Women on Having It All: Susan Haise
Susan Haise; Owner: Neroli Salon and Spa and Institute of Beauty and Wellness; Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Susan Haise changed the landscape of the beauty industry in Milwaukee when she opened the city’s first day spa in 1993. Originally named The Skin Institute and Day Spa, today’s Neroli Salon and Spa now has four locations and more than 200 employees. In addition to being a wife and mother to two young children, Haise is a licensed hairdresser, a Cidesco Diplomat in esthetics and a seasoned educator. At Neroli, she’s nurtured a rewarding work environment, being named one of the “best places to work” by the Milwaukee Business Journal four times. An eight-time SALON TODAY 200 honoree and a founding salon in the 2 to 10 Project, Neroli and Haise also were honored with the Healing Touch Award from Aveda Founder Horst Rechelbacher in 2004 for making a significant impact in the industry.
Do you believe a woman in the professional beauty industry can “have it all?” And, what does that mean to you?
“Yes, I do believe a professional women can “have it all.” To accomplish it, you have to have a vision and be willing to work hard as nothing in life comes easy or without struggles.”
In the pursuit of “having it all,” what sacrifices have you had to make, if any?
“Being a good businesswoman, mother, wife and friend is a continuous juggling act. My passion is my business and family, and I am fortunate to have friends in my life that understand when other things take priority.”
If we were looking through a scrapbook of your life, what would be your favorite page?
“Besides my family, any day I can travel the world is a great day. I love to experience people, watching them live their lives on their terms. The memories and knowledge that I have gained is a gift.”
If we were looking through a scrapbook of your life, what page would you want to rewrite?
“The day I put down my shears and left the esthetic treatment room. I loved the guest interaction, the stories and relationships. I miss it often.”
What’s your favorite tool of strategy for maintaining balance in your life?
“My favorite tool is yoga. While I am unable to do it as often as I would like, I cherish every opportunity to practice. It calms me and provides clarity, allowing me to be better in all that I do.”
What’s the best advice anyone ever gave you, and how did it change your life? “Do onto others as you would want them to do onto you. What you put into your life, you get out of life. What goes around, comes around. These statements guide me through the tough times.”
What wisdom would you share with a young woman entering a career in the professional beauty industry?
“Love what you do and with whom you do it. This makes working easier when the tough days, weeks and months come around.”
What keeps you up at night?
“I have personally and professionally invested in each team member that I have had the pleasure to serve over the past 20 years in business. So when a work relationship doesn’t end well it can shake you at the core. During these times, I take the late evening hours to think of ways we can evolve and change as a company, so we can better serve our team.”
What makes you feel powerful?
“The strength and energy following a great company meeting or event is what drives me. To be able to provide alignment and focus to 250 professionals simultaneously is empowering.”
What’s the best thing anyone’s ever told you about yourself?
“In 2004, I received the Healing Touch Award from Aveda—the kind words shared in front of my colleagues was a true highlight. Secondly, I am really lucky to have the pleasure of working with a lot of really amazing people at Neroli, many of whom take the time to write thank-you cards, and it really fills me up knowing they appreciate how hard leadership is working to help them achieve their dreams.”
What do you hope to achieve in the next five years?
“Growth of Neroli Salon & Spa and The Institute in Beauty & Wellness in Ayurvedic services.”