After working in many salons as an employee, manager, wedding coordinator and as a self-employed stylist, Gioia Gomez, currently based at Akasu Hair Studio & Spa, in Portland, Oregon, found the perfect balance. “There are many different ways to be a productive, proﬁtable hairdresser. No one way is the right way for everyone,” she says. “I’ve found being a solo artist is a perfect fit for me.”
MS: Why did you decide to try an independent work style?
GG: I reached a tipping point where I had maxed out. Other than continuing to push myself to achieve or exceed my numbers, there weren’t any growth opportunities. Therefore, I challenged myself to become a solo artist. I had been educating for Framesi North America for 13 years outside of the salon and providing color training for the new assistants.
MS: When did you make the change and what is your typical schedule?
GG: In early 2016, I made the leap to become fully independent. Now I work three days a week, sharing space with another stylist and two estheticians. I continue to educate for Framesi throughout the U.S. and Canada. There are also occasional photo shoots, runway shows, theater or beneﬁts, or other events locally.
MS: Why do you like being a solo artist?
GG: Freedom and ﬂexibility—I am the boss. I have control over my schedule. I decide when and where I’m working, what kind of job I’m doing, and I command the price point.
MS: Why did you choose to associate with Framesi?
GG: I fell in love with Framesi when I was 19. During a small hair show in Grants Pass, Oregon where I grew up. Two Framesi artists did all their prep work at my beauty school and I stalked them all day. I had never seen cream hair color before, color techniques as creative as theirs or the cutting techniques they were executing. When Framesi presented their segment, it astounded me.
MS: How does Framesi support you as a solo artist?
GG: Education. Product. Inspiration. Framesi is technically driven with cutting, styling, and color methods that give me the tools to produce anything my creativity can dream of. With exceptionally high-quality products that exceed professional performance expectations and the educational support I’ve received, I have total conﬁdence. Framesi provides education that’s custom-tailored to my needs.
MS: How do you market yourself?
GG: Referrals! My best marketing assistant is a client who is thrilled with his or her hair color and style, and wants to share it with the world! I also have a salon Facebook page and Instagram. However, I prefer to network in person. I talk about being a hairdresser all the time.
MS: What advice would you give to others who are thinking about going solo?
GG: Take accounting and business management classes. I can’t tell you how many artists are phenomenal in their craft but don’t know how to run a business. Do your research. Create an outline of a business plan and a budget, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Solo Artist at Akasu Hair Studio & Spa and Italian Style
Team Member, Framesi North America
INSTAGRAM HANDLE: @bella.gioia.styles
CUT AND STYLE: $65
AREA OF EXPERTISE: Color & Special Occasion Styling
FAVORITE PRODUCTS RIGHT NOW: I love FRAMCOLOR 2001 especially 6HR, and FRAMCOLOR Bold Orchid.
OTHER PRODUCTS I CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT: FRAMESI Color Lover Dynamic Blonde Shampoo, Morphosis Restructuring Mask, FRAMESI Color Lover Stop Frizz or Flash Dry.
ADVICE TO OTHER SOLO ARTISTS: Learn at least the basics of business management and accounting. Pay your taxes quarterly. Always push yourself to do more!
BEST THING ABOUT BEING A SOLO ARTIST: I get to be my own artist.