By Camille Ducrocq
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Shampoo basins, hairdressing stations, mirror, cabins with treatment tables and manicure stools. At first glance, LIB looks like another hair salon or institute as there are hundreds of them Paris. In reality, it’s more subtle than that. LIB, for “beauty independence”, is a coworking lounge for independent beauty professionals: hairdressers, beauticians, masseuses, manicurists, etc.
Opened on July 4, 2022 in 16e district of the capital by Adeline Guilbota professional hairdresser for more than 20 years, LIB offers beauty professionals the opportunity to rent a hairdressing, nail or wellness space A la carte, from a few hours to monthly subscriptions. A concept that has recently appeared in France.
A compromise between independence and salon work
Adeline Guilbot has been thinking about this concept for more than five years. After a career in several Parisian salons, where she became a manager in particular, she started her own business a few years ago. “I wanted to go back to my sources and re-establish a relationship with my customers. I became a hairdresser at home, because when you want to become independent today, there are not many other solutions,” she explains.
Nevertheless, “by becoming a freelancer, I left a place where I was constantly sharing with other professionals, and I missed that so much,” she continues. It is excluded to be employed again. She then thought of a place “where we could connect with other professionals while remaining independent.” It beauty co-working presented itself as the right compromise.
Specifically, the professional registers on the site, he can rent a place, on an hourly, half-day, day, week or month basis. He can do it once or regularly. The LIB provides basic necessities, but everyone brings their own equipment.
The living room is open 7 days on the 7th8am to 9.30pm, professionals have a password which allows them to be “in total autonomy”, supports the founder, who insists: “My brand is not in the show, it’s a space where everyone should be able to feel say at home, I don’t impose anything. Furthermore, I don’t take any percentage of their turnover.”
A new trend
This concept of beauty coworking has been particularly developed across the Atlantic for many years, but still little in France. “It’s not very French to work with the competition”, Adeline Guilbot tries to justify. In Paris, the first room of this type, “Beauty’s coworking wolf”, opened just over three years ago. Since then, similar places have appeared, but they can be counted on the fingers of one hand.
The phenomenon is sure to increase in the coming years because independent professionals are constantly increasing. According to a study by the National Union of Hairdressing Companies (UNEC), the home hairdressing sector has grown significantly since the early 2000s, increasing 3.3 times between 2009 and 2020.
In general, 75% of esthetics and beauty specialists in France work independently, according to the National Craft Confederation of Beauty Institutes and Spas.
“It’s clear freedom”
For those who, like Adeline Guilbot, are attached to their independence, but do not want to settle for their home to receive their clients and/or want to find an exchange with other professionals, beauty coworking is becoming “a solution”.
At least that was the attraction Aisha, hairdresser specializing in the treatment of Afro hair. She was contacted by Adeline Guilbot just before the opening of LIB and “from the first day I loved it”, she says immediately.
In the 15 years she has been styling hair, she has almost always received her clients in her home. Although she has set up a dedicated and “nice” place there, “it is not necessarily very large and practical to receive several customers at the same time, even less since I have two small children”. She tried renting spaces in classic hair salons, but “I didn’t like it, I felt dependent and somewhat controlled. I paid monthly rent even though I was not there every day”.
She seems to have found her account with LIB: “Obviously freedom. I only pay when I come, I can receive up to three clients at the same time and above all I can separate my personal and professional life. It’s exactly what I needed. For the past two weeks, she has regularly rented space at LIB, which has become her “workplace”.
Throughout the summer, Adeline Guilbot invites freelancers to visit LIB. It is already planning to open others in the capital.
Beauty coworking LIB, 32 rue de l’Annonciation in Paris.
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