SALON TODAY: Specifically, can you tell us how Oribe has addressed business education for owners/managers and what its plans for the future are in this area?
Finger: We’ve previously introduced Idealougue: Owners’ Forum, a one-day event that brought speakers from within the salon world and outside the industry together with salon owners and managers. With our new academy, we’ll be going much deeper and having a selection of classes year-round. Another difference is that we’ll have courses based on the experience level of the owner, as we recognize that new salon owners have different needs than those who have owned salons for many years.
SALON TODAY: In the arena of business education, how have you been combining outside experts with industry experts, as well as encouraging salon customers themselves to share best practices.
Finger: One of the things that makes our business education unique is that we love to share best practices, both from salon owners and from outside the industry. For example, The Four Seasons trains its employees to know hotel guests’ names from their luggage tags—how can stylists and owners use customer service like that in their salons? (Want to know the answer? You’ll have to come to our school…)
SALON TODAY: Why do you think, as a brand, it’s imperative to offer your salon customers both technical and business education?
Finger: We see business education and technical education as two sides of a coin; you can’t have one without the other. In our modern world, everyone is expected to cross-train and do more than one thing. The stakes are higher, and the training available has to follow suit.