(Please note that the salon at Maxwell Place has now closed but Ed is looking for a new smaller unit in Stirling and we’re hoping to welcome him back soon.)
A new hair salon, Red & Co, has opened its doors in Stirling with stylists and barbers offering the highest standards in haircare.
Based in a spacious unit at Maxwell Place, the business is run by Ed Kavanagh and offers a welcoming gender-neutral space.
The salon was due to open earlier this year but faced delays due to lockdown and was finally able to welcome clients from August 1. Since then, Ed and his colleagues, stylist Carrie-Lee Bradbury and barber Scott Kelly, have been busy with customers and are currently looking for another creative to join their team.
Red & Co also hosts an array of plants from Glasgow-based landscape company, Dear Green Space, which are available to buy as well as making the salon look amazing. Giving a platform to other creatives – whether they are from the hairdressing or other creative industries – is an essential part of Ed’s philosophy and the aim of his establishment.
He explains: “Red & Co is very much a creative collective inspired by those around us and by our environment. So we’ll be giving a platform to other creatives like Dear Green Space and Sam Renson – an artist from Auchterarder – where they can sell their work and we can all work together and help each other.”
Ed enjoyed a varied career – working in the hospitality, events and recruitment industries as well as running his own after-school club – before training as a barber at the London School of Barbering six years ago.
He says: “I was always interested in hair and wanted to do something that was more creative so I went to London to train at the School of Barbering which has a strong reputation for practical training. I worked on as many different heads as I could to hone my skills and then returned to Scotland to live in Dunblane where I helped a local barber and worked at Falkirk salon Renella which is a well-established training centre for hairdressing.”
Ed gradually built up a loyal clientele before branching out on his own to open Red & Co in Stirling. The salon name is partly based on his Roller Derby nickname Red Baron and in his spare time Ed is a talented Roller Derby enthusiast. He has been a member of the Men’s National Squad since 2014 and coached the Women’s National Squad at the 2018 Roller Derby World Cup.
He says: “I wanted to work with amazing people and to have my own place – the name Red is a play on my Roller Derby name, Red Baron, while the Co relates to the collective of creatives in my space. I was keen to find a place to open in Stirling as it’s close to home and is somewhere with a large student population plus a lot of tourists which makes for a vibrant mix of people.”
“I actually got the keys to the retail unit in March and was in the middle of getting the salon ready when lockdown happened which put our plans back a bit.”
During lockdown, Ed kept busy sprucing up his unit and preparing it to open once restrictions were eased.
He says: “I actually opened a couple of weeks after most salons reopened and was lucky that I had a good clientele who waited for me and the first four weeks were incredibly busy.
“It’s balanced out since then and Carrie-Lee and Scott have joined me – business is going well for us and we’re looking for another barber or stylist to come into the collective. Our ethos is very much about creating a chilled place which is a safe space for everyone no matter how they identify.”
“Anyone can feel comfortable here and we’ve had non- binary and trans people come along plus people who identify right across the LGBTQ spectrum – everyone is welcome. We’ve decorated the salon with a neutral feel, which is urban and industrialised but warm, and in time we will grow the creative side of the collective and get more people and products in and perhaps develop pop-ups and other avenues to give them a platform.”
Ed, Carrie-Lee and Scott offer a wide range of hairdressing services and have space for another creative. If anyone is looking to join a new salon and has at least two years’ experience they should send Ed a cover letter and CV via email@example.com
Red & Co is based at Unit 3, 52 Maxwell Place and is open from 9am until 5pm on Tuesdays and Wednesdays; from 9am until 7.30pm on Thursdays and Fridays and from 9am until 3.30pm on Saturdays. It is closed on Sunday and Monday.
The salon runs an online appointment service through the Booksy App or via the `Book Now’ button on the Red & Co Facebook page.
Clients can also send private messages for information and bookings via the Facebook page and the stylists take walk-in bookings if they have availability.