Spotlight | Hollie-Jay Taylor, Fresh Cuts

the owner of oscar oscar salon puts her skills to community use

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a fresh hair cut can do wonders for your confidence.

It’s amazing how much a trim can contribute to your sense of wellbeing. That’s why the community importance of Fresh Cuts is hard to overstate. Run by Civic Assist and sponsored by Hollie at Oscar Oscar, the program is a free service for our city’s most vulnerable. The private salon was established to provide free haircuts for those who can’t afford them – mostly, in Hollie’s experience, women and children escaping domestic violence.

We sat down with Hollie at her Oscar Oscar salon to learn more about Fresh Cuts, and why she loves the Toowoomba community.

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Name: Hollie-Jay Taylor
KNOWN FOR: community work with Fresh Cuts, and being the Owner-operator of Oscar Oscar
Occupation: hairdresser
Born: toowoomba
Local since: Forever!

First things first: have you always lived in Toowoomba?

I’ve always called Toowoomba home. When I was younger (16-19) I hated living here but as I’ve gotten older I’ve realised its unique charm and everything Toowoomba has to offer.

Can you please describe your business?

I am the owner-operator of Oscar Oscar Toowoomba. Along with my incredible manager Candice we mentor a team of 12 amazing stylists who pride themselves on guest experience with the given of fantastic hair.

We also offer a “pay it forward” system, where guests can pay forward a haircut for as little as $5 for those experiencing tough times. We do this in partnership with Civic Assist, who run the Fresh Cuts program. All funds go directly to Civic Assist where we have established a private salon to look after the needs of predominantly women and children exiting violence. It’s a free service for them.

What have you learned about running a business in Toowoomba? What are the unique opportunities, benefits and challenges?

It has taken me a lot of years and trial and error to tap into the Toowoomba market and in particular advertising and marketing. Oscar Oscar is a large company with salons across Australia and the national marketing format used in big cities just doesn’t work here in Toowoomba. It is very much about word of mouth and reputation.

What does an average day look like for you?

I split my time 50/50 between salon life and mum life.

My days start early chasing my beautiful 18 month daughter. In salon my days are very busy caring for a very diverse guest base, and I’m usually booked out a few weeks in advance. In between that I slot in the general running of business with emails, stock, meetings, payroll etc. I leave one afternoon a week free for volunteering at Fresh Cuts. Life is full but it is great.

What does your ideal Toowoomba weekend look like?

A little sleep in is the ultimate luxury for me these days. And then spending quality time with friends and family, great food and music.


PERK UP: Shopping! Grand Central has so much to offer since its expansion. You could literally spend all day there.

RELAX: We have so many beautiful parks; Queens Park and Picnic Point are my favourite.  

EAT: Milk & Honey and Urban Grounds are my favourites at the moment.

INDULGE: Indulging for me is always about food. The Baker’s Duck never disappoints if I’m looking to treat myself.

SHOP: Grand Central, of course!

To learn more about Civic Assist’s work, click here. You can make a donation via their website
or by popping into see Hollie at Oscar Oscar in Grand Central.


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