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December 11, 2014

Is 2015 the Year To Be Your Own Boss?

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It’s that time of year again, when we focus on making (and keeping!) various New Year’s resolutions that support our personal goals and business endeavors. If past resolutions have fallen flat, perhaps it’s time to shift your focus. Sola Salon Studios Director of Education, Kim Bennett Horvath, looked to the Sola community—now comprised of 4,000+ salon professionals—when setting her 2015 goals, and discovered there are no limits when you’re met with Sola-style freedom. Here, Kim shares the five resolutions she has added to her list—which might, in turn, inspire you.  



Resolution #1: Give Back Without Slack 
Annie Gill of Sola Salons in Costa Mesa, CA, shared that her New Year’s resolution is to, “become more involved in community service and helping the homeless.” Annie plans to donate two days a month to the Orange County Rescue Mission, an organization pairing local stylists with homeless and displaced families. As Annie puts it, “I am happy to help those less fortunate and use my technical abilities for those who do not have the funds to pay.”


Another stylist, Lili Muson of Sola Salons in Irvine, CA, has already started working on her New Year’s resolution. “I put a container in the Sola break room to collect bottles and cans for my nephew Billy. He is autistic and likes to recycle. I have been so humbled by the immediate response from the Sola community,” Lili says. 


Both Annie and Lili have put their thoughts into action and aren’t waiting to get the ball rolling. They are focused on the process, rather than simply the outcome.


Resolution #2: Make More Time For You & Yours
For beauty professionals, it’s so important to dedicate your full self to your clients. But it’s also important to remember to put yourself first sometimes, too. Creating a work/life balance is something that might not always come naturally, but it’s important to strive for that balance.


Kevin Michael of Sola Salons in Sacramento, CA, shared his plan to stay present by, “planning fun activities with [his] husband on the weekends.” Jolene Gutierrez of Sola Salons in Albuquerque, NM, shared a similar personal resolution for the New Year, which is, “to practice living everyday with as much gratitude and grace as possible,” she says. To this end, Jolene will, “take deep breaths, and spend more time doing yoga and running.”


It was Beth Hamilton from Sola Salons in Fayetteville, AK, who reminded Kim of the freedom Sola boutique salon owners enjoy. Before coming to Sola, Beth owned a salon for seventeen years. “This New Year,” she says, “I want to enjoy the fun of doing hair again without all of the background headaches! I can’t wait to ride my horses as much as possible.” Indeed, the best part about owning your own boutique salon is that you can enjoy a new simplicity to life. Spend more time your family and do what you love—both of these will inspire you in your business in so many ways.



Resolution #3: Discover Your Inner Entrepreneur
Throughout her ten years at Sola, Kim  has come to realize that every time a client is in her chair, it’s a gift. Noelle Owings of Sola Salons in Richmond, VA, concurs, explaining “I want to turn myself into a successful brand and make my salon stand out. I want to create a memorable experience for my clients—one they will want to return for again and again!”


Celestina Pena, a Sola Salon owner in San Marcos, CA, shares that, “As an artist I am excited to be learning more and expanding my skills to include makeup.” She’ll be launching a new makeup line in her studio in 2015—a fact that has inspired Kim to look at her own product recommendation as a whole package. Why stop coaching them at just hair when you can give your clients a complete look that includes skincare and makeup as well? At Sola Salon Studios, the sky is the limit when it comes to branding and developing your own culture. And you never know, in ten years, that line of makeup could be what everyone is wearing.



Resolution #4: Find the Right Techni-Culture for Your Salon
There are so many ways that technology can support you in the beauty industry, from social media to salon software. You might be all set when it comes to online scheduling, but how’s your Instagram game? Or maybe you’re all over it when it comes to social media, but it’s been a while since you’ve taken a close look at your numbers. 


To that end, Kim has started following fellow professionals on Instagram to see how it ignites their business. Ashley Siebert of Sola Salons in Overland Park, KS, plans to focus attention on her Instagram page— displaying her best work in hopes it reaches future customers.


Krista Olson of Sola Salons in St. Paul, MN, says, “My New Year’s resolutions for Kloe Salon are to consistently pre-book 70 percent of my clientele, grow my new client base by 25 percent and add lash extensions to my services list.” Here, Krista is setting concrete, attainable goals. Tracking those numbers is going to be the best way to see increases in 2015!



Resolution #5: Pay It Forward With Education 
“I believe there is an educator in every beauty professional because we all share a servant’s heart,” shares Kim. “Sola Salon Studios is a great environment for educators, because the inherent flexibility allows stylists to explore other passions within their schedule.”


Becca Key from Sola Salons in Springfield, MO, has a goal to become an educator with Paul Mitchell. “Every class I have ever taken with [Paul Mitchell] has been so educational and inspiring. They’ve taught me how to harness my artistic ability into a system that can be re-created and perfected for flawless results,” says Becca. Of note, Kim has been an educator for Paul Mitchell for over 20 years, so she understands the concept of “paying it forward.” As John Paul DeJoria, Paul Mitchell co-founder, would say, “Success unshared is failure.”


Ereka Fielding of Sola Salons in Augusta, GA, shares, “My New Year’s resolution is simply to follow my heart and branch out into education. I want to start an educational symposium to educate up-and-coming stylists on work-related skills, techniques and business tactics.” And when it comes down to it, you can give someone money or donate your time, but to truly give someone knowledge and the tools to be more successful—that’s an unparalleled gift.


Growth is important, no matter what stage you’re at in your career. But growth can only come when you decide to take action. If your looking for that work/life balance, expand your education, share your knowledge with others in the industry or own your own space, Sola Salon Studios gives you the flexibility to incorporate all of this, and more.

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Kim Bennett