Higher Learning: Salon Success though Education
By Stacey Soble and Lauren Salapatek
After achieving a level of success within their own markets, these salons are sharing their experience by teaching others what they know best.
Three salonsâone in New York, one in Chicago and one in Washington state. If you tally their accomplishments together, itâs an impressive collective portfolio. Theyâve built successful salon businesses, served on association boards, racked up years as platform artists, captured NAHA trophies, joined Intercoiffure, and been named to the SALON TODAY 200. So, where do you grow next?
For these three salons, the answer is easyâitâs time to teach. By launching and branding their own advanced education programs for established stylists, colorists and owners, these salons are tapping a new stream of revenue, elevating their own businesses, and opening up new opportunities for their own staff members.
While theyâre growing in the same direction, each salon is going about it differentlyâputting together unique education programs that are shaped by the strengths of their own businesses. SALON TODAY heads to class and examines these three programs individually:
Downtown Brownstone NYC
Downtown Brownstone NYC
The âDowntown Brownstone Business Building
Sessionâ is a two-day course which allows participants to
explore the art behind the commerce of beauty through a VIP
tour of a museum, a private talk with a fashion photographer,
and the experience of dining Italian-style in New York. The
second day includes business-building sessions on developing
your businessâ image, identity and implementation; double
shifting, establishing yourself as a beauty expert, marketing
and promotion, and building a visual business. The
âDowntown Brownstone One-Day Cut and Color Sessionâ is
an exclusive and intimate class that explores the art principles
and formulates a cut and color design.
The Inspiration: âIn our Downtown Brownstone series weâre teaching the business strategies weâve developed over the past 10 years as weâve gone about restructuring our own business and how weâve set ourselves apart in a neighborhood with more than 100 salons,â says Xena Parsons. âA few years ago we looked at our business and decided we were missing the fun and creativity, so we started looking at art, passion and the reason we got into this business. We started doing Italian-styled photo shoots and teaching our staff how to become beauty experts by studying art, fashion, and design. As a result our revenues increased, our retail revenues increasedâand our staff was more motivated.â
The Class Stats: Classes are offered about six times a year, with upcoming classes in November 2010, and April, May and June 2011. The two-day class is $1,200, the one-day class is $600 and each class size is limited to 10 participants.
The Teachers: Parsons teaches the consultation and the visual business portions, Galietti teaches double-shifting and prescription retailing and other salon members help with the cut and color technology. The salon also draws in a museum tour guide, a fashion photographer, and a restaurant owner to inspire participants.
On Location: The classes combine technical education conducted in Xenaâs Beauty Company combined with inspirational working field trips to a museum and an Italian restaurant.
Pride Builder: âWe just presented the program at our last salon gathering even though the concepts weâre teaching are the ones we use in our business. But sometimes you canât see the forest through the trees,â says Parsons. âItâs instilled a great sense of pride in our staff.â
Inspiration: âWhile we will get paid for our work, we donât see this as a big profit-generator, but see it as sharing our ideas with others,â says Parsons.
Growth From Here: For the past three years, Parsons and Galietti have selected two of their stylists to travel with them to Italy to study art and fashion, and conduct a photo shoot. âI see us growing this series into an educational event where we could take between four to six people with us.â
A brochure from Downtown Brownstone NYC.
At the salonâs academy, âFUNdamentals and
Shape-Shiftingâ is a two-day advanced cutting course. âBreak
it Down, Build It Upâ is a one-day long hairdressing and updo
class. âProgressive Fusionâ is a one-day class that combines
advanced cutting and coloring techniques. âPhoto Labâ is an
interactive two days that teaches the ins and outs of creating
unbelievable photo shoots. And, Beauty Business Basics, is a
one-day course that helps owners make their businesses more
profitable. Brado Education travels and customizes in-salon
classes and classes for trade shows.
The Inspiration: After working for more than 10 years with different manufacturers, Sonna began to recognize a desire for neutral-based educationâclasses that arenât sponsored by a specific manufacturer. Although she currently is a guest artist for KMS California, she decided to continue Brado Education which launched in 2007. âThis came by just talking to many other stylists and owners who were tired of education being tied to a sales pitch,â she says.
