Hans Schneider came from his native country of Switzerland intending to stay in England for only one year. He liked the English people and the English way of life so much that he stayed on and founded Hans Hairdressers (originally called ‘Mister Hans’) in 1971 at 48 High Street, Salisbury. Hans’ dream was to run the best salon in town. He believed passionately about high quality, doing the best you can and he wanted to be a different kind of boss, one who cared about his team.
The salon out grew the original premises and Hans had to start seeking new premises. He also brought his wife, Lesley into the business. Lesley had a teaching background, and developed an in-house training programme superior to any other local training. Lesley believed that hairdressers should have a complete and thorough training so they are able to perform all the skills of the trade, even if they choose to specialise later.
Eventually the salon moved into ground floor premises at 46 High Street. Hans and Lesley joined 365 Day Hairdressing, an organisation dedicated to improving the business education and professionalism of hairdressers. The ‘pursuit of excellence’ philosophy of 365 was very much akin to Hans and Lesley’s personal philosophy.
The salon became recognised as a City & Guilds Training Centre for Hairdressing Level 2 National Vocational Qualification (NVQ). This gave stylists career opportunities to develop into trainers and assessors. Lesley became a Regional Training Advisor to salons in Wiltshire, Hampshire and West Surrey for the SAM 2000 programme, the creation of Cheyne’s Training in Edinburgh.
Additionally, the salon started being very active in the local community, participating in many charitable and commercial events, including fashion shows, hair shows, wedding exhibitions, working with local schools and women’s groups.
The salon went from strength to strength, growing both in size and reputation. Hans and Lesley were invited by 365 to become special educators to other salons. They lectured to large groups of salon owners from all over the country, and gave educational presentations to salons in the South of England.
As NVQ’s were developed the training team introduced Level 1 alongside the successful Level 2, and after that, Level 3.
As the millennium approached, Hans and Lesley looked forwards with energy and enthusiasm. The salon has been recognised as an Investor in People, has achieved 5 Stars in the Good Salon Guide and has become a Nationally Approved Salon by the Hairdressers Training Board.
In the year 2000, the salon has focused on doing more artistic work, developing the careers of the salon team into trainers, specialists, managers and future partners and improving training yet again by introducing the Level 4 qualification into the salon. It is also the year the web site was developed!
Year 2001 marked 30 years of continuous trading. Tragically on the 20th July 2001 Hans went scuba diving off the Isle of Wight and failed to surface. His Team, however, will pursue his dream, having made it our own – we strive to be forever the best salon in town.Top