Face Body & Beauty took one of the three top prizes during The Industry Awards at Auckland’s Cordis Hotel on Sunday night, emerging as New Zealand beauty salon of the year.
Dunedin practitioners also performed well at the awards — the country’s largest for the hair and beauty sector.
Sarah Martin, from RA Hair and Beauty, won industry assessor of the year, while Hayley Cron from Zen Hair won top-performing stylist of the year. Clip Joint Hairdressing won sustainable salon of the year for the second year running.
Face Body & Beauty owner and skin therapist Annalysse Mitchell said she and her team were “blessed, honoured and humbled” to be acknowledged by their industry peers.
“The big awards come at the end of the night, and we hadn’t won any of the category awards we were nominated for, so we were just relaxing and enjoying ourselves by that stage.
“When they called out our name, we squealed. We were shocked, because we were up against such an amazing range of finalists from right across New Zealand.
“It’s a feather in the cap for the team, our lovely, loyal clients and for Clutha as a whole.”
The awards received 500 entries across all categories.
Mrs Mitchell said she felt the award had vindicated her approach to business following the challenges of Covid.
“The whole industry has been finding it tough, but rather than just complaining about it, we did something.”
She believed judges recognised the salon’s strategy of prioritising both her team and its clients.
“We’ve continued to invest in our team and their training, and in providing a calm, relaxing and welcoming space for our clients where they can feel loved.
“As a business in a wee town in a rural area, we have a very wide range of clients, and we specialise in making each and every one of them welcome, and catering to their needs. We don’t want to be chosen by them just because we’re local, but also because we’re the best.”
The award had spurred others at the ceremony to find out more about the region, she said.
“Hopefully, this will help put Otago on the map a bit more.”