The Independents: Are They Changing the Way We Do Business?

by Anne Moratto | May 7, 2015

Greg Yedding calls his 7,693 square foot space the incubator because he factors the inevitable departure of salon professionals into his business formula. He offers Industry Hair Studio, a lease chair salon in Tucson, Arizona, for professionals to grow a business and accepts their inevitable need for a change of pace. “It’s human nature to change it up and this could well be someplace else, I even print out client lists for departing stylists,” adds Gregg, who has been licensed for thirty-six plus years.

This perspective on employment works for fifteen stylists, two barbers, four nail techs, and one esthetician serving an upscale clientele six days a week. Also available is a massage room, a space for tattoo artists, makeup services  “and whatever new personal service becomes trendy in the future,” adds Greg. Local artists, who created the beautiful ironwork used throughout the salon, display their latest work for purchase—the salon takes no commission.

Gary Ventress, salon coordinator and head stylist, personifies the plight of today’s young independent stylist. After graduating from beauty school, Gary worked at a California chain salon and built up his speed and techniques, then transitioned to a lease salon. Making a steady income was challenging at first, so he would offer free hair in exchange for passing out his cards. “I call this walking billboards. You want to give away hair to women who work in key retail stores like the Gap, H&M, and Guess,” he explains. He rebooks every client, recommends going to work five days a week, even with no appointments. “If you are seriously building you must work late every night of the week. This is when the busy clients run in for a quick style.”

I asked Gary the reason professionals move from the security of a paycheck to leasing. “Freedom. Today’s independent doesn’t rate income as the top reason for leasing; the main reason is creative freedom, a lack of high production quotas, and no confining salon policies. Obama care makes it easier for professionals to get insurance,” he added.

Industry Hair Studio has a unique architectural design with staff and client in mind--spacious and open; the kitchen area resembles a trendy, small restaurant. The men’s grooming area sports a pool table, with private cutting areas for shy guys. I used the ATM machine (great idea) and it dispensed fifty dollars in five-dollar bills. Might we be thinking tip?

I felt like I was given a sneak peek into the mind of the new, young salon professionals. To each his/her own--commission or lease, at the end of the day, it’s not really about how much you make, is it? It’s about how much you keep. You will be in the money once you learn to manage it. But, that’s another story...


Carlos Valenzuela is a consultant, speaker, stylist, bilingual trainer, and author of iFabulous Salon Success, an interactive online learning guide for new salon professionals.



TRENDING: The French Bob


TRENDING: The French Bob

by Anne Moratto

Leave it to the French to inspire a haircut so chic, it’s truly timeless. It’s a look that never goes away and when you see it, you know it. And lately, we’ve been seeing it everywhere.

Find out why over 400,000 subscribers love our newsletters

Putting the Salon Professional First

Putting the Salon Professional First

by Staff

A new salon education and salon benefits program makes it easy for salon stylists and estheticians to grow their business rapidly and in the direction they want to take it. They get the perceived benefits of booth rental or owning their own salon, but without the hassle or overhead. Benefits include ability to earn up to 70% commission right away, generous health insurance, paid vacation and sick time, and even paid education. Grow your salon career now with a salon company that puts you first!

How Small Add-Ons Add Up To Big Money For You

by Staff

Would you like fries and a drink with that? Burgers pay the bills, but it’s the add-ons that build the bottom line. That’s true for every service business, whether you’re offering Big Macs, hotel suites or hairstyles.


In our video section, watch salon professionals in action, listen to the advice of salon business experts, and tour inside the world’s top salons.

10 Reasons to Make a Smart Salon Career Move

10 Reasons to Make a Smart Salon Career Move

by Staff

Job benefits, career growth, flexibility, up to 70% commission and customized hands-on classes in hair color, blow dry, extensions, hair styling, texture, skin care, business building, consultation and more—explore all the reasons stylists and estheticians are switching to the Salon at Ulta Beauty.

Waxing, shaving, facials and beard grooming can all expand men’s services beyond the standard...

10 Tips For Elevating Your Men’s Business

by Staff

Many stylists have discovered men can be lucrative and loyal additions to their clientele. Want to build up the men’s business in your salon? Here are 10 tips from four men’s service and product pros.

Can You Specialize As A Solo Artist?

by Staff

You love balayage and braiding, but men’s haircutting? Not so much. Yet as a solo artist, you worry that limiting your services to just those you prefer doing could be a mistake. Are those worries founded or unfounded? Can you specialize as a solo artist? Many top solo artists believe you can.

Load More