Lynsey Le Keux, founder and director of Le Keux Vintage Salons, talks start ups, 50s fashion and blue hair
How did Le Keux start?
Around seven years ago I had my own vintage wedding and at the time I couldn’t find any vintage suppliers that could do what I wanted. So I had the idea to be a vintage wedding planner but soon realised how hard it was to find the business. Soon after, I got into event management and I organised a few hen parties for friends and soon found that people really responded to everything I did that had a strong vintage brand. Hen parties seemed like a good way to go, so I started working with other people in the field and we’d each offer our own individual services.
We came together to do a collaborative photoshoot and I just thought that if I could teach myself how to do the vintage hair and make-up, we could make it look like it’s a vintage hen party. We used the photos to promote our parties and people were way more interested in the hair and make-up and photoshoot part more than anything else. As soon as we started doing more of the beauty side of things and vintage makeovers, the business grew very quickly. A year and a half in, I quit my job and started this full-time and a year later we took on our first premisses here at the Custard Factory. Since then we’ve expanded and took on Leeds and we now have a salon opening this month in Leamington Spa.
I love growing the business, setting up a site, getting the right people in to make it self-sufficient and then moving on.
What are the best bits about your job?
I love growing the business. My favourite part is setting up a site, getting the right people in to make it self-sufficient and then moving on and starting a new one. I also love the aesthetic of it all. I couldn’t get away with it at home but I am starting to take over room by room but my husband tries to fight it because it’s so girly.
How would you describe your style?
I’m very 50s but I don’t think I’m completely authentic vintage. There are some girls who wear girdles but I tend to mix and match it with contemporary and retro. The 50s is a really flattering style too and I always wear dresses.
What is your favourite item you own?
I have to say my favourite item would be a dress by a US company called Bettie Page clothing. It’s a black shift dress, long sleeve with a tight criss cross belt at the waist. It’s fitted and I feel really professional in it but it still allows me to express my style. If I’m going into a very corporate environment like when I’m selling the cosmetics, it’s important for me to be taken seriously. I do have a distinct style and I do have blue hair and some people in that environment might judge me for that, so it’s nice to find those pieces that make me feel like I belong in that environment.
Find Le Keux in the Custard Factory, Digbeth. Visit lekeuxvintagesalon.co.uk