Articles > WWYD- What Would You Do? > What Would You Do: Rent A Chair Or Rent A Suite?
Last updated: January 15, 2020

What Would You Do: Rent A Chair Or Rent A Suite?

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Independent contractors, listen up! Is the suite life right for you? Or do you love the hustle and bustle of a salon? One member of the #btcfam is trying to decide whether to stay in a chair rental salon or rent a space of her own. Ready to hear the pros and cons of both situations? Keep reading!


Got a question? DM us at @behindthechair_com!


“I am looking for advice! I am an independent contractor renting from a chair rental salon. I have always been curious about having my own room/suite/loft and would like to know what people like and dislike about both scenarios.”



Suite Rental Pros: Privacy and Flexibility Are Clutch

“I went from renting a chair in a small salon to a bigger salon, and now I rent a room. It was exactly what I needed to do for my business. Clients love the privacy too. I am so much happier and feel like I have so much more freedom. I don’t think I could ever go back to being in a room with multiple stylists.” – @bentley_lizabeth


“I’ve had a suite at Sola Salons for the last couple years. I love the freedom that comes with having a suite. There aren’t any restrictions on when I can work, what products I use/sell, or what I wear. I have a private space where clients can relax and not feel like people are staring at them, or listening in on our conversations. I can customize each clients’ experience by letting them choose the music they want to listen to as well.” – @hairbymakaylao


“I started suite renting straight out of cosmetology school. I knew that it would be a huge investment in the beginning, and that building clientele this way would be extremely difficult, but I felt that I’d never let myself live it down if I didn’t take the opportunity, since there weren’t other suite rental salons in my town at the time. I’ve loved every second of it. Overhead and rent can be really expensive, you do your own advertising, and it can get a little lonely. But overall, it has forced me to be a better stylist. If you’re good at time and money management, then I’d say go for it!” – @hairbykaylaanderson


“Great question! I rent a room and loooove it! However, I went from commission to room rent and didn’t rent a chair, so I can’t compare the two. What I can say is as a room renter, you will not feel like you have a salon family per se, so keep that in mind. But for me, as a mom of two littles, it is ideal to have my space and come and go whenever! Plus, it’s fun to make it your own through decor of your choosing.” – @katie.auth



Suite Rental Cons: It Can Be Expensive And A Little Lonely

“I believe rent for a suite is a little more expensive and you have to supply everything for yourself… like towels, drapes, shampoo conditioner, and all the other small things that salons usually supply. But then the upside is you are 100% your own boss and you can make up all your rules and work whatever times you want rather than having to work with the salon times. If I was at that place in my career, I would personally stay as a renter because you are always working around more talented stylists and you’ll have more opportunities to learn new things and have people to ask for advice and help if you ever need any!” – @annbeautee


“I don’t like the loneliness of a suite. Being in a busy salon where you and your client can see and hear everything going on creates buzz. I also don’t have to talk 100 percent of the time 😉” – @cinbad1553


“I rented a suite for 5 years and now I’m in a salon, with the owner and I sharing a separate, 1000 square foot room. I loved my suite, but it takes a toll. There’s nowhere to escape. I found myself completely mentally exhausted from talking 100 percent of the time. Now I can run around, text clients, or simply walk to the back to take a mental break without feeling guilty. It’s more relaxed, I feel.” – @amberbuxtonhair


“I have never rented a suite because I’ve been lucky enough to have such a great salon family for 10 years. If you plan on taking extended time off (like pregnancy leave) or for example, I will be getting knee surgery so I won’t be able to work for 4 weeks, my girls at the shop are there to take my clientele while I’m out and keep them happy once I’m back 💗💗” – @hair_byrebakah


“I am a rental salon owner and stylist. I can see the appeal and benefits with the salon suite…but when I first started looking to rent, I didn’t like the suites because I knew I would miss the salon atmosphere. I also wanted to continue learning and being inspired by fellow stylists. That being said, not all salons are created equal…the energy of a salon is everything.” – @elevated_ni.cola129



Tips From A Suite Renter

@marian_scissors has experienced both situations over the past 12 years and is going on 2 years in a suite. She breaks it down:

1. Think of it as a mini storefront, so it is more expensive because you are supplying everything, but you’re free to run it how you’d like!


2. I don’t recommend it for people who aren’t booked at least a full three days a week (or sharing it with someone) because the cost can run between $800-$1,600 depending on demographic, location and size. The average in our area (Phoenix) is usually $300/week for 144 square feet.


3. Privacy is amazing, no rules or drama—but honestly, personality/personal preference plays a big role in the decision. I don’t like coworkers butting into my time with clients, or hearing gossip around me, but I have a suite neighbor who misses watching others in salons because she felt more inspired that way.


4. I love that I can shut the door, and my shutters, when I have my wig or scarf-wearing clients, or a mother who brings in a couple of her energetic kids. They feel more at ease.


5. It’s hard to find someone to sublease as well (again depending on sizing).


6. I take [towels and laundry] home to wash and dry. I have enough towels to only wash twice a week. The suites have laundry, but it costs a total of $3 each time, which can go towards Starbucks instead 😝


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