With three children under the age of 10, a small thriving chain of hair salons and a recently released range of beautiful natural haircare products, Melbourne's Sofia Basile has a lot on her plate.
The owner and director of Unico Hair wouldn't have it any other way. Overachieving comes naturally, with Sofia opening her first Unico salon in Degraves Street, Melbourne, at the tender age of 22. With over 24 years in the industry, Sofia now runs three successful Unico salons in Melbourne: two in the CBD and one in trendy Fitzroy.
"I was always considered to be creative and was interested in fashion and beauty from an early age. I am also a social creature so hairdressing was something I was always drawn to," says Sofia.
"Before opening Unico, I completed my apprenticeship at a salon on Collins Street called Cosmopolitan. I then went to London and completed a Vidal Sassoon course to expand my cutting skills. After finishing a Wella Colour Professional Diploma, I opened the first Unico Hair salon on Little Collins Street," she adds.
"It was daunting at such a young age but I believe you can do anything you set your mind to if you have passion and are willing to put in 150 per cent. I initially had the support of a business partner, but bought them out after the first year and have been doing it on my own ever since."
Since launching, Unico has become a popular destination for Melbourne's style set and the salons have accumulated a number of industry awards and accolades, including 1st place in 2001's HBIA awards in creative colour. Sofia now employs 10 staff across the three locations and "never say never" is her coy response when asked whether more salons are planned.
Far from resting on her laurels, Sofia is also juggling another new baby in the form of Unico Formulations: a range of luxurious, natural haircare products made in Australia. Derived from pure plant ingredients and enriched with vitamins and essential oils, Unico products are free from all nasties such as parabens and SLS. The 11 gorgeous products are available nationally and are refillable at a 10% discount at any of the Unico salons.
For more info visit unicoformulations.com.au