7 Reasons YOU Should Consider Moving to a Salon Studio
By Heather Haemker
You might wonder what draws stylists to stray from their commission salon environment. After all, they have camaraderie with other stylists, education, retail opportunities, freedom…well; three out of four isn’t bad. But if you crave that fourth option—freedom—then it might be time to open yourself up to the idea of a career at Sola Salon Studios. Not only does Sola provide quality education, endless retail opportunities and the flexibility to set your own schedule and run your own business, you also get the benefit of working alongside other like-minded stylists pursuing the same passion as you. Here are seven benefits of owning a studio as shared by Sola Salon owners from Park Ridge, Illinois.
1. One-on-one time. Having your own salon suite provides privacy and specialized time with your client that is uninterrupted. Your clients can enjoy the silence or have extensive conversations with you about serious concerns without a fear of being overheard by the guest at the next station.
As the first stylist to own a suite at the Park Ridge, Ill. Sola, Holly Santelli owner of Serendipity Beauty Parlour, was thrilled to find a place that offered the freedom she was looking for with the quiet she and her clients desired. “I have always wanted to go out on my own, but wasn’t sure where to begin. Should I start small or go big? I found Sola online doing a random search and once I saw it, I knew it was the right move,” shares Holly. “My clients love it; they fell in love right away. It’s a relaxing environment, very quiet. Big salons tend to get noisy, but now once I shut the door, my clients can hear me and I can hear them. It’s a wonderful thing.”
“I thought I would miss the camaraderie that you get from a commission salon, but we are all friends in this building. There are 24+ people and everyone gets along. It’s amazing,” shares Rosanne DiVenere owner of That Redhead’s Salon.
2. Word of mouth is everything. In addition to bringing current clients with you when you move, Sola provides other means of helping you attract clients to your chair. Sola Salons are located in key, populated areas, so drawing in walk-in traffic is a great way to add new clients to your books. You also have the added benefit of being referred from within Sola’s walls. For example, another Sola owner might specialize in blow-dries and could refer their client to you for a color service. Sola also provides a basic platform for stylists to set up a web page so clients can learn more about your salon, see pictures and contact you for an appointment. You can also link your personal website and social accounts to this page to get your salon name out there.
“I have attracted a lot of new clients through referrals,” shares Holly. “I have received referrals before, but it has doubled and tripled since I moved to a Sola space. I also was lucky to get a few walk-ins in the beginning who told their friends about me and now I have a nice group of Park Ridge moms who see me and send their friends.”
3. The daily grind. Since stylists are fully in charge of their own space and business that means they also handle check out. “We [my co-owner and I] have our own separate iPads that we work through Vigaro and we also have Square on our phones,” shares Jessica Petkovic Co-Owner of Devi. Hair Studio, the second owner at Sola in Park Ridge, who opened with long-time friend Stephanie Caito DeStefano.
4. The Sola advantage. Who wouldn’t like a little more time in their daily schedule to do the things they really want to do? Sola offers that freedom. As a business owner, you set your schedule; you run your book, schedule appointments and keep your shelves stocked. It’s a lot of responsibility, especially when it comes to managing the business, but with the freedom you gain, it’s worth it. You can decorate how you want, sell the products you truly believe in and that your guests will benefit from and still have time to make it to your son’s soccer game or take that extra coloring class you’ve always wanted to take.
“I previously worked in a salon where I rented a chair for hair only, so if I did a wax, I had to pay commission. If did an air brush tan, I had to pay commission. I came to Sola thinking I would need to do all of these services and have found that I don’t need to. I’m successful just doing hair alone,” says Holly. “The product on the shelves wasn’t always what I liked either, so I didn’t sell a lot of retail. Now I can give my guests a total experience that they weren’t able to get before.”
“Sola is everything I ever wanted. Freedom—I can be a wife and mom and also be committed to my clients. Before, I had limited hours, and my rent would only cover certain days and times. Now there is no receptionist to say I’m not here, I take my own calls and I’ve gained a lot of customers,” shares Rosanne.
5. Education. Sola offers its stylists and technicians a ton of educational classes to keep their skills cutting-edge. In fact, at the Park Ridge Sola, operator Rich Milz converted the basement into a classroom so product reps can come in and conduct classes on the latest launches and new techniques. They also set up bridal parties in the basement for hair, makeup and nails.
6. Social media. As Facebook and Instagram continue to dominate, it’s important to get your business on these pages so clients and potential clients can not only find you, but see your work. “Stephanie and I both have our own Facebook page and Instagram,” notes Jessica. “We also take pictures of the clients we see, new products we get that day and a featured product, which has been working out well; we have received lots of referrals from that.” Not currently social media savvy? Sola provides additional support to it’s stylists on their national site offering helpful tips and tools for succeeding at the social media game. They also feature stylists on their social pages, giving you the opportunity to get your work and salon exposed to a Facebook community of more than 32K people! Clients can also check out Sola’s blog page where stylists are profiled several times a month across locations. This is another great way to promote your business to clients and also your colleagues.
7. It’s not just about the hair. If you specialize in something other than hair, Sola welcomes your talents. If you’re an esthetician at a major salon, you can own your own suite which is catered to your needs. Instead of a shampoo bowl, Sola will put in a utility sink and offer different amenities to meet your needs.
“Coming to Sola was the best thing I’ve done. The environment is very one-stop-shopping. Once the client gets their hair done, they can stop in for a facial or massage. It’s a great environment,” says Reyna Almazan, owner of Nu-Facials by Reyna.