Bringing the sunshine to hairstyling

Kenny and The Sunshine Girls

In a vintage-inspired space in North Melbourne, you will find the bubbly Poppy Liu and a bright blue budgerigar named Kenny. Together, they are at the helm of Kenny and the Sunshine Girls.

At the light- and plant-filled salon at 113 Errol St, Poppy and her team of five offer simple haircuts to ‘50’s glam, wedding and event hair and makeup artistry. 

Poppy had a love of hairstyling from a young age. “I knew how to braid perfectly at 10!” she grinned.

“I used to practise on my friends’ hair and thought, ‘oh, I’m pretty good’. My parents probably wanted me to be a doctor, but I always knew that I wanted to be a hairdresser and to eventually own my own salon.”


Photography by Anna Encio.


Poppy emigrated from Taiwan as a child with her family to Brisbane but relocated to Melbourne in her early 20s, wanting to try a change of scenery. She worked in salons across the city and as a freelance mobile hair and makeup artist until she decided to take the leap and open her own space. 


I think I had that fear of changing, and then I woke up one day and thought, this is it, I’ve got to do it,” Poppy laughed. “Because my last job was in Carlton, I wanted to stay close to my clients, and then I found this space. I love North Melbourne; it’s like a little village.


Poppy opened her salon back in 2012, and after 10 years, it is well known in North Melbourne, not least because of its quirky name. 

“I got the name from a friend’s au pair who was talking about her uncle’s band in the States called Kenny and the Sunshine Girls,” Poppy explained. 

“I joked that the name was so cute, and then I realised it just fit what I was planning for my business. I wanted something random that didn’t sound like a salon.”

When designing her space, Poppy brought in the elements from her favourite things like vintage dresses, furniture and macrame planters, with a philosophy of making Kenny and the Sunshine Girls an inviting and fun space for its clients. All the vintage dressers in the salon have been sourced from Gumtree, Facebook Marketplace and hard rubbish! 

Poppy says the team has clients who have followed them for 15 years and they are now serving numerous generations.



The next focus is to make the salon more sustainable, ensuring that much of the waste, such as aluminium foil, hair dye chemicals and cardboard and plastic packaging, is recycled. Even the hair is collected to create wigs and used to soak up oil in a land or ocean spill.

“I have two goals. One is to provide a happy place for my staff to work – they have been loyal to me for so many years,” Poppy smiled.

“My second goal is to offer a welcoming environment where you will walk away feeling amazing. It makes me happy to know that using my talent makes other people happy. That is really satisfying. I’d love to continue providing for my clients and enjoying my time with my staff who have been with me all these years.” •

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