The buzz is real. Waves of passionate, talented beauty professionals are accepting the invitation to grow with the Salon at Ulta Beauty.
While many stylists, skin therapists and arch experts are new to the Salon at Ulta Beauty, others are recharging (or even returning to) their Ulta careers. So, what’s driving the hiring spike and new levels of salon success?
According to VP of Services and Trend Nick Stenson, Ulta is the fastest growing salon company in the industry, and its latest game-changer is a comprehensive new program to enhance salon services and to support service providers. The initiative is so big Ulta even added hundreds of new field associates in education and operations to bring the program to life and help maintain it throughout all 1,196 locations.
Here's part 1 of insideLOOK, featuring Nick Stenson and Chief Artistic Director Ammon Carver, with details on the education, team structure, benefits and innovation accelerating careers. Watch for insideLOOK parts 2 and 3!
INSIDE LOOK: How would you categorize the Salon at Ulta Beauty? Where does it fit among options a salon pro should consider?
Nick Stenson: The way I look at the professional beauty industry is that there are independent salons, rental situations, traditional chain salons and then there is Ulta Beauty. We offer the best of all worlds in one unique environment. We prioritize and foster a sense of family and true camaraderie at our individual locations and throughout our community, but also offer the benefits and systems that only come with the size and scope of a large chain. We encourage and support the entrepreneurial spirit and flexibility to be your own artist, but without the liabilities or hassles of business ownership or rental. And we do it all in a way that is fun, fresh and real.
INSIDE LOOK: Why should beauty professionals consider a career at Ulta? Why did you?
Ammon Carver: I joined Ulta Beauty as a Pro Team member in 2017 and as chief artistic director in 2018 because I could see the commitment Ulta had made to salon professionals by placing Nick, a hairdresser, at the helm. When Nick first created the Ulta Beauty Pro Team, it was about breaking barriers between manufacturers, and artists supporting artists, not competing between brands. I felt reconnected to my passion, and realized that could be magnified to a massive scale. With hairdresser values and Ulta infrastructure, we can redefine the way the world looks at beauty.
INSIDE LOOK: Who is the ideal candidate to join the Salon at Ulta Beauty?
Nick Carver: The ideal profile to join our team is, simply, “be passionate.” Whether you’re brand new to the biz or have 30+ years experience, all we ask is that you bring a passion for having a successful career in beauty and for creating wow experiences.
INSIDE LOOK: The Salon at Ulta Beauty has upped its industry profile in recent years—has it made a difference?
Ammon Carver: Absolutely! When our Pro Team or Design Team is out in the field or at a major event like ABS, Premiere or NAHA, salon professionals know who we are and expect us to be there. It’s a point of pride, a measure of our success in connecting with the entire beauty industry and helping it feel more inclusive. We are building our presence and our team’s opportunities at the same time.
Nick Stenson: We feel the increase in awareness, and industry research confirms it. Plus, our hiring numbers are through the roof, and retention of stylists, skin therapists and arch experts is up year over year. We intend to keep moving that needle in the same direction. At Ulta, the possibilities are beautiful.
- 10 Reasons to Make a Smart Salon Career Move
- Putting the Salon Professional First
- Career Path: Services District Educator DJ Swaney
- Career Path: Skin Therapist Bailey Richardson
- Career Path: Senior Manager of Education Sarah Dahl
- Salon Education that Unites the Beauty Industry