In an innovative panel session at America’s Beauty Show March 13, four forward-thinking
salon owners will be partnered with consumer beauty editors from Allure, T.C.W. (Today’s
Chicago Woman), Marie Claire and Self to define and explore a different client segmentation,
during “Smart Thinking, Straight Talk: A Salon and Spa Owner Dialogue,” hosted by ABS
and P&G Salon Professional and powered by media partner SALON TODAY.

To get the owner participants warmed up for the panel, we invited them to participate in a
special version of “Perspectives.” This month, we asked each owner:

“As a leader, how do you help your team members
stretch their creative muscles, and how do you
translate the power of that creativity into new
sales for your business?”

Perspectives: Playgrounds for CreativityGinger Boyle

Owner, Planet Salon

Beverly Hills, CA

“Truthfully, the clients who just want a trim
or the same old cut are the ones who are
your bread and butter. We are lucky when
we get one or two clients a day who allow
us to stretch and try something new. At our
salon, we encourage our staff to share those
out-of-the-box experiences by showing us the
client’s finished look. And, at the end of each
day, we’ll ask each staff member to share what
was the best look they did that day.

“In the salon, we have education every
Tuesday for everyone no matter how long
they’ve done hair. We bring in a model and go
over a technique. We really go back to basics
and work on getting everyone’s quality up.
When you’re focused on improving quality,
you can enjoy a cut, even if it’s a trim. We
also encourage outside education, and I’ll split
costs 50/50 on classes we approve. People do
have a tendency to get complacent, so you do
have to kick them out and encourage them to
seek education elsewhere. In addition, at the
beginning of the year, any staff member who
grew 15 percent over the last year gets to take
a class of their choice at the Wella Studio.

We also help our staff members prepare
and enter the photo competitions, such as
Wella Trend Vision. Sometimes they are intimidated
by the work it takes to create these
looks, but it can be so important to developing

“For us, the most important venue for
stretching the creative muscles, both personally
and for my staff, is participating in
L.A.’s Fashion Week. Twice a year, we’ll take
a team to work with the designers. Designers
in L.A. are far more laid back than in New
York, but even if we’re doing simple chignons
or ponytails, there’s an art to doing it for the
runway. When a staff member gets on one of
these teams, I’ve found it amazing to see how
their confidence grows. Then their ability to
offer clients ‘more’ also goes up. I’ve found
that a lack of enthusiasm in the salon often
stems from a lack of confidence.

L.A. Fashion Week is so important to our
business that I’ve become a sponsor. Last time,
we gave out coupons for a complimentary
blow dry, this time I’m offering a coupon for
20 percent off. I track these and have found
we get between 10-15 new clients from these
each month, so participation is not only good
for our stylists, it’s good for business.”

Perspectives: Playgrounds for CreativityMarcy Cona

Owner, M.C. Hair Consultants

Cuyahoga Falls, OH

“Creativity surrounds everything we do every
day. It’s continuous; it does not stop, or turn off
and on. It must be the center of all our actions
and vision for our companies. Whether we are
setting goals or creating new services, we must
start with what inspires each of us then translate
that through our work, our leadership and
our teams. If done right, it can be infectious.

“No one is exempt from being creative. It
takes every role, every team member, to be
part of creating a daily culture that infuses
creativity in all our work. Expanding the creativity
for our team requires each of us to view
our work through a different lens, willing to
identify individual and team weaknesses and
understand the business opportunity while
forming a collective outcome. Over the years,
I had the opportunity to work with all types of
creative people. Interestingly, the individuals
who can translate their creative work to others
visually, verbally, and emotionally with a
sense of connectivity are the ones who really
make a difference.

“In our salon, we start fostering creativity
with quarterly staff gatherings for the entire
team. This creates inspiration for the team—
inspiration that is grounded in our goals and
connected to our vision—for the next three
months. Our focus is our company, our community
and our craft. Each of these elements
are revisited, with direction and guidance from
our mentor team. From the quarterly gathering,
we host weekly ‘in-session trainings’ that
strengthen our foundation and skills through
role-playing, coaching and real-guest scenarios.
Our new studio location hosts all of our gatherings,
including an ever-changing inspiration
board for our team and our guests. We believe
that we need to share everything. During our
trainings, we document everything through fl ip
cameras, photographs, music and Facebook,
so we can reapply it with
team members and
share it with our
guest community
in real time.”

Perspectives: Playgrounds for CreativityJanine Jarman

Owner, Hairroin Salon

Hollywood, CA

“I’m a relatively newer salon owner who is
closer to the age of many of my stylists. I believe
it’s a new age of stylists out there today,
and that we are more creatively-driven than
financially-driven. Since I opened, I’ve continued
a practice I learned from my mentor
Donna Federici—goal boards. Each year, I have
each stylist select three goals that they’d like
to complete within the year and then get really
specific about what they need to accomplish
each goal. Then we go through magazines and
cut out images to create a visual representation
of those goals. We share the inspiration boards
with each other, then we take them home and
hang them in our homes as a reminder of what
we are working toward.

“In our back room, I’ve created a haven
for creativity. I keep a library of inspirational
books, and have a white board for planning,
doll heads for creating, and a bulletin board
where I post new ideas, runway collections,
and upcoming classes. I also have a table set
up with binders and clear sheets, and stylists
are encouraged during down time to go through
magazines, tear sheets and put together look
books. In fact, they are encouraged to create
look books for specific clients. How wonderful
is it for a client to come in one day and her
stylist says, ‘Mary I was thinking about your
appointment today, and I pulled a few looks I
think would be great on you?’ It tells the client
she’s more to you than just a time-slot on the
appointment book.

“Our education coordinator teaches for
Sebastian and she’s currently taking us all
through the basics in what we call Fast Track
Education. In addition, on the first Wednesday
of every month, we have some sort of class.
We do all sorts of things. For example, we
have a wig class coming up, and in the past
I’ve brought in an acting coach that helped
us all work on eye contact. As a result, now
we sit down and consult clients face-to-face
instead of through the mirror.

Perspectives: Playgrounds for CreativityLarry Silvestri

Chief Operating Officer

Mario Tricoci Salons, headquartered

in Chicago, IL, with 19 locations

“Every Spring our creative team comes out
with a collection which includes cuts, color,
make-up and nail collections. The team goes
to each of our locations and provides hands-on
training on the collections.

“We tap creativity through innovation—
through new products, techniques, and equipment.
For example, our skin care team is
working with apple stem cell research to infuse
it into collagen; and our massage team is
working with heated bamboo sticks to create
a new massage.

“Our technicians are invited to participate
in Trend Vision through Wella and photo competitions
for Intercoiffure, and five of our nail
techs will be competing at the nail photo competition
at America’s Beauty Show. None of
this is formal, but the support is there is you
want to reach in that direction. For example,
one day a month, our style director and color
director hold a jam session. Any staff member
can bring a model to their class, and ask
about a style or technique they want to learn.
It’s totally open and encourages exploration.

“Another creative venue is our “Mario
Make Me a Model” competition, in which
we host a model call for undiscovered talent
in Chicago. We narrow 500 applicants
to five finalists, who
receive a complete makeover
from our team, as well as
fitness and runway training.
The five walk with professional
models under a tent
at Millennium Park, and a
general audience declares the
next Mario model. Our staff does
all the hair and makeup for all the
models. Not only does it
fulfill staff members’
dream of working
backstage, it’s a
great branding


CLICK