hero image Rowan x New Chapter

Rowan x New Chapter


Meet Rowan, a captivating presence that commands your attention. With her dark blonde locks, bold fashion choices, and artfully tattooed body – she draws you in. For the past five years, she has been the owner of the cutting-edge hair salon, located on the ground floor of BounceSpace at Overtoom 141, aptly named “New Chapter”. Before she took over the business, she was already working at the same venue, a salon named Bubblekid. In these years she’s built an impressive customer base. When she’s not conversing with her regulars while transforming multiple heads at the same time, you'll find Rowan in the Vondelpark, walking her Australian Shepherd/Border Collie companion named Indiana or kickboxing at the gym. Join us as we delve into how the past years in and around BounceSpace have influenced Rowan's unique creative and entrepreneurial path.

So Rowan, kickboxing or cutting hair? 
That’s easy, kickboxing for sure. Cutting hair doesn't even excite me as much anymore. I've been doing it for fifteen years, every damn day—it has become so automatic. Don't get me wrong, I still enjoy making people look and feel beautiful, bringing them joy, and getting the opportunity to really connect with them. But it can also be exhausting - repeating the same conversation ten times a day... What’s really been a game-changer for me, is entrepreneurship. That’s where I find happiness. 
A game-changer for me is entrepreneurship. That’s where I find happiness.
Did you realise that when you opened up your own shop?
It's only been in the past five years that entrepreneurship became a priority for me: I finally feel like my true self. When the opportunity came to take over the shop I worked in, I didn’t hesitate. I called the store "New Chapter", because it represented a fresh start for me, and many people visit a hairdresser when they are embarking on a new phase in their lives, such as starting a new job or ending a relationship. I absolutely adore being self-employed and constantly explore new ventures. What I love most is the extensive and diverse network of inspiring individuals I've built through my shop. I've met people from all corners of the city. With some I’ve made interesting connections on a creative level. I see it as a vast network of creative entrepreneurs, where we all support each other’s projects and ideas.
It sounds like you make new friends every day.
Not every day, but I do encounter a special mix of individuals. Interestingly, even those I initially have preconceived notions about, often prove me wrong. It's a valuable lesson I've learned at BounceSpace. Sometimes, I may not like someone based on my first impression, but when I take the time to get to know them, I sometimes realize we have a lot in common or that they have a great sense of humor. I'm becoming increasingly aware of this, and I'm striving to be less judgmental, although that remains a work in progress.
Rowan New Chapter back - This is the hero image for the Shop page
Did you have a habit of being overly judgmental?
Well, I used to complain quite a bit—okay, a lot. I'd nag just for the sake of it. However, after reading the book "You Are What You Think", I've made an effort to bring positive energy into my work. And as the “boss”, I feel responsible to convey that positivity to others.
And how’s that going?
I am putting in a lot of effort. Besides, when I set my mind to something, I give it my all and pursue it with unwavering determination. This applies to my entrepreneurial endeavors as well. Although sometimes that can be seen as impulsive. Three years ago, I had the idea of opening a plant store, and before I knew it, the entire shop was filled with cacti. I'm absolutely enamored with cacti. They possess a unique beauty—prickly yet captivating.
Does that say something about you?
Perhaps it does, haha. Initially, I tend to keep people at arm's length. I am quite guarded. People who try too hard to impress should steer clear of me. However, if someone gives me time and allows the relationship to develop naturally, I think, "Now we can have a real conversation." Once I realize someone’s chill, I can be very easygoing and kind-hearted.
Rowan New Chapter
It seems like you have a clear sense of yourself and what you want.
I don't consider myself overly determined, although I've been told otherwise. I try not to dwell on decisions but just act upon them. For example with Colliers, the dog collar brand I started: I had an idea, and I thought, "Why not create a website and see where it takes me?" Entrepreneurship is an inherent part of who I am. While others may see obstacles along the way, I think, "Let's go!" Same goes for the pop ups we organized at New Chapter. It started as an impulsive idea, to “play restaurant” for the night. So one day we transformed the shop into a restaurant, with haute cuisine dinner, white tablecloths and romantic candle light. What began as an impromptu fine dining affair soon evolved into a lively party, drawing a big crowd. Although organizing everything took considerable time and effort, the outcome was certainly worth it, prompting us to embrace this venture more frequently. Ideally, I'd love to embrace that entrepreneurial spirit and travel the world. However, being away from the store is challenging. I still feel deeply connected to it—the pillar of the business.
Indi austrialian shepherd dog
A pillar?
Yes, I feel responsible for the store's vibe and feeling. New Chapter reflects my character and values. Everything, from the interior design to the music playing and the artwork by upcoming artists on the walls, is a testament to my belief in giving people opportunities, forming connections, and surrounding myself with good-hearted individuals. I rely on my colleagues immensely; I couldn't do it without them. Being the owner isn't a big thing for me—–I'm indifferent to that. In fact, Indy, my dog, is the true face of New Chapter. Indy always greets visitors with a wagging tail at the entrance. Well, not always... He and I are much alike. So, whether someone comes in for a cup of coffee, a fresh haircut, or a lick from Indy, they're welcome at New Chapter. In that way I can practice that coveted positive attitude of mine at the same time ;) 
Text: Janna Nieuwenhuijzen
Photos: MADEBYSEM and Andres Nuñez