7 Benefits of Working in a Salon Studio

Lauren Salapatek | May 25, 2017 | 9:24 AM
Lee B. Trevino, Tonic & Tweed Studio – Jacksonville, FL
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Brandie Kekoa, Be Kekoa Salon - Temecula, CA
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Sade Williams, Sade Milinda Studio - Manhattan
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Derek Williams, Groom My Style – Crofton, MD
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Susan Scott, Wisp Salon – Alexandria, VA
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Sharon Hinkle, Blend Studio – Tacoma, WA
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Opening a salon is a dream for many. While there’s a plethora of expected pros when going into business for yourself – like controlling your atmosphere, choosing your own retail and back bar, creating a flexible schedule, and branding yourself and your business - there is also a wealth of unexpected benefits that Sola stylists have discovered for themselves. With so much opportunity and support, these stylists have moved their careers in a direction they could once only dream of. It’s evident that going solo was the right move for them…read on to decide if it’s the right move for you, too!


Lee B. Trevino
Tonic & Tweed Studio – Jacksonville, FL

Three years ago, I thought I was at the pinnacle of my cosmetology career, but the evolution of being an artist caused me to look outside the box. The only way to express my creativity and to be original was to take my schedule into my own hands. I took the leap of faith to open my studio, Tonic & Tweed, and partnered with Sola Salons. With the help of social media, my appointments and education calendar quickly filled up!

Eventually I was approached by Hattori Hanzo Shears to be one of the few national haircutting artists for their amazing company. I used my studio to not only take clients, but to do a haircutting forum on social media to educate almost 1,000 viewers. I love to give back to hairstylists through education, and have been allowed the freedom to practice in my studio.

Sola Salon Studios has been the blessing and channel to allow me to be everything that I want to be in this industry. I’m so thankful for being named one of the Faces of Sola for 2016, but also to be a Sola owner in the family of thousands.

Brandie Kekoa 
Be Kekoa Salon - Temecula, CA

Because I control a niche market in the form of my specialty curly cuts, over the years I've received lots of questions from other stylists who are not as comfortable working with curls. So I developed a curriculum to educate stylists in cutting, styling and caring for curly and textured hair types. I use my salon space to perform these paid training sessions, which ultimately results in receiving a “Be Kekoa” certification. Classes are held once each quarter, and to date I’ve trained stylists from California, Denver and Mississippi. This is another way to increase both revenue and name recognition for my craft, while also helping to expand the expertise of the attendees.


Sade Williams
Sade Milinda Studio - Manhattan

I’m a hairstylist who also likes the freedom to focus on my freelance work, which includes red carpet hair for celebrities and also styling for fashion shoots.  Because most of my clients are either celebrities, the busy Manhattan corporate woman, or travelers visiting from out of town, owning a salon at Sola has provided me with 24-hour access to service my guests at any time. Not to mention it is completely private, and my clients love the one-on-one experience. Coming from a high-end salon, I was able to design my space to make it cozy and luxurious. Everything is provided for you on site at each Sola location, the only thing I have to worry about is running my business and servicing my guests. 



Brandie Kekoa 
Be Kekoa Salon - Temecula, CA

I use my Sola Salon space to feature up and coming artists. When my clients walk into my suite, they are already in a creative frame of mind, so I build on that by exposing them to interesting arts and crafts. I hang indie art pieces on the walls, which the designer makes from old newspapers. My customers come in, see the pieces, inquire and the artist gets sales that way. I also allow at least 3 artists who produce hand-made jewelry to display in my salon. Creative displays of these pieces provide unique decoration for the salon at no charge, and also builds revenue for the artists and a small revenue for me.



Derek Williams
Groom My Style – Crofton, MD

I’ve always been into style. I even have my own custom shirt line, and when I was in LA I used to dress celebrities with it. I’ve always wanted to do the high-end boutique thing because I’m a high-end salon. So it started small out of my suite space, and I’d offer nice watches, socks, pocket squares, cuff links and of course my custom shirts. Then I ran into a guy at a show who was flying in from Thailand and doing custom men’s suits. So I met with him and we decided to do a show together. My first show was in November of 2016, and the turnout was so great that we did another show in February 2017… and now I have another show coming this weekend.

Working with Sola Salon Studios has helped me because I didn’t have enough capital to move out on my own into a retail space when I was just starting out. So I started out with a smaller suite, then moved into a bigger one as my clientele and concept grew.



Sharon Hinkle
Blend Studio – Tacoma, WA

Another unexpected benefit is the community that Sola stylists have with each other. I’ve met so many amazing and talented stylists from around the country. From the articles online, to social media, to the Sola Sessions, I realized that with the Sola community, I have a family!  We can talk to each other about the industry that we’re in, and offer advice to become better and do better as stylists. It’s nice to have that support from my Sola family. 


Susan Scott
Wisp Salon – Alexandria, VA

My clients absolutely love the privacy of my Sola studio, and it allows me to give them the ultimate salon experience. But I've also been able to use my studio for one-on-one consulting with other salon owners to help them achieve solo success. Helping others succeed has by far has been one of the most rewarding experiences!


Sharon Hinkle
Blend Studio – Tacoma, WA

I knew that by becoming independent - and being my own boss - that there will be pros and cons to it. I was honestly nervous and scared in the beginning about setting up my studio, and being unsure that there would be everything I need. Sola made it so much easier for me to make the jump by already having the place set up! From the cabinets, to the chair, to the mirrors…all I had to do was decorate, and bring my personal style into the studio.

Truly, the benefits of opening your own salon through Sola Salon Studios are endless. With the freedom to take your career in any direction you chose, you can explore all the possibilities and use them to craft your dream experience. To learn more, visit

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