Episode 102

Debbie Webster

Podcast Length: 62 mins | Date Published: 10th August 2021

‘Sassoon.’ There isn’t any other hairdressing brand with this much heritage. So what is it like being the C.E.O.?

There has never been a brand in the hairdressing industry that has as much global recognition and heritage attached to it as the name Vidal Sassoon.

Brands have to change or they cease to exist. They have to continually evolve and that will always present challenges and opportunities – both creatively and business-wise. 

So, what’s it like having the responsibility of being the Chief Executive Officer of this most iconic brand and guiding the Sassoon organisation as it continues to evolve.

My guest on today’s podcast is going to tell us, she is Debbie Webster the CEO or Chief Executive Officer of Sassoon Global

In today’s podcast we discuss:

  • What that responsibility is like!
  • How COVID has impacted the Sassoon salons and schools business.
  • How the brand is evolving.

And lots more

In this episode:

[00:01:12] Joining me today is the CEO of Sassoon Global, Debbie Webster.

[00:02:57] Who is Debbie Webster and how did she find herself at the helm of one of the largest and most recognizable brands in the salon business?

[00:06:21] Did she ever imagine having such a prestigious role?

[00:07:23] Does she have any formal business training?

[00:10:32] How does she handle the weight of the responsibility of this role?

[00:12:28] Debbie shares her favourite personal story with Vidal.

[00:14:33] What happened to Sassoon Global during the pandemic?

[00:17:55] Learn more about the current owners of the different divisions of Sassoon Global.

[00:20:13] How has Sassoon evolved but managed to stay true to their heritage and roots?

[00:23:53] What direction does Debbie think the brand should evolve into?

[00:27:30] They’re launching a new flagship salon inside one of the Club Monaco stores in New York. Learn more.

[00:29:32] Why does it seem that diffusion brands work in the salon industry?

[00:30:50] Does she find that she has to treat the brand differently in different countries?

[00:32:09] Are they looking to collaborate with freelancers as a way to evolve?

[00:34:51] Is the shift toward freelance work going to be detrimental to apprenticeships?

[00:36:10] Why she doesn’t think it’s too late to draw hairdressers back into the Sassoon ethos.

[00:37:27] Her thoughts on franchises for Sassoon.

[00:39:12] How has online shopping impacted their retail strategy?

[00:42:17] What are some of the inevitable changes we’ll see post-Covid?

[00:44:48] Is there a preferred way to model paying people in different countries?

[00:47:04] Are there any unique advantages in one country over another?

[00:48:22] Has she seen any generational differences in the new hairdressers coming up?

[00:52:23] Learn what they are doing with newer hairdressers and strengthening their ABCs of cutting.

[00:53:58] What is Debbie’s biggest strength?

[00:54:22] She shares the biggest hurdle that she has overcome.

[00:55:49] What drives her day in and day out?

[00:56:31] The biggest lesson she’s learned in life is to believe in herself.

[00:58:06] What does she wish she was better at?

[00:59:05] Her thoughts on what it takes to be a great leader.

[01:00:51] Connect with Debbie.

Thanks for listening!

Thanks so much for joining me this week. If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons at the side or bottom of this post.

Also, I’d love it if you’d leave an honest review for The Grow My Salon Business Podcast. Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show and help other people find my podcast. I also love to hear what’s been helpful! Just click here to review, Click through to ‘Listen on apple podcasts’ scroll to the bottom, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favourite part of the podcast is. Thank you!

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Special thanks to Debbie for sharing her story with me for this week’s episode. Until next time!

Links and Resources

Debbie Webster

Sassoon Global

Email: [email protected]