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Home / News and Insights / Insights / Adam Reed – Arkive Headcare

In this month’s article, Mireille, beauty lead at BDB Pitmans, speaks with Adam Reed, one of London’s most in-demand hairdressers and founder of Arkive Headcare.

Since starting out at the age of 13 as a Saturday boy in his local salon down in West Somerset, Adam’s journey has taken him from working for a renowned corsetière, acting as an extra in Sex in the City and styling Madonna’s hair all the way through to founding his own brands.

Beaming with energy, Adam excitedly recounted his glittering career, whilst also openly sharing with us the role that mental health struggles have played in his journey.

How did you get into what you do?

I’d always known that I wanted to do hair and it started with my Saturday job at the age of 13; an entire day’s work earnt me £10. To forge ahead with my career, I needed to be in London and to get there I needed a car. I spent years saving, taking on multiple part time-jobs whilst at the same time submitting countless applications for hairdressing positions in London. I eventually scraped enough together for a car and landed myself a job at Charles Worthington who, at that time, was building a name for himself. I rode an incredible wave of product launches and fashion weeks eventually ending up in the bright lights of New York. I had to fight for every opportunity, it was really hard to get a leg up!

I eventually left Charles Worthington to co-found haircare brand Percy & Reed in 2007, Adam Reed London in 2019 and finally Arkive Headcare in 2022.

What advice would you give to founders at the beginning of their career?

As soon as you possibly can, find and establish a solid support network – it’s the essence of my brand Arkive Headcare now I have the benefit of hindsight. Each letter in the ARK stands for a member of my family, while the concept of the ark reflects the open and supportive community that I now draw my strength from.

Your support network is so fundamental to your mental health and that has to be a priority. It affects how we feel about ourselves; our head acts as the archive of our body.

In addition to your own network, support others and build them up. We’re all much stronger together.

What do you wish you had known whilst growing your business?

It is so important to be involved in and to understand every aspect of your business. If you and your co-founder have different skill sets you should make every effort to understand the other. As a creative, I continued to do what I was good at, paying little attention to various business aspects. You absolutely should understand those aspects and make every effort to do so.

If you don’t understand something or, if something doesn’t feel right you have to question it. Burying your head in the sand will not make your hunch go away.

If you have a concern. or it’s just not possible to get to grips with every aspect of your business, make sure you have the right people around you. Never let anything pass without having it blessed by the right professional. Have the right team.

What made the biggest impact in scaling your business?

Definitely setting boundaries (you can’t do everything yourself, it will exhaust you) and tapping into your trusted support network to help! My brand wouldn’t be what it is without the support and expertise of my husband Kenny and my best friend who now both help me to manage the business.

If Adam’s emphasis on the importance of having a trusted network resonates with you, we would be delighted to hear from you and discuss any legal issues you may be facing. You can find out more about Mireille’s legal expertise here and by following her on Instagram at @The_Beauty_Lawyer

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