A space for luxury facials, bespoke body treatments and an infrared sauna all set within a calming interior. Founder of The Parlour Room Natalie Papadopoulos has opened her second beauty business, SELF - a sanctuary in Sydney’s Randwick.
We spoke with Natalie on starting a business, her inspiration behind the interior space and what she has learnt through it all.
What inspired you to open this second space, SELF?
It’s always been an interest of mine to open an offering like Self and I think as I’ve grown older and I've become more and more comfortable in my own skin, my interest in skincare has grown too - it’s something I want to look after. And while we were offering facials at The Parlour Room I never truly thought we were delivering on the full experience, so when the space became available, I jumped on it. I’m also a perfectionist so anything I offer to our clients I want to make sure it is 100% perfect!
How does this differ from the treatments available in TPR?
While TPR is focused on bringing women together to celebrate beauty, Self is all about looking after yourself and taking the time for you. Our treatments are tailored to look after your skin, mind, body and self, including a range of bespoke facials, invigorating body treatments, massages and an infrared sauna.
How did you begin in beauty?
I originally studied makeup and special effects and after working for a while I decided to go back and continue studying beauty therapy. I instantly fell in love with it and wanted to combine these two passions. At one point while I was working for different companies, I’d opened up a room in Melbourne but the timing wasn’t right. It was very isolating and it didn't allow me any professional development where I could learn from other therapists. So I then went back to work for other companies who specialised in various fields to build up my experience and then when I was 24 years old, an opportunity came up too good to refuse and TPR was born.
How have you seen the industry change? Are customers requiring a different type of service now?
Our industry is forever changing. Like fashion, trends will always come and go. Just look at our brows ha. They’ve gone from super thin, to big and bushy and now laminated to our foreheads! I didn’t expect there to be such a demand for nails when we opened TPR. But now it’s one of our most popular treatments. Considering this, nowadays, it’s much more common for beauty treatments to be considered routine. Over the years, people have started to invest a whole lot more on themselves on a regular basis as opposed to every so often on a special occasion. People really appreciate good customer service too and it’s no longer just about the treatment, it has to be an amazing experience altogether.
What was the inspiration behind the new interiors?
I think I always knew exactly the kind of space I wanted to create; lots of natural light and our clients to instantly feel relaxed and calm as soon as they walked in. I worked with our designer Dani and pulled a lot of inspiration from my recent travels to Europe. Our theme was neutral, natural and beautiful. We focused on calming colour palettes, and mixing shapes and curves to bring depth and texture to the interiors. My fiancé, Andrea is an incredible joiner so we were able to custom make a lot of pieces specifically for the space; beautiful architectural finishes with contrasting materials such as marble, timber and stone. Marble was always non-negotiable. The natural colours and beautiful line formations are nature's miracle, its beauty in its most natural state and that is the foundation of Self. Celebrating our natural beauty.
This year has been big. What is the best lesson you've learnt so far?
Surround yourself with good people and don’t stress the things you can’t control. Business will always be a constant up and down, you have to learn to go with it and adapt. Surrounding yourself with people who can help you manage this and make it fun at the same time helps!