TEAM SPIRIT: jcp Salons
With over 900 salons in their network, jcp salons staff up with 13,000 stylists (associates) to meet demand. Charged with setting hairdressing standards of excellence and seeing that they are maintained among these thousands is Nick Stenson, the Senior Creative Director of jcp salons. Stenson, a beauty industry veteran, directs two tiers of educators: a Design Team, consisting of four Artistic Regional Leaders; and 55 full-time educators, strategically placed throughout the country, called Artistic Lead Designers.
“Over the years, I have built a close network of artists so I have cherry-picked this Design Team,” says Stenson. “Our company is divided into four regions and each of the Design Team members is responsible for a region. And then, under that region, they will have about 10 to 15 educators who report directly to them.”
Stenson and the Design Team create two hair cut collections per year which are collected in books that are used during consultations, as well as a step-by-step book for the stylists. Then comes the training on the trends which is a key focus for jcp.
“There is a tremendous amount of education here at jcp,” says Stenson. “We conduct approximately 20,000 classes per year and we make sure there is hands-on training for our trend collections. Our stylists come to class with either a live model or we will supply them with a mannequin and they go through the trend live, from start to finish. They take away the book to follow as a guide and serve as inspiration. We also create video tutorials on some of the trends.
“What is unique about us is we pay our stylists to get trained. We think their time is valuable so if they are not in the salon we want them to still be making money.”
Anyone can apply to be a jcp educator. “We love to promote from within so if we have stylists that are successful, we look at them, but we are open to anyone in the industry that is strong in education. They go on our website to find openings in their area and then apply for them. Our recruiting team will alert the regional leaders who conduct an interview and live audition process. We really embrace a career path. There are opportunities for you to take leadership roles, to be part of the store organization or to be the best hairdresser you can be.”
What does Stenson look for in a team member? “They must have an education background and three to five years of experience. We want them to be passion driven and we want them to grow with us. They also must have an open-book mentality; I want them willing to learn and to absorb information.”
Connecting with 13, 000 associates requires a strong engagement strategy. Recently, jcp launched a bimonthly magazine, Expert Edge. “We celebrate the hairdresser, give them a platform and showcase trends. It goes to all our stylists.
“In the off month, we have LIVE WITH NICK STENSON, a live stream show. We share new product launches, how-tos and anything we that can help make them more successful. They can win prizes or a chance to come on the show. We’re also looking at a consumer-facing Expert Edge magazine and a consumer facing talk show and we’ll pilot it at holiday. It will help us brings awareness to our salons and to all our great products.
“In November we’re shooting our spring summer collection in Miami and we shoot over a 100 different looks. We’re really evolved our trend images and are expanding on that in 2015. We want to have something for everyone, and for people to feel that they can get whatever service they want inside jcp salons.”