Looking back through 2016, three hairdressers in Naples, Florida, think they did a lot of things right, yet they were facing a tough situation: their salon was closing. Kim Fernandez, Monica Miro and Sarah Siemon had worked so well as a team that their salon owner’s decision to close the business was hitting them hard.
As working moms who all prioritized health and wellness, the three encouraged one another to eat well and checked each other’s body position as they worked on hair. They supported each other emotionally, which created a culture that Fernandez, in particular, valued.
“We help each other with clients if someone’s sick, and we never feel threatened,” Fernandez says. “We’re accountability partners for one another so we all stay healthy.”
The trio moved on together, each opening her own business at Sola Salon Suites.
“The transition is great for us and has been seamless for the clients,” Fernandez says. “This easily could have broken us apart, but we’re in a unique situation to make it happen because of our healthy focus.”
This year had a similar healthy culture focus for Stacey Hamblett, a long-time salon owner who launched her current salon, The Urban Salon Team Beauty Bar in Burlington, Vermont, in October. A certified lifestyle and health coach, Hamblett has equipped her salon with blowdryers that hang from the ceiling and says she goes around gently poking new stylists in the back to remind them about posture. With the nonprofit yoga studio across the street, she arranged for her entire staff to have unlimited access for only $100/month, which she pays. Hamblett installed a shower at the salon so that team members can walk, run or bike during slow times.
“I have seen the negative effects on the physical and emotional body by taxing it over years,” Hamblett says. “So I make sure my staff has lunch and break times. I get my team thinking about more than what’s going on in their business life. Every quarter, they rate areas such as living situation, finances, relationship, exercise, home cooking and spirituality, to name a few. We discuss how one affects the other. Our culture is so happy; we promote happiness so that we all feel beautiful every day.”
Celebration is key to promoting positivity, Hamblett says.
“We huddle every morning to discuss the day ahead—our goals, challenges and areas of concern,” she says. “But in our huddles, we also point out something great that a team member did the previous day. That gives them the energy and drive to succeed because they believe they’re worth it.”
Hamblett says that communication is essential; without it, people fill in the blanks inaccurately. Three mantras are posted in the salon:
- Seek to understand—hear the other person, not yourself.
- Keep the end result in mind.
- Ninety percent of problems are caused by role confusion—not knowing what someone expects.
For Jenna Wade, 2016 was the year to get fit. Working full-time, going to school and parenting an eight-year-old left her little time for the gym. The key holder (similar to assistant manager) at Sport Clips in Oregon City, Oregon,
Wade felt she’d be most motivated if she and her stylists could do a fitness program together. When she brought up the idea at a staff meeting, six of them agreed to join her in a program that offers instructions and portion-control containers to guide both work-outs and diet. Wade lost more than 20 pounds, and the team grew even closer.
“We constantly encourage each other,” Wade says. “Whether it’s flowers to brighten someone’s day or a note saying ‘thank you,’ we go out of our way to show gratitude to each other. That is how we keep our mind and spirits healthy. We have thrived mentally as well as physically.”
Taking time to appreciate your own worth benefits you in multiple ways, according to Vasiliki A. Stavrakis, senior director educational research for Pivot Point International, this month’s Healthy Hairdresser sponsoring.
“I remind students that they should celebrate who they are and believe in themselves,” Stavrakis says. “A positive attitude will help you professionally, and it will help you maintain or gain good health.”
Education is a driver of positivity, says Stavrakis, who advises stylists to take advantage of industry seminars, videos and online education.
“By adopting a desire to learn, we can get out of our own way and release our innate potential,” she says.
In her own work, Stavrakis is celebrating her decision to stop multitasking.
“I now take the time to stay focused on a project and to listen when I am having a conversation,” she says.
She brings this same attitude to clients. “I’ve learned that the overall guest experience is what counts, and showing my clients respect for their time is one of most important things I can do,” Stavrakis says, adding that strategies for demonstrating respect in the salon is a major emphasis in new Pivot Point Fundamentals, a just-released educational program.
As she instructs students to do, Stavrakis stays positive.
“Self-doubt will make you second-guess yourself and potentially stop you from succeeding,” she says. “Your soft skills will help you make your mark in our industry. In most cases, if you are authentic, you will gain the respect of your peers.”
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