For entrepreneurial hair professionals who want to experience the freedom and benefits of salon ownership, a salon suite is a great option. We spoke to Steve Wren (@mrwrencuts) of Steven Brandon Hair Studio in Bloomingdale, IL about his Sola Salon Sudio.
Barbering Inside a Studio
BARBERING TODAY: What made you decide to go independent? What do you like about it?
STEVE WREN: Soon after graduating from the Barber Academy of Schaumburg, I was building my clientele base in the barber shop for 5 years, but I wanted to create a working environment that was a reflection of my own developing brand. [Wren is also founder and CEO of FadeAway Barber & Beauty Expo.] Each client is greeted with a welcoming, professional atmosphere. I like that I am able to create the standards and policies for my business that best supports myself and my clients, and give them a unique, customized experience. Overall, I love the freedom and flexibility that it all allows.
BARBERING TODAY: What is your typical client experience like?
STEVE WREN: One of the great things about having my own suite is the vibe, safety and comfort that I customize for each guest. That was something that I didn’t have much control over in the traditional barbershop setting. My clients are of all nationalities, ages and walks of life. When each of them enters my business I can tailor the music, television programming, and video games to complement their mood and persona.
BARBERING TODAY: How do you market yourself being independent?
STEVE WREN: There are many different ways of marketing and networking that work well for me, but overall it’s about community and relationships. I stay relevant within my business community and I offer various incentives when my clients bring me new business. I am active with all the schools in my community—pre-K through college. I’m intentional about patronizing local businesses to show my support and to make my presence seen and services known. I always say, ‘It's important to do business, where you do business,’—right in your backyard. I also utilize social media and all of it's tools, to cast a wider net, to promote my brand and services.
BARBERING TODAY: Anything else to add?
STEVE WREN: One of the fears that I had when leaving the traditional barbershop was, if my clientele would like the change. I quickly realized that my fears were simply not true. My clients love the suite concept and often boast to others about the inviting atmosphere that I've created in my premium Sola Salon suite. Another great benefit of operating within a suite community is building trust and relationships with the other suite owners. We’re able to cross-promote each other’s services, creating a safe environment for all of our clients. It literally can become one place where the entire family can visit.
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