Hey Modern readers!! I'm at Premiere Orlando and boy, oh boy... this show is going to be AWESOME!!
I began the today with a red eye flight out to Orlando. It is HOT here! My hair instantly frizzed up into a Q-tip... thank God for flatirons! On the way here, I got my foot slammed in the door of the airplane... yes, SLAMMED in the door (if you see me on the showfloor with a limp, you'll know why, lol!), there's already been a Tabatha sighting (LOVE her!) and I am SO excited to be here! LOVE show season!
My first stop of the day was a Redken press lunch, where they announced some HUGE news! Redken just launched a social media site called The Break Room, which is an online community for salon professionals that marries the concepts of Facebook, Match.com and Linked In all in one--and JUST for professionals in the industry!
During the event, we were asked to raise our hands if we use a social media site to conect. ALL, not some, BUT ALL, of us raised our hands. Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, Yelp--they all are so beneficial to connecting with our peers and networking with each other. It only makes sense that their be a community for Redken stylists and salon owners to connect with each other and foster relationships to share business tips, challenges and successes. Corrie Turner, our fabulous host and moderator for the day, said to us: This hub will allow the professional community to connect with their peers, learn from the experts and interact with what others are doing--what works and what doesn't.
The event kicked off with a panel of speakers all involved in making The Break Room so specialized for pros. Michael Cole, a Redken Business Partner and founder of the program STEP UP! The Fast Track to Wealth, gave us some insight into the ins and outs of his blog that will be hosted on the site. As the founder of the Step Up program (a sort of "therapeutic, financial bootcamp for hairdressers"), Michael hosts seminars for stylists to revamp the way they do business to see a "sudden and dramatic" jump in their take-home pay. Michael will be blogging about his experiences leading the Step Up program so that those who couldn't attend can get a taste, and so that those who did attend can share their take aways and A-HA moments with others! "The Step Up program really lets people bring their lives with them to the program--you don't just learn how to fill out a journal, you bring, for example, the past 4 weeks of appointments with you, you bring your checkbook with you, there isn't role playing involved, this is real life work to help amp up your business," Michael explained to us.
Next up was Carmody Homan and Leah Freeman, ‘Inspiring World of Redken’ Artists. Carmody and Leah are two of eight artists invited by Redken to create new trends and share inspiration and design techniques--and were instrumental in creating the technicals and step-by-steps found on The Break Room. Check out their personal profiles and see the other six artists!
Shae Kalyani, VP Marketing and Communications, also spoke about the importance of social media. How really, this is a two-way communication site that is about sharing and opening the dialogue between owners and stylists with common interests. Shae travels A LOT with her job and will also host a blog on the site called "Notes From the Road"--where she will discuss different businesses successes and failures and challenges. Users can learn about her thoughts and ideas on marketing Redken as a brand, and ask advice on how to run a salon business from a marketing standpoint.
Also on the panel was Jennifer Boutwell-Bustamante, Ultimate Salon Makeover winner and Regan’s salon owner. Jennifer and I sat next to each other during lunch and, believe me, she is a woman with a story! Jennifer never really embraced software prior to winning the competition, but now, she wouldn't have it any other way. Jennifer is right outside of New Orleans, so, she said, when the hurricane was coming and everyone evacuated, she had to close down her salon. Two weeks after the hurricane hit, she was set to reopen--but had NO WAY of getting a hold of her salon staffers. "I only had the email address of one of the girls--I couldn't get in touch with my staff because all of the cell towers were down," she said. "That was when I realized I needed to work the internet into my life and my business." Jennifer is currently in the process of her salon's makeover. "This isn't a makeover like, tear down the walls and paint, this is a full business overload," she said. She is getting new software, new credit card systems and front test coaching. Since February 1, her business has grown 18.3 %.... and her business isn't even completely made over yet. Check out Jennifer's blog on The Break Room for details on how her transformation is progressing.
After the panel, we were each huddled around an iPad to play around with The Break Room and check out all the features of the site. Users can search for other users and find each other based on location or similar interests, for example. There's even a job board section! OYou MUST check it out. Go to redkensalon.com to create your profile today!