Mikey Forster starts his day with yoga, and a few deep breaths.
While it’s obvious he thrives off the energy at his salon – Horse Meat Disco Salon, it’s this morning ritual that has kept him grounded as his life, both in and outside of the disco refuses to slow down.
From an ever-growing waitlist of customers at the salon, to a series of highly anticipated education workshops, you get the feeling everyone wants a piece of Mikey.
When we spoke, Mikey was busy at NYFW, lending a hand at Zimmermann’s Fall 2020 show, working alongside Renya Xydis and fellow Valonz stylist Keiran Street.
Still flying high off the fashion week buzz and looking ahead to 2020, we chat about his plans for the future.
“New York Fashion Week was a great time! I learnt so much, so, professionally I am looking to explore more styling opportunities in the year ahead.”
As his star outside the salon continues to rise, we were interested to know how Mikey kept a handle on the business while he was away.
“The business continues to grow year on year at a great rate. Using Shortcuts in the salon, I’m able to log in from anywhere and see where we’re at. Tools like Cloud Reporting allow me to keep track of my team and see the sales we’ve done for the day.”
Check out this guide to Cloud Reporting from Shortcuts:
On the topic of staff, we were keen to know more about Mikey’s strategy for developing the A-team he has today.
“My team at the salon are the ultimate odd bunch. Everyone looks different, does different work, they’re all individual and have their own style – that’s what I love about them.”
It’s no secret hanging on to great staff is an issue in this industry. What does the disco do to keep their team happy?
“I know what it’s like to work for a not-so-great manager, so ensuring my team are given as many educational and growth opportunities as possible is a business goal for me. At the same time, I’m aware that I’m not going to have everyone forever. When it’s time to move on, it’s time to move on.”
Since launching in 2012, Horse Meat Disco Salon has gone from strength to strength, carving out a niche in the Brisbane salon scene and building a hyper-loyal customer base. What advice does Mikey have for other business owners looking to develop a clientele of their own and keep them coming back year after year?
“For us, it’s all about culture. Anyone can do a good cut and colour, but if you focus on your energy and personality, you’re always going to be busy.”
Now more than ever, remaining contactable at all hours has helped Mikey appeal to a younger customer.
“We have a lot of clients – particularly young ones, who choose to contact us through Instagram. Being able to access the Cloud Appointment Book from my iPhone or tablet allows me to respond to messages and book them in no matter where I am.”
Talking about appealing to a younger customer, we wanted to know more about the brand, and how elements like the salon name and design have helped pique the interest of a hipper, younger clientele.
“I’m just obsessed with music! Every morning I wake up and (my husband) Jonathan is like, ‘Turn the fucking music off!’ With Horse Meat Disco, I wanted to channel the outrageous vibes of the disco era and recreate it in the salon.
“In terms of design, the space has a real industrial vibe. There’s lots of chains, lots of concrete, stainless steel, but then we also use lots of wood to soften it all out as well.”
With 2020 shaping up to be the craziest year yet for Mikey, you can expect to see a lot more of him and the Horse Meat Disco Salon team.
Learn more about Horse Meat Disco Salon here.
Check out the video below.