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CREATIVE LONDON: Kaye Sotomi

Retailer Portraits Kaye & Laure – Chop Chop Photo credit : Chris Winter | Quintain

This week we caught up with Kaye Sotomi, the Co-Founder of Chop-Chop London.

FIRSTLY, CAN YOU START BY TELLING OUR READERS WHAT CHOP-CHOP IS?

Chop-Chop London is a haircare company, and our proposition is that getting fast and fabulous great looking hair, shouldn’t come at an un-justifiable premium. And certainly not because you have curly, afro-hair, or just because you’re a woman. Our customers benefit from highly experienced freelance stylists with upwards of 5 years’ experience, but our prices are affordable starting from only £20 for a simple trim, regardless of your gender or hair type. 

WE’VE HEARD THERE IS QUITE THE FOCUS ON SUSTAINABILITY, WHAT DOES THIS ENTAIL?

Coming from the renewable energy and sustainability sector, Laure (co-founder) and I always considered the environmental footprint of the brand. Introducing water-less services was the first step and this allowed us to open for business using 70% less water than traditional salons. Partnering up with “Phyto” botanical products which contains zero water and 99% concentrate of plant extracts was another. Now we have also started to introduce lots of sustainable materials and thinking into our spaces starting with our Chop-Chop Wembley Park salon.

In Wembley Park we have cork flooring throughout (100% bio degradable and recyclable material), recycled plastic on all work tops, LED lights (lower energy consumption. Lime paint which is 100% minerals and stained with 100% natural pigments. But it is also important to note that all of these decisions also have a positive impact on the wellness of our freelance workforce and our visiting customers.  

IT SOUNDS LIKE YOU HAVE A VERY SHARED VISION! HOW EXACTLY DID YOU TWO MEET TO START THIS JOURNEY?

Laure and I worked for three and a half years together and were friends before starting Chop-Chop. I worked as Key account and Business Development Manager and Laure is an Engineer. She was my go-to person for putting together technical documents to win business and I was her go to, for building the commercial business case for getting renewable energy projects approved. It was our shared appreciation of the diversity we have in London and a joint frustration of not finding quality salons in London who catered to all hair types, at an affordable price.

Another frustration was the time it took (from a female point) getting a desired cut/style, and the time I spent waiting (due to a lack of technological advancement ) in the barbershops that catered to my hair type. There were inefficiencies everywhere. We both like problem solving, so we’d spent two and a half years researching a solution, whilst still maintaining our jobs. We launched our first salon on 30th of January 2018 and we haven’t looked back. 

SO FAR YOU HAVE A SALON IN OLD STREET, WEMBLEY PARK AND WESTFIELD, ANY PLANS TO OPEN MORE LOCATIONS IN AND OUT OF LONDON? 

When the time is right, we will. We believe the future of haircare is built on our values: Efficiency, Affordability, Sustainability and Inclusion.  

ANY SUGGESTIONS FOR LOCAL LONDON HAIR CARE BRANDS WE SHOULD BE KEEPING AN EYE OUT FOR?

I don’t have any specific London brands, however, look out for CBD and hemp infused products for hair-care and wellness in the salon spaces. This is an area we are looking into.

WHAT WOULD YOUR PERFECT LAZY SUNDAY IN LONDON LOOK LIKE?

London is perfect for lazy Sundays. My Perfect Lazy Sunday would start with a self-care Yoga class, followed by a nourishing breakfast and a flat white with oat milk in one of London’s many beautiful independent cafés. Followed by a walk through any of London’s Sunday markets, where I can pick up some fresh food and ingredients (taste some while I’m at it). Come home shower, cook lunch and catch up on some of my favourite Netflix shows.

Website: https://www.chopchoplondon.com

Wembley park: https://www.wembleypark.com
 

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