Find Your Voice: Elaine Travis

Laurel Nelson | October 31, 2015 | 2:43 PM

When Elaine Travis, owner of Lux Color Lounge in Conshokocken, Pennsylvania, saw a promotional e-mail about the first Stages workshop in 2012, she signed up.

“At the time, I was struggling to get started teaching in the beauty industry,” Travis says.

“I faced my fear of getting up in front of people. It was amazing training. Bonnie Bonadeo brought the emotional intelligence and Alejandra Crisafulli could see my reaction and kept challenging me throughout the program.”

These challenges weren’t welcome at the time—Crisafulli’s intuition about Travis was unsettling to her. But when the workshop was over, Travis dove back into her business to try to become a better leader.

A year later, she got an e-mail about an upcoming L.E.A.D. class. Unhappy in her role as a salon owner, Travis signed up in hopes of receiving direction on connecting with her employees.

But what she uncovered in the program was something very different.

“I found I was unhappy being a leader in my business, and I was unhappy with the size of my business,” Travis says.

Still looking for answers, Travis signed up for personal coaching and realized things need to change in her situation, not her ability.

“Alejandra showed me it was OK to downsize and rebrand,” she says. “I took a thriving, million-dollar-a-year business and took it down to four employees.”

Travis let go of five stylists who simply weren’t a great fit in her salon, who were sucking up time and energy that could be used elsewhere. With no hard feelings, she sent them off with their entire client lists, and they opened a new salon nearby.

“I told my clients I wanted to be a boutique salon with my dream team,” she says. Travis rebranded her salon and has never been happier.

“Alejandra told me I needed to be okay with the fact I was going to make less money, but that I would be happier,” she says. “My bottom line changed by about $50,000, but I’m so much happier being behind the chair more often and creating space for other things.”

Since her downsizing and rebranding, Travis has taught at major hair shows in Orlando and Long Beach, utilizing the skills she learned at Stages.

“The best thing I learned was that people connect with me personally,” she says. “That’s what Stages is all about. I had the room so engaged—when the timer went off nobody moved—they didn’t want to leave.”

Now, Travis is enjoying her boutique business and opportunities to educate with confidence.

“Before, I was trying to run this thriving business at the expense of my soul,” she says. “Financially we were soaring, but I was miserable. I was down to one day a week behind the chair and missed getting my hands in hair.”

Now, Travis is running her dream business and doing what she loves best—hair.


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