NAME: Kate Darling
AGE: 30 years
INSTAGRAM HANDLE: Katedarling_ | thathairtho.me
JOB TITLE: Founder & Director of THT - That Hair Tho
MOVED TO THE UAE IN: 2015
Kate is the founder of THT - That Hair Tho salon, located in JLT, Dubai. She holds a Bachelor of Business with a major in Marketing. Starting her career working in Australia for LVMH and L’Oreal, she has extensive experience in the beauty industry and always knew her passion was to have a positive impact on the industry. The way she did this was to start a salon that would lead the way to sustainable beauty in the UAE. Although it seemed risky to others to only work with niche and less recognizable brands, Kate strongly believed the industry needed to make a shift into supporting cruelty-free and sustainable brands. With a strong passion to change the industry, Kate also focused on a positive work environment where team members are treated like family and it shows to the clientele who always feel the positive energy and freedom to feel at home in the salon.
The salon focuses on community and initiatives that support the community. One of our most popular initiatives was “Show your Nanny some Love” where That Hair Tho offered complimentary haircuts and blow dry’s to nanny’s and domestic workers in the UAE. Others included a skydive ticket for someone who was battling with breast cancer and during the Covid Pandemic the salon helped anyone who had been affected by job loss or having to move home.
Owning the business means learning to cover every single aspect including, brand and marketing strategies, accounting, financial analysis, innovation, e-commerce management, organisation management, social and digital marketing campaigns and HR management.
What does Kate's day look like...
7AM: I am usually getting ready to play tennis in a woman’s league I recently joined. I find this really helps as a stress relief and it’s a sport I’m extremely passionate about. I’ve always been an active person and find this has been a great way to both connect with my body and connect with other people.
10AM: By 10am I’ve had a quick bite to eat, sipped on an all-important coffee and I’m out the door on the way to my salon. Here, I check in with all my staff individually and as a group. I think one of the most important parts of owning a successful business is connecting with your staff. If they’re happy and passionate about your business, they pass this on to the clients. Passion has to be authentic and creating a safe and fun workplace is key.
12NOON: At midday I’m usually looking over the back end of the business operations. My background is heavily in marketing so the focus once the main business aspects are taken care of is usually marketing the salon to an even wider audience. Sometimes that means supporting campaigns with brands like VOGUE UAE or creating and refining new in-house programs and packages to suit our clientele.
In general, I love business. So I’m always working on new ideas to serve people. During the pandemic I launched one of the first mask delivery services in Dubai with high quality, reusable products. I have a few things I’m working on right now, but you’ll have to watch this space to see what’s coming up!
6PM: I’d like to say I’m switching off at 6pm but in reality, at this time I’m still checking emails and looking through social media.