Educator, author and Cosmetologists Chicago board member Kathy Jager got real with aspiring solo artists on what it takes to be fulfilled and financially successful as an independent business owner. Her class on Monday, April 24th at the John Amico Beauty Product Showroom and Educational Resource Center in Oak Forest, Illinois covered the range of advantages and opportunities available to solo artists, but also took a realistic look at some of the disadvantages and struggles some independent stylists feel.
As a solo artist herself for many years, Jager is a proponent of this business option for stylists that are considering a change from working in a salon. She described the advantages that can be enjoyed, such as having creative freedom when it comes to retail, marketing, price structure and services offered. Plus, going independent gives stylists the opportunity to diversify their careers and get involved in the business end of beauty. On the flip side, being a solo artist means wearing many hats—you’ll be the service provider, bookkeeper, receptionist, marketer, shampooer, sweeper and more, Jager says. For many beautiful professionals, taking charge of every aspect of their business is just what they want. Others that try the solo artist path end up returning to the salon because it was harder than they expected or they were not able to make their businesses a success. The key is being prepared and rising to the challenges.
Jager’s class was an ideal opportunity for cosmetology students and aspiring solo artists to consider whether an independent career is right for them, and if so, how to prepare for that path. Jager recommends that stylists begin their careers in a salon so that they have an opportunity to solidify their technical skills and build a clientele. She also emphasized the necessity of mastering soft skills and professionalism before starting an independent business. Just because solo artists get to act as their own boss does not mean that they can allow themselves to get sloppy in presentation or interaction with their clients. To avoid a feeling of disconnect as an independent stylist, Jager recommends joining an organization like Cosmetologists Chicago for the opportunity to draw on support from other beauty pros and to attend continuing education classes to keep on new trends and techniques.
In short, building an independent, “mini salon business” is right for some, but not for others. Jager’s class was a great place for stylists to examine whether it is the right next step for them. For those ready to make the leap, Jager’s class offered a wealth of information on how to dive into the world of beauty business, marketing and branding.
For more information on Kathy Jager and the education she offers, visit kathyjager.com.