Tammy Muniz fell in love with the beauty industry when she was seven-years-old. She would regularly line her dolls up as a child to give them layers and fun new hair styles. By high school, she was cutting her friends’ hair and styling them for prom. But it wasn’t until she was 32 that she decided to follow her passions professionally.
“I have three children, so when my youngest son went into kindergarten, I went back to school too,” she laughed. It was the ideal schedule, allowing her to develop her technical skills and career with still enough time to be involved in everything her family needed her for. In essence, she’d found the start to the perfect career for life as a working mother. And in more recent years, joining the Sola Salon Studios family has given her even more control over her career – from scheduling clients to setting prices, Tammy loves having the freedom she’d always imagined.
Tammy’s career as a hairdresser has had a profound impact on her children, especially her daughter Lauren, who was inspired by watching her mother successfully juggle school, family and a satisfying career.
“I think seeing my mom achieve her goals inspired me to want to do it myself,” Lauren explains. “When I was growing up, she would bring people into the house to get their hair done, and I would see her go off to school, watch her do hair in the kitchen, and by watching, I ended up learning myself.”
It wasn’t long until Lauren was following in her mother’s footsteps, and had developed a reputation for creating in-demand cuts and styles for her peers in high school. The positive reactions she got from those she styled, or those who watched her, encouraged her to consider pursuing a career as a stylist herself. “Seeing my mother do it and being able to learn the ropes from her, I was like ‘Ok, my turn!’. I was ready right out of high school to start cosmetology school. It’s always been something I’ve loved. Right out of high school I knew what I wanted to do, hairdressing was a calling for me."
When her formal schooling was completed, it was a natural fit for Lauren to apprentice under her mom. “Who better to teach everything you know to than your children,” Tammy says, “and then watch them grow, and possibly even surpass your skills as they take flight. You may not necessarily share all of your knowledge with other people, or they may not receive it as well, but it’s good to be able to give Lauren tips about the little things here and there, and she takes it and gets better and stronger every day.”
When the Sola Salon Studios concept arrived in Chattanooga, it seemed like a great fit for the mother/daughter duo to expand their business. “I wanted my own salon, but I didn’t want to deal with all the hassles.” Tammy explains. “The Sola studio concept actually got rid of all the concerns about owning our own business. When I came in here I just fell in love and felt like I was coming alive again. As a stylist, I got a little complacent working in the same salon for 11 years. While I was thankful and grateful for my clients, it was refreshing to feel that new energy again. For the space to be mine and Lauren’s, to be able to be together and to be a team, and to have everything the way we wanted it, was priceless.” It wasn’t long before Rouge 22 was open for business.
With a little understanding and mutual respect, the two have developed an ideal working relationship. “I think our personalities complement each other. We work well together, and we don’t seem to take things personally. She’s very teachable and very willing to learn new things. Even if we’ve argued over a bowl of cereal that morning, we come to work and it’s all professional. And I think our clients love the fact that we are a family, and they get to be a part of something more than just coming to a salon.”
Though the mother/daughter working relationship may not be ideal for everyone, Tammy and Lauren have garnered a lot of success with this strategy, and look forward to what the future holds for their business. Whether or not you decide to go into business with a family member, there are certainly plenty of working parents who are trying to navigate the landscape of developing their own business while staying involved with their families. Tammy offers a few pointers for the busy working parent who’s trying to successfully juggle it all.
5 Tips for Working Parents
“Work smarter, not harder” – Tammy states that on days that she works, she likes to work “hard and fast”, and to do that, she begins with her schedule. Scheduling clients together so they’re one right after the other – as opposed to spreading them out throughout the day - helps her to achieve this, and to make the most out of the days that she’s working. This takes considerable forethought and planning when the appointment requests come in, but it allows her to work with a schedule she’s comfortable with while still servicing her many clients. This allowed her the luxury of being home with her children in the afternoons or evenings when she needed to be, instead trying to juggle 10 or 12 hour days at work.
“Don’t start working any more days than you want to end up working.” – Especially when you’re a new stylist and just starting out, it can be tempting to take clients on any days that they request. But quickly you could find you’re losing that prime work/life balance that most strive for. Instead, Tammy recommends starting with a smaller number of days, and packing as many clients into those days as possible to make them effective. You can always add more days later on if you need to, but reducing the number of days that you offer can become difficult once clients become used to your availability. And this guarantees that you can spend full days off with your children, and enjoy that precious time. Renting a Sola Salon studio gives you the ultimate flexibility in your schedule, since you are literally your own boss and get to manage your business however you need to in order to accommodate your lifestyle.
“Put your family first, and the business will follow.” – While everyone’s priorities differ, Tammy knows from firsthand experience how important it is to keep your life in an alignment that makes sense to you. She keeps her focus on the bigger picture, which always puts family before business. If you’re a working parent, that can be especially important. As a stylist, you have a lot of flexibility in your schedule, and you can use that to carve out the life you’ve always imagined for yourself – whether that means more time with family, or more money coming into your bank account. It might be tempting to take that $400 client instead of going to your child’s school play, but which will you regret more in five years?
“Never stop learning.” – Continuing your education, both as a stylist and as a business owner, is extremely important for success. Trends, ideas and styles evolve at a rapid pace, and learning about the latest techniques and color trends will help you stay ahead in your career. The Sola Pro app gives you all the education you need right at the touch of a finger by alerting you to classes in your area, as well as giving you access to instructional videos and keeping you apprised on the changing landscape of the beauty industry. By taking advantage of digital education, you can squeeze in some learnings after all the kids are in bed! And for a live experience, the exclusive Sola Sessions are filled with real-life applicable expertise on business, marketing and creative trends, and provide a great networking environment for busy Sola stylists to share ideas, tips and tricks they’ve discovered in the industry.
“Do things that scare you.” – Yes, it can be scary to set out on uncharted territory, but the bigger the risk is, the bigger the reward can be. Tammy had received the marketing materials from Sola Salon Studios when the concept first came to Chattanooga, but she thought the concept would be too expensive for her, so she decided to stay where she was. It wasn’t until a friend of hers sold her own salon to move into a Sola studio that Tammy decided to take the plunge. “It scared me to death to make the move to Sola,” Tammy remembers of her initial decision nearly three years ago, “but that was a decision that has flourished, and our business has skyrocketed ever since.” After all, when you’re a working mom, what could be better than being your own boss?
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