“We want clients to feel like they’ve been seen, heard and understood.”

Every so often at Wildflower the team starts the day with a bliss-releasing Guatemalan cacao ceremony, a moment to gather together in peaceful gratitude and intention for the day ahead. A million miles away from your typical hectic salon environment, to be sure – but Wildflower is certainly unique.

It’s the brainchild of Danielle Garner, a young Dublin hairdresser and wild swimmer who in 2017 decided to quit the mainstream industry and open her own studio in the leafy Dublin suburb of Ranelagh. Danielle called it Wildflower – defined as “wild and free in a world plagued with conformity”– because, “I needed it to feel like the core of my heart, a place where no one would be left out, where we would be individuals together, working to create a greater life for ourselves and our clients.”

What started as Danielle and just one assistant quickly grew to a team of 15 people as demand for Wildflower’s services grew. Danielle hired new staff on the basis of their personality – she was looking for kindness and integrity first and foremost, understanding that skills could be taught later, if required. Work/life balance for the team is a priority and there is no hierarchy – every human is respected on the same level, from assistants to artists. New clients spend quality time with an artist who gives in-depth advice about how to care for their hair type before the first appointment is even booked. This is very much about finding the right ‘fit’ – creating a bond between the two that will stand the test of time.

Step into Wildflower and it feels like coming home, set away from the noise of the everyday. Painted and decorated by the team themselves in muted, soft tones, the studio has sustainability at its core, with re-conditioned chairs, re-purposed wood and a stunning homemade dried flower arrangement hanging over the backwash. Clients are served fresh homemade cordials, herbal teas or the famous cacao with the option of meditative soundtracks to help them Zen-out during their appointment. Alongside a choice of minimal, silent or relaxed appointments, women with fertility concerns can opt for the clean service, where products are guaranteed to be free of harmful chemicals. At Wildflower there’s no embarrassment or judgment, just enjoyment.

And now, as Wildflower has grown, there’s Wholehearted, a new studio-cum-creative space that allows Danielle to engage even deeper with the local community. Take Wild Swap, an upcycling fundraising event where guests can refresh their wardrobes by bringing clothes to swap with others. Or Give Back Day, held on December 23 each year, where the team offer luxury hair services to those in need – domestic violence victims, the homeless, longterm sick children and their parents – while other local businesses support with gifts for goody bags. Danielle hopes other salons will become involved and for this one day to be an Ireland-wide initiative.

“We love sharing our space in this way,” says Danielle. “It’s a reminder of what life is all about.” | @wildflower.dublin


Not ‘Just’ A Salon

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