21 April 2024

Brian Leo McCallum Interview: an Estetica Exclusive

Brian Leo McCallum opened the first ROAR Hair and Beauty salon in Glasgow in 2017. Three salons later, the ROAR pride is growing from strength to strength.

Here’s Brian Leo McCallum’s story.

Brian, what first attracted you to hairdressing?
When I was at school, I wanted to be a paramedic. I suppose I have a nature that likes helping people. However, when I did my salon work experience, I knew I wanted to make people look and feel amazing. Plus, hair is a bit more glamorous!

When did you first realise you had a talent for colour and styling?
Hair colour was a passion of mine from the very beginning. No matter how beautiful a haircut is it was never complete without a gorgeous colour to compliment it. Plus, I’m a business person so I understood that being outstanding at colour is far more profitable.

What were some of your initial goals when ROAR Hair & Beauty started and how well do think you’ve achieved those goals?
My initial goal was to create an unpretentious space where we could make each guest look and feel fantastic. I also wanted to create a company that wasn’t about one individual. It had to be where members of the team could grow and flourish. I feel like these goals are constant and I think so far, we have smashed them.

How did you build your very talented team?
Honestly, I think I have built the amazing team we have by respecting and treating people the way I would expect to be treated. Before I make a decision I always ask myself “how would I feel as a stylist working for this company?” This helps guide me and I have a great relationship with each member of the team.

What does it mean to have you and your team recognised by multiple awards?
Awards are an amazing part of being a super stylist! They recognise your hard work and dedication but they also show your guests that you are constantly learning and evolving. It’s always an honour to be recognised for our hard work and at ROAR we are lucky enough to have scooped up lots of awards over the years.

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
Anyone who has just opened their own salon will give you the same answer – the biggest challenge so far was the pandemic. However, we made it through and I’m very proud of that. People are always the biggest challenge in any business no matter if it’s guests to the salon or the team however, I also enjoy the challenges that working with people brings.

What helps keep you motivated when things are hard for you or the business?
When things are really tough my husband always keeps me really motivated and I also look back at my lifestyle before ROAR was successful and I use that as motivation to push harder through the difficult times.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Free time? What’s that? I love catching up on Netflix! Walking my dog and when I’m not in the salons I’m normally performing in drag as my alter ego Ginger Rogers!

You have three salons in Glasgow, any plans to grow the salon further afield?
Definitely! The more the merrier however I want the company to grow organically. We have three salons right now because we needed the three salons to accommodate the guests and allow the team to grow at that time. When the time comes to do it again, we will and then as the team want the opportunity to have their own salons we will grow and expand to other areas.

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