Kojo And Lee : Creative Mornings
The Creative Mornings series is a monthly morning get-together for anyone and everyone to feel inspired and share stories over breakfast.
Starting at 8am, they provide a fresh dose of inspo, always on a Friday so what better way to end the week?
Breakfast is included, with hot drinks, juice, toast and pastries. Not lying, I’m usually the one at the back with a plate full of croissants, with bits sprinkled around me.
Creative Mornings gone by have included talks by Felicity Hoy. Felicity talked about her comic book passion and how this has manifested in her, a desire to create spaces and imagery, not just for herself but for others; through many avenues of exploration.
Leila Johnston also featured, teaching us how we can do what we want if we try, even though life isn’t always fair. Through multiple projects and paths, Leila proved that there isn’t necessarily one single journey planned out for us… but we can in fact, have many.
It’s really inspiring to see these strong women doing what they want and how they want AND having the BALLZ to tell their story in front of room full of grown ups.
For January’s talk, we were graced by Nikki-Lee, the founder and Creative Director of Sheffield based Salon, Kojo & Lee. Nikki brought her salon chair for the for the ride… something about that chair made it all so tranquil and calming.. I felt all snuggly whilst listening to Nikkis soothing tones. The theme for this months CM was “Anxiety,” I’m no stranger to my friend Mr. Anxiety and so I was right there, keen to hear how this came into play for a successful local business.
Far from anxious, I walked away from this particular talk feeling inspired, connected and at home.
I didn’t think I could have a salon unless it was the way “people do it."
Nikki started her salon career working in the biggy salon Toni & Guy, and through this she learnt that bigger is not always better. Bigger salons meant busy schedules, bigger targets and upselling on the regular. Not to mention less precious time spent face to face with the client. When faced with the opportunity of managing her own T&G salon, it seemed that something didn’t feel right. That feeling that you cant shake… “this is not for me?” We cant ignore that little intuitive voice, it’s there for a reason. It's there to protect us.
Instead, Nikki chose to create her own salon. Something that sounded different, and looked different, to the usual salon out there. (Incidentally, I recently watched this YouTube about finding your own ‘thing’.. but more on that later.) Working the hours she chose, meant she could relax and do things her way… whenever she chose.
A few of Nikki’s comments resonated with me pretty strongly. “It’s not finished, it’s not good enough. I want to be finished now.” Sound familiar? This is the anxiety Nikki spoke of whilst going through the process of creating her business… never mind the anxiety of “will people want to come here?” “will I even survive?!”
Through putting this away, inside the anxiety box with a lock and key.. the result is a salon that is unique and styled exquisitely… a place with a slower agenda and focus on reducing that rushed, anxious feeling often found in busy salons. Kojo & Lee’s styling is so fresh for the salon world - it’s rustic (but not twee), it’s rough and ready, but considered and charming.
It turns out I’m very impatient too; (whoda thought?) I want things doing now and right now. and perfectly. Being patient and taking your time can be just as fruitful as diving straight in. Although I often preach the “Slow and Steady” mantra… sometimes its easy to forget. MY biggest take-out from the talk: don’t worry about the pace you ‘think’ you should be going at, or what everyone else is doing.. just do what feels right to you.
Kojo and Lee is a prime example of a business which paved it’s own path, its own niche and said “I'll do me, you do you.”
(PS. Hot photography by India Hobson)