Built on a social entrepreneurship model, Ooosh! (that’s three ‘O’s, and it’s not linked to the Dempsey club), Ooosh! combines professional hair, face and nail services with a teaching academy.
Founded by Perry TJ (aka Perry Goh) who is a member of City Harvest Church, together with 11 other shareholders, Ooosh! carries the dream of doing well (financially) while doing good (in society). Working with community services organization CHCSA, Ooosh! serves as an academy for youth at risk to learn hair-styling skills, and further to that, to get a job at Ooosh! or another hair salon. This viable plan of taking these young people off the streets, empowering them with a skill and ensuring that they can earn their own keep has resulted in a grant from MCYS.
“It is the chief reason why I said yes to Ooosh!”, admits Chew Eng Han, the principal shareholder in the company. “If we didn’t have a purpose to make a difference in society, Ooosh! would just be another hair salon. We want to ensure that these young people have a future and a hope.”
Located at #01-05 Delfi Orchard, 402 Orchard Road, Ooosh! boasts a swank shopfront facing Orchard Road. Passersby may just be able to watch Goh at work on your coiff, as you sit upon a very expensive retractable recliner specially imported from Italy. The salon’s decor is decidedly chic: shimmery black stucco walls, a three-tier chandelier, red brocade curtains and white-silver leather armchairs. It’s guaranteed to make both clients and stylists feel good working in a place like this.
On the second floor is where the students will be taught hairstyling and facial therapy. Here is also where Ooosh! offers a unique Japanese facial therapy by Hiroko Iwawaki, a Kyoto native who specializes in lifting massage, whitening, removal of blotches and anti-aging treatments. It is her wish to pass on her skills to a new generation, who would then be able to help more clients. Currently Iwawaki personally does treatments for over 100 high net worth clientele.
For Goh, starting Ooosh! is a dream come back to life. He owned a salon called Oosh in the 1980s, which diversified into music. “We even had a bar,” he said. When Sars hit Singapore, Goh was forced to sell off his company. The buyer of his bar kept the name, and so Goh had to rename his salon with an extra ‘O’.
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But for Goh, the dream is not the salon. It is what he gets to do with the salon. “I have been in the hair business for more than 20 years,” he noted. “Why do it again—except for the fact this time, we can make a difference, we can change lives.”
The first intake for Ooosh! Academy is in 2010. The school offers basic to advanced courses suited to both novices as well as stylists who are looking to upgrade their skills. Students will be privy to opportunities to train under the industry’s best, earn premium credentials and get a dream job. Applicants who are selected may also enjoy partial scholarship for their course.
To find out more, visit www.ooosh.com.sg or call 6733 1068.