International Women’s Day is March 8th, a global initiative celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. It’s also a day to raise awareness about discrimination and strive for a gender equal world.
The Sam Fam is extremely proud of the women on its team and wants to share some of their challenges and accomplishments as female salon owners.
Female Salon Owners
- Ashley Brown: Sam Villa Ambassador, owner of Cheveux Salon and Mizani artist @ash_hairbarbie
- Twylla Jane: Sam Villa Ambassador, owner of Lumos Nox Salon and Redken artist @twyllajane
- Kyleen Garcia: Sam Villa Ambassador, owner of Union Street Salon, Redken artist, and host of Detangled podcast @kyleen.garcia
- Anna Peters: Sam Villa ArTeam Member and owner of re:TREAT Color + Hair Design Studio @annas_hair_retreat
Q: What empowers you as a female business owner?
Brown: The ability to create a safe space where we uplift and celebrate everyone for their unique hair texture. In my early years as a stylist this was something I was constantly searching for and ultimately became the reason I opened my own space to cultivate this environment.
Garcia: It’s important, as females, that we seek empowerment on our own, and not sit and wait around for someone to empower us. I’m empowered by strong self-confidence, a willingness to learn, and surrounding myself with positive people. I strive to continually grow my self-awareness to recognize what knowledge and skill I lack and seek education and resources to help strengthen those weaknesses. As female business owners, when WE are empowered, our businesses and our employees reap the benefits.
Jane: I feel empowered by helping other humans grow successful businesses behind their chair, to explore and grow in their artistry and craft. I also feel empowered by creating a safe space for clients to visit and feel free to be themselves and really let their hair down.
Peters: I feel as a female, and some of us as mothers, we naturally have the ability to place our energy and focus on multiple people, projects or tasks all of high importance, all at once. I was able to build a business while growing a baby inside me at the same time, anything felt possible after that!
Q: Share a business obstacle (unique to women) you have faced and how you overcame it.
Brown: My first landlord as a business owner was disrespectful and ultimately tried to charge me astronomical fees for things I wasn't responsible for. It was clear that he had an issue with me being a woman because the interactions my father had with him were very different. I overcame it by researching state law and even consulting with a lawyer regarding my lease, to build my case. I had a sit down with him and blew him out of the water with the amount of information I had and a firm message that I wouldn't be pushed around. As a result, I no longer had to pay the astronomical fees.
Jane: Ohmigosh, talking to builders was exhausting…they constantly talked over my head to each other about my project, asking questions I should be answering but not asking me. I also had plenty of times where my husband would come with me for different things (he didn’t own any of the business but came for support) and he would be addressed instead of me. I think the funniest thing though is when salespeople stop by or call to speak to the owner of the business and refer to the owner as ‘he/him” my staff will roll their eyes and be like “SHE is not available right now.”
Peters: To be honest, we face obstacles every month physically and emotionally. Our bodies are constantly changing, and it can make somethings much more challenging at times. I think it’s important to remember that we are not robots and to place importance on selfcare for ourselves and our team as leaders in our business. It’s ok to slow down or take a needed break. Taking the time you need for yourself to work through obstacles is the best step in overcoming them.
Q: What are the advantages of being a female salon owner?
Brown: As a minority female business owner, one huge advantage is the type of loan I was able to secure when remodeling my first AND my second salon location.
Jane: I think being a female salon owner as well as hairstylist offers a unique opportunity to understand what the majority of stylists go through and feel. I think it offers us some superpowers only available through the female experience when it comes to coaching and understanding our staff and clientele—specifically different qualities of empathy and patience.
Peters: I can relate to what our clientele desires, and I have been in the shoes of my stylists so I can help guide them by example to have a healthy work/life balance.
Q: What advice can you share to empower other females to become salon owners?
Brown: When you start something new, have the right intentions and be grounded in who you are, it’s a huge steppingstone for success. Good Intentions will allow you to learn and grow from your mistakes and build a team around you who trust and believe in you. It's easy for our day-to-day attention to go towards challenges that come up in life, but keeping your focus on your Intentions with your career and your business will keep you moving forward in the right direction.
Jane: In a female dominated industry we need more powerful female voices to help encourage and grow our industry. Women can do so many things at one time, just like our counterparts can. I’m always pumped to see women who run great businesses being stylists, mothers, educators, social media gurus, students, award winners, salon owners, mentors, and/or so much more. We’re a part of one of the coolest industries in the world!
Peters: Don’t doubt your worth — double it, trust your gut, know your numbers, and take the risk!
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