Solo Artist

Balancing Work and Life as a Solo Artist

Lauren Salapatek | April 11, 2018 | 1:02 PM
Gioia Gomez, solo artist at Akasu Hair Studio & Spa, in Portland, Oregon
Photo 1 of 2
Redhead by Gioia Gomez
Photo By @bella.gioia.styles Photo 2 of 2

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.


Gioia Gomez
Solo Artist at Akasu Hair Studio & Spa and Italian Style
Team Member, Framesi North America
INSTAGRAM HANDLE: @bella.gioia.styles
Color & Special Occasion Styling
I love FRAMCOLOR 2001 especially 6HR, and FRAMCOLOR Bold Orchid.
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!
I get to be my own artist.

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