Baird - close friend and co-founder of Something More Design - sought inspiration from Italian bathhouses and Tuscan estates. Think neutral clay tones, loads of natural light, hand-painted washbasin, and sculptural archways.

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“This was a special project for me - we really wanted to create a space that represented the girls, that was still welcoming, timeless and different to anything else in town,” Keeley said.

Local building company ForeverBuild, owned by friend Kurt Avery, brought the project to life with the help of the girls’ uncle and joiner Peter; their cousin and tiler Adrian; as well as electrician Eric and glazier Rhye, both close friends of the pair. Loyal client Sara from The Fe Collective took on the job of re-branding, and lucky for the Conway’s, their father was also pretty handy with a paintbrush.

“We often laugh because we basically pulled together a team of designers and tradies from our own inner circle - it really was a labour of love,” the two agreed.

“Kurt created such a wonderful base and the lighting installed by Eric is my favourite thing in the space - I like to think of the lighting as jewellery for our salon,” Marisa added.

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Opening a business can be tough at the best of times, but starting from the ground up in the midst of a pandemic was not exactly how they envisioned it. 

“It's been a really hard, unknown time for everyone and we are no exception, but we are so excited to open our doors and start working again.

“Our bookkeeper Sophie and accountant Andrew were so supportive and backed us all the way – not to mention our clients who are so loyal. We cannot wait to welcome everyone into our beautiful new space,” Illiana said.

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Head to the girls social pages to follow these ladies on their latest venture or book in for a hair cut, make-up or a brow style.