Balancing the Grind with Chrystalla Dimarelis, Founder of The Salon Edit

Chrystalla Dimarelis is the founder of The Salon Edit, a luxury boutique salon located in Mortdale.

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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?

I started hairdressing when I was 12 years old at my uncle’s salon every Saturday. I knew then I wanted to be a hairdresser. I remember telling my parents that I wanted to leave school to start an apprenticeship in hairdressing.

They were not happy. My father said to me that I was taking the easy way out as I already had a job at my uncle’s salon. With me being stubborn, I had to prove him wrong. I printed off a whole stack of resumes, left my uncle’s salon, caught the train to various suburbs and introduced myself to different business owners and left my resume.

I got myself an apprenticeship, completed it and within a year of being a senior hairdresser I went back to work for my uncle. I ended up managing one of his salons and during the 8 years I was there I was lucky enough to be mentored by him as he is a successful entrepreneur. Which then led me to deciding, sporadically, to open up my own business.

My first salon started in Penshurst. It was a small boutique style salon that only had five stations. Within the first year I knew I needed a bigger salon as there was no room to grow and I was at capacity with bookings and couldn’t fit more staff and couldn’t service the demand. 

I was fortunate enough to find a space in the next suburb. We fitted it out to what I had envisioned to be my dream space and rebranded. I now have 6 staff and am looking for more. 

My current role is director of The Salon Edit. I only take clients 2-3 days a week and spend the rest of my time working on the business, working on myself and spending time with my family.

2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?

I love to get to work early and take time to set up for the day and plan what has to be done. I’m only taking clients 2-3 days per week now so those 2 -3 days are usually back to back with clients.

I always start the morning by having a meeting with my team. This is important for me and my team. We might use the time to motivate ourselves, do a team building exercise, to recap on business affairs or to do some training. Regardless, it’s a must every morning, along with coffee of course!

Then as the clients start arriving, I am on the floor doing hair. If there happens to be a gap in between appointments, I will attend emails, meetings, reply to Instagram enquiries, and more. It’s definitely full on but I feel very lucky. I love what I do and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine? 

It does- in a sense, where I don’t have to be physically in the salon to do work. I have worked hard to get to a point where I’m only on the floor 2-3 days per week.

So the other days when I’m not in the salon I can have time without interruptions to work on the business, the brand and the team. I have a toddler which is a full time job in itself, so juggling both motherhood and my business has been challenging for me.

Routine is important and planning my days is a must, I have to make sure I schedule in time to work on the business, time to spend with my son and family and work on myself.

It’s my livelihood and my passion so I just make it fit in. I think we can all adapt to situations no matter how busy we are as long as we are passionate about what we are doing.

4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?

Work life balance was never important to me before I had my son. My work was my life. It’s only now that he is getting older that I’m realizing I can’t keep doing everything that I was doing, I don’t want to.

I’ve made a conscious decision to be present when I’m at work and present when I’m with my family. It’s more important than ever to me now and I still feel like I’m getting used to having the balance. I think the way I achieve this is by being mindful that you have to separate work from home. Let’s just say it’s still a work in progress!

5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life? 

Yes, I have started a lot of new routines. Mainly self-care routines which helps me with my busy lifestyle. I try to meditate once a day. I do Pilates 2-3 per week. I eat organic, nourishing foods. We are a toxic free household. It’s something very important to me. I believe food is medicine and health is wealth.

6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?

I love listening to The Health Code Daily by Sarah’s Day. I feel I can relate to her as she is very health conscious. She also has a toddler and she balances work and life with a kid. She keeps it real and to the point.

I also love listening to Joe Rogan. He is unbiased and covers so many topics with various professionals, doctors, politicians, health advocates and talks about everything from UFOs to healthy living. 

Also, the GaryVee Audio Experience. He is raw and just tells it as it is. He is very motivational and is a great entrepreneur.

7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?

Insight timer is my meditation app. That’s a must for me on a daily basis. 

I can’t go a day without my Imbibe miracle collagen. I add it to my coffee everyday. Also, looking after my skin is a part of my daily self care routine. I have just started using and am absolutely loving the whole Emma Lewisham range.

8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be? 

Rachel Finch. Her energy and outlook on life is inspiring. She is very health conscious. She has 2 young children. She runs several businesses and I love her products.

9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?

You can’t work hard, train hard, play hard and experience success. In order to achieve great success and maintain your health, you must also rest hard.

Schedule in downtime to give your brain, body and mind a chance to regenerate. 

Choose to spend your energy wisely. Great success will not be achieved when we are exhausted.

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About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.