Frequency: Brado Education tries to hold classes about once a month.
The Class Stats: Brado Education holds classes about once a month. Prices vary from $150 to $300 if they are performed at the Brado Academy. If a class is customized for a salon, Sonna charges $900 a day plus expenses. Classes are either held at the salonâs academy, on site in the salon that commissioned the education, at distributor locations or at trade shows. âGenerally, I like about 15 students if I am alone, if there are more than that, I bring in a teammate,â she says.
The Teachers: Sonna Brado teaches the bulk of the classes, but husband Mark helps with the photo classes and business classes. If classes are large, Sonna will bring a teammateâa staff member who teaches at their own salon.
Class Prep: âThere is about 30-40 hours of work that goes into each class,â says Brado. âDepending on which class weâre teaching, we follow a detailed system of contacting attendees, prepping the styles/looks we are going to teach and general set up.â
The Business Bridge: âI think Brado Education helps our industry profile as a salon,â says Mark. âWe use much of our photo work for the salon in Brado Education, so whether we are on the road or in a salon, people see the images and tie Jaazz and Brado education together. I also think Sonnaâs reputation as an educator and the reputation of the salon through Intercoiffue, NAHA and industry magazines, help build Brado Education.â
Multi-Marketing: Brado Education is marketing via its website, via Facebook, through Constant Contact, brochures, and e-mail blasts. âWe usually have great response to the combined effort,â says Mark. âPlus, word-of-mouth testimonials are great.â
Brochures from Brado Education.
RED 7 Salon Advanced Academy
RED 7 Salon Advanced Academy
Cutting classes include: âCutting Boot Campâ
which focuses on the cutting classics; âDeconstructing the
Classicsâ which focuses on texturizing techniques using shears
and a razor; and âDisheveled, Disconnected and Daring!â
which focuses on turning a mistake into a true beauty. Color
classes include: âDigging Deeper into Colorâ which focuses
on new foiling techniques and single-process application
methods; âCreative Color: Pushing the Boundariesâ which
employs out-of-the-box formulations and application techniques;
and âCorrective Color: Establish Your Plan of Attack.â
The âBuilding Your Brandâ business class focuses on how to
build business through customer-service initiatives.
âOur classes focus on the way the individual learns, so our educators are trained to adjust their teaching according to the needs of the students,â says Jason Hall. âAlso we are not associated with any product manufacturer nor does our education reflect one philosophy of thought. We share many different ways to approach the same problem.â
Why Now: âWhen we launched our academy approximately a year ago, we wanted our local market and those in the Midwest to know there are other options besides New York and Los Angeles,â says Hall. âGreat education can be experienced with a leader in your market who wants to share, and we are excited to be one of those companies representing the Midwest.â
The Class Stats: The academy schedules classes at its Chicago River North location every other month, and class sizes range from six to 16 participants. A two-day class costs approximately $720, which includes a meal, mannequin heads, a gift to take home and a follow-up call.
Works in Progress: The academy classes have roots in the salonâs own training program. âWeâve selected outstanding individuals within our company to educate and represent our brand, based on their own education, experience, client satisfaction, attitude and skillset. All are at the senior level in our salon and our instructors in our training program,â says Hall. âDavid works with all our senior educators to ensure than our message is strong and consistent, and during classes we are present to guarantee the highest level of education and support. We plan a complete curriculum around each subject with a follow-up support call.â
âWe speak to the professional in realistic termsâwhat will work in their chair. We want the education to be meaty, useful and something that can be incorporated in their daily work life,â he adds.
Watching it Grow: RED 7 has mailed the advanced academy brochures to salons in Chicago, as well as areas in Wisconsin, Iowa, Indiana and Michigan. âWeâve seen a high level of interestâthey want quality education that is accessible and approachable and they want it in the Midwest!â
Brochures from RED 7 Salon Advanced Academy.