New start to a new year

New Years... a time of reflection on the previous year, resolutions for the upcoming year, and a plan to change the current status quo for a chance at something greater. 2015 was a year of growth for me and my business as I graduated cosmetology school, got my licensing, and started working on hair full time from my home salon. While I had all the tools I needed to get the job done, I had no sense of style for the space. It was a mish-mash of colors, patterns, and furniture that was functional but not the most appealing.

Two weeks ago, I had my good friend Maria re-do the color in my ombre from teal to shades of violet, and I got to experience the beauty that is her home salon. She and I met at Paul Mitchell, where she had gone back to school at the age of 52 so that she could have a career that gave her the flexibility to work from home and care for her son who was wheelchair-bound after a spinal cord injury at 18. She is my inspiration in so many ways, and seeing her beautiful space finally spurred me into gear to settle on a color palette, general theme, and a cohesive look for my space.

My goal is to offer a luxury feel in a private salon setting where my guests can feel pampered with personalized service. During schooling, I started to build a small clientele of regular guests based on friends and family referrals, so I've come to know them and their lives as well as their preferences in beauty. Once I graduated, I slowly added more guests based on referrals and only in October did I start any type of advertising. Now with the new year in just two days, it's high time I pulled all these pieces of the business I've been collecting and arranged them into a solid business plan, and that includes branding.

I still have a few pieces yet to add- waiting on the warmer spring weather to finish up on the exterior aspects, etsy and ebay purchases en route, and small details to add to the walls- but it's coming together beautifully. I have a retail area that offers enough space to display the hair products my guests have come to love and depend on, a dedicated dryer chair area, more space at the station for guests to read a magazine and set down a drink (rather than relying on folding trays as I had been), and my favorite part- a dedicated drink cart with varieties of coffees, teas, and flavored cocoa where they can get their caffeine fix during their appointment. There's also a television with access to Amazon Video and Netflix for those who want to chill out with their favorite show while their color processes.

As far as product lines go, I've also streamlined and will be offering a smaller selection of curated brands and products I've been testing over the last year. For hair, I will be using the TIGI brand for color as I've experienced the best conditioning benefits, softness and shine, as well as least color fade. As such, the TIGI brand of shampoos and conditioners will be offered for purchase in addition to the Biolage cleansing conditioners for my fashion color guests to maintain their vivid temporary colors. Styling products as well as a few select shampoos and conditioners will be the salon-only line Aquage. I'm clearancing out my Paul Mitchell products to keep the space less cluttered and easier to shop. Men's lines are Woody's for a laid back no-fuss offering at very affordable prices and the American Crew line for guys who need more styling options.

For skincare, I'll still be offering the anti-aging benefits of HydroPeptide, but my main line will be SkinScript. I've become certified with their products and am one of only four people in the entire state of Virginia to offer it. My Facial-Of-The-Month Club has become a huge hit, and the seasonal offerings are both beneficial and relaxing. Plus, my guests love the deluxe skincare samples that come with their facial. I've seen a huge improvement in my own skin after switching to their products exclusively.

I'm looking forward to 2016 and continuing to grow my client base. I can't wait to show you the completed look once all my orders are in, but for now you can check out what I've done so far. It's going to be an amazing year, and I can't wait to share it with all of you!

Still waiting on a bit of decor surrounding it, but I've turned one of my waiting chairs into a dedicated dryer chair where guests can relax while their deep conditioning treatments process.


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