Growing up with a twin brother meant that Carla Pannozzo was a bit of a tomboy as a child, but she was always aware that it was just one aspect of her personality. “By the age of fifteen I knew that the beauty industry was the only way I would find my feminine side,” she recalls, and while she was still in her teens she started training at Beauty School.
Along with trade secrets and techniques, one of the key things she learned was the importance of providing a personal touch no matter who the client is. It’s a lesson that’s stayed with the Indira Beauty founder over nearly three decades in the industry.
Early on in her career she spent several years working for one of the hottest salons in London where she looked after A-listers including Madonna and members of the royal family, but she’s just as excited about her multi-generational clients here in Adelaide. Some of them have followed her around for more than 25 years and she describes those long-term relationships as “remarkable and very rewarding.”
That loyalty is a result of Carla’s attention to detail and personal touch, and that time in London eventually inspired her to start her own business. “It made me realise how a beauty salon can be run – a lot of workplaces are quite stressed but my boss was very relaxed and I learned a lot from his attitude. It made me want to open a salon that felt inviting and relaxed for everyone who came in.”
At Indira Beauty, which turns ten this week, she’s certainly achieved that. Where some salons are increasingly turning to machines to do the work, Carla’s approach is very hands on with a focus on overall wellness. “When you put your hands on someone, there’s a healing touch that people naturally feel in you,” she says. Combined with the soothing environment she’s created, the result is a salon that offers more than just a beauty service – Indira is about making people both look and feel like their best selves. “Clients might come to us rundown and stressed but they leave lighter and brighter with the bonus of having a facial or manicure or pedicure.”
Indira Beauty also offers waxing, peels, massages and exfoliation, but Carla especially loves working on nails - that’s where she started and it’s still her specialty. Her second in charge Maria is an expert at henna tattooed eyebrows and skincare and the salon uses Payot and Aspects products that are both gentle on the skin and highly effective. And Indira Beauty is celebrating its tenth birthday by offering 15% off all products sold in the salon for a week beginning on October 5.