Can working with friends… well, work? These two at Salon Golightly know how.

It’s a common old adage ‘Never mix business with pleasure,’ but these two high-end hair practitioners are good friends who have worked together for more than five years and still find plenty of time to share a drink and a laugh. Linda and Justin even spent a holiday in Thailand together, along with their respective partners.

Linda Chisolm and Justin Golightly

Linda Chisolm and Justin Golightly

They’ve known each other for years. More than twenty years, in fact. They met back in 1991 when they worked together at South Yarra salon PDF and Justin sported long black hair. (Which he’d rather not discuss…) After a couple of years they went their separate ways.

Then five years ago, Linda was working at a boutique in Prahran where she wasn’t happy.  When a client told her that Justin had opened up his own salon just around the corner in Greville Street, Linda was ecstatic and bolted there as soon as she could to see if they could work together. He happily agreed and asked when she could start.

‘Tomorrow!’ replied Linda. The timing couldn’t have been better.

Interior Salon Golightly

Interior Salon Golightly

For both, it meant working with an old friend they adored. As well, they have enormous admiration for each other’s respective careers – Justin as a leading hairdresser and Linda being renowned in Melbourne as a brilliant hair colourist. That’s her specialty and means she’s always well booked up in advance. As is the very talented Justin.

Most of all they’re happy to have found a new home in St Kilda, where they opened Salon Golightly last month – conveniently situated just opposite the George Hotel.

Salon Golightly

Salon Golightly

‘We’re back amongst our people,’ says Linda. ‘There’s more of a cultural mix here. You get a bit of everything in St Kilda. It feels more comfortable.’

‘It feels like home, ‘says Justin.

Both agree that the hair industry can be a tough business to survive in. It’s highly competitive and egos abound. ‘It’s full of lunatics,’ declares Linda.

So how do they make it work? Being friends and working together? ‘Well I think that’s just it,’ said Linda. ‘That we ARE friends makes it viable. It’s easy. There’s none of that hoo-hah that generally goes on.’

‘So you must have a lot in common?’ I suggest.

‘Our birthdays are on the same day,’ said Linda. ‘The sixth of the sixth.’ Ah, so that explains it!

‘She’s to the point and there’s no bullshit so you always now where you stand,’ said Justin. ‘As much as I love her, she annoys the hell out of me sometimes, but we work in similar ways. We’re hard workers and like to get on with the job.’

And they do work hard. But I also hear them laugh together often. I’ve been seeing Linda to have my hair coloured for nearly twenty years and can vouch for the fact that she’s never been happier.

Good friends sharing a laugh

Good friends sharing a laugh

For Linda, there’s another bonus that comes with working with Justin. ‘He loves cleaning!’

So you don’t have to do any at all?’ I ask.

‘It’s not that I don’t try. He always does it before I get a chance.’

Justin disagrees. ‘It’s just that she knows what I don’t like doing so she is aware of that and gets in first with those jobs. For instance, I’m happy to clean up wine glasses because if I don’t she’ll break them and leave the lipstick marks on them, but I don’t like cleaning up the tint bowls so she’ll get on and do that.’

Justin at the bar

Justin at the bar

Yes, he said ‘wine glasses’. That’s the other lovely service provided at Salon Golightly. There’s a bar at the end of the long room, where Justin will happily double as a bar tender for his loyal clients who fancy a glass of wine toward the end of the day.

Linda also loves the fact that Justin has a wonderful eye for interior design. ‘He always likes to have things looking nice,’ she said. ‘I know when I come to work in the morning, it will all be sorted and look polished.’


‘I try not to involve myself in all that because I know I won’t do as good a job. If I ever suggest something, he just looks at me as if to say, “Don’t bother”.’ Not that Linda’s offended. She loves it.

The entrance to Salon Golightly

The entrance to Salon Golightly

Would Justin like to turn his hand to interior design? ‘No, I love experimenting but I’d hate doing a job for someone else and not having complete control. Say I did a room then someone wanted to put little knick knacks everywhere…’ He made a face.

‘That would do his head in,’ said Linda. ‘At the same time, I have to say he’s much better at doing something for a hair client that might not suit them than I am. If I have to do something I hate, it’s written all over my face.’

Linda and Justin

Linda and Justin

Not that either of them often have difficult clients. If someone’s TOO obnoxious, they won’t take the booking. I know this because when I asked them if they’d ever had to refuse a client, they looked at each other and started laughing.

Justin says he’s always polite. ‘I’ve had clients who come to an appointment, sit in the chair and say, “Last time you cut my hair I hated it and everyone else hated it.” So I ask them why they’re back? Then I suggest that clearly they’re not happy with my work and that they should go somewhere else. Then they generally burst into tears and go to the toilet, come back and apologise and we get on with it. But a few have left and that’s fine. It’s very rare.’

‘I’ve never had that. I just don’t take the calls from those ones,’ said Linda. ‘I don’t want to be tortured. I’m just not interested.’

As for future plans, Justin says they’re looking for one more person to work alongside them in their new salon.

Sounds appealing. A new salon set in the heart of eclectic, beachside St Kilda, opposite the George with two friends who work together like a dream. Now, where is my resume?

If you’re interested in a job or having a wonderful new ‘look’, here’s the details for Salon Golightly:

PH – (03) 9078 b5536
ADDRESS: 11b/60 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda



Double Agent Linda Chisolm

This was going to be one of those ‘Inspirational Life Changes’ stories – you know, where I interview someone who has dived into a radical career change mid-life and made a ripping success of it all.

But in this instance, that’s not really the case. You see, horse-riding champion and hair colourist extraordinaire Linda Chisolm IS taking a new direction in life, but she’s also going to continue working in the salon. So it’s really an ‘Inspirational Life Juggling’ story – a case of combining careers, rather than ditching one for the other.

I first met Linda about eighteen years ago when I was working at Channel Ten and moved from Nunawading to the Como building in South Yarra. I stumbled into a hair salon across the road and found Linda, who was not only a brilliant colourist, but we got along famously. So even though it was very convenient having Linda so close to work, as soon as she left for a new salon, I followed. And I’ve been following her ever since.

Linda ONLY does COLOUR – no cutting, primping, curling etc… and that’s probably why she’s a master at her craft. I reckon she also makes a damn fine therapist with her ability to dish out pithy, down-to-earth no-nonsense advice when you thrust one of your dramas under her nose for dissection.

I also love the fact that she’s rarely impressed by celebrity. While she’s got a long list of famous VIP clients, she’s never a name-dropper and has been known to refuse to work with certain celebs if they prove to be difficult clients. She just couldn’t be bothered.

I asked whether she was nervous, colouring Kylie Minogue’s famous tresses many moon ago. ‘Not really,’ she said. ‘I’ve worked all over the world and people are people. They’re all the same – they just want to look nice.’ Simple, but true.

Linda at work

Linda at work

Linda is a little unusual in that she didn’t want me to photograph her working AND she doesn’t want me to mention the salon where she works. That’s because she’s not looking for new clients (being the best colourist in Melbourne) as her diary is chockers and she doesn’t need new people pestering her for a dose of hair magic.

The other reason Linda doesn’t want me to advertise her talents is that she’s cutting back on hours to focus more on her greater passion – HORSES.



This new gig Linda’s taken on is quite obscure. The fact that it’s SO unusual meant I had to write about it. Although when I first suggested to Linda that you couldn’t find two professions further apart – horses and hair – she rightly corrected me. ‘There’s some similarities between the grooming of horses and people. There’s products, plaiting, lots of washing!’

But don’t get the wrong idea – Linda’s new role doesn’t involve horse grooming. Instead, she and her partner, Stefan, will be importing top-end horse trailers from the United States. (See, I told you it was obscure.)

The opportunity arose when Linda spotted a huge gap in the horse trailer market. ‘We’d bought a couple of Australian-made ones and we weren’t happy with them. Not with the fit-out or the finish or the options. So we started looking in America and we bought our first one and through that, became dealers for the American brand. Which is Trail Rider Trailers,’ she said.

Linda and Stefan researched many companies overseas and Trail Riders came out on top. ‘They’re the best built in the field, offering the biggest range of options. It’s also a small, family-owned business and the trailers aren’t mass-produced so we knew we’d get good workmanship. They do a fantastic job and are happy to customise.’

Trail Riders Trailers - the high end of the horse trailer market

Trail Riders Trailers – the high end of the horse trailer market

A decent sized kitchen and dining area

A decent sized kitchen and dining area

Linda has been riding horses in events around the country since she was a child, so has a pretty good idea about what people are using and what’s on the market. She says it was hard to find trailers in Australia that offered simple luxuries like an oven or even a toilet.

Sleep in style

Sleep in style



As for sleeping quarters, the Trailer Riders bed is five-star compared to what’s on offer from other brands. But Linda says not all her trailers are as ritzy as this one we’re looking at. ‘They can be very high-end or not so high-end. But it’s the quality of the fit-out that makes all the difference. You can customise the size to whatever you want, that’s legal in Australia, which is 43-feet long.’

Royal Retro trailer

Royal Retro trailer

The range of options you can put in these beauties is astounding, including a washing-machine, electric fireplace, a ceiling fan – all sorts of options Linda says you just can’t get in Australia.

Even a toilet!!

Even a toilet!!

Now she’s the envy of her horse-riding friends. ‘I usually get a big WOW when they walk in,’ she says with a smile. ‘For a horse-person, these trailers are heaven. Everything is in the right place and it’s a great ride with fantastic suspension. You spend a lot of time and money on your horse going to shows, so you want to be comfortable. It becomes your holiday, your pastime. Most horsey people don’t head off to Bali for two weeks. They go to a national show and it’s their life-style.’

Linda reining

Linda reining

On top of colouring hair and marketing her new horse-trailer business, Linda also competes at events. ‘I do a sport called reining,’ she said. ‘It’s a discipline that started in America. The reining horse is known for its ‘sliding stop’ and its ‘turn around’ and spin,’ she explained.


‘They’re manoeuvres that came from when horses worked with cattle on ranches and they’ve been exaggerated for the show ring. You ride in a pattern and unlike dressage, it’s all at a canter. Or a lope, as we call it in the western world.’

Apparently it’s a huge sport internationally and is growing in popularity in Australia. ‘It’s very big in America of course, and Germany, Italy and we’re now a sport that’s involved in WEG. That’s the World Equestrian Games.  I think it will become an Olympic discipline eventually.’

Linda winning Reserve Champion at Werribee

Linda winning Reserve Champion at Werribee

Linda’s been ‘reining’ for about seven years now and has won several awards – one about two months ago in Werribee. ‘It’s a difficult sport,’ she said. ‘Much harder than I thought it would be! Like any horse discipline, you’re always learning and working at it. It’s more difficult than it looks as it’s a one-handed event.’

ONE-HANDED?! Jeez… then I’m guessing Linda has a pretty good connection with her horse to ride with such control.

‘Ah, you need a horse that’s really broke’ she laughed. ‘My horse is gorgeous. His show name is Red Hair and Freckles. He’s definitely up there with my favourites.’

With so much going on (selling trailers, reining competitions…) I was most relieved to hear Linda wouldn’t be ditching her colouring job. (PHEW!!) ‘I love my hair, I like my clients,’ she said. (YAY!!) ‘It might get a little tricky, juggling both, but I’ll manage.’

If you’d like to contact Linda about these impressive horse trailers, you can email her at

and check out the trailer website at:

or she has a Facebook page, for updated news – just reference Australian Horse Trailers and LIKE it!!

Salon Golightly, Prahran

Salon Golightly, Prahran

And just in case you want to TRY to get a hair colour appointment with Linda, she works at Salon Golightly in Prahran. (Now she’ll kill me.) Good luck….

Salon Golightly: 175 Greville street, Prahran
Ph: 9533 9966



Stuff I didn’t know about my own Blog…

Sometimes I wish I’d done an official computer course. The longer I write this Blog, the more I’m finding out about how websites operate and how much I NEED to learn!

For instance, after meeting with my lovely website consultant a few days ago, I only just discovered how the ads on my OWN website work… Pathetic, I know.

Supersprint ad

Supersprint ad

I just thought they sat in the side bar, so that people could look at them and know where to go if they wanted to follow up on something. Like a billboard that gives you something to look at if you’re stuck in a traffic jam on Punt Road. (Which happens all the time…)

BUT I learnt that if you actually CLICK on these ads, they give you a lot more information, by taking you to that companies actual website. Durhhh…

SO, for instance, if you want to go to the Guns and Roses concert, you just click on the ad on my Welcome page, or when you’re reading a story like this one, and it takes you straight to the place you need to go to buy tickets.

If you want to enter the Australian Grand Prix Run on March 10th, click on that ad. Or if you’re needing a fab haircut, check out the glamorous Salon Golightly salon ad and book in with Justin.

Salon Golightly ad

For bridal couples looking for a unique car, check out Pete’s Garage and hire a really cool Mustang.

Pete's Garage ad

Pete’s Garage ad

There – just thought I needed to share that with you.

And another thing. So I can attempt to make a living from writing, there will be more ads appearing shortly on this Blog. This is good news because it means the Blog is growing rapidly in popularity and I now have great figures to justify ads.  But I promise NEVER to EVER allow any of those nasty, loud, in-your-face, POP-UP ads that drive people insane. Me, in particular. I HATE those. They’re scary…

If anyone is interested in placing ads on our website, please contact Kelly  at for a quote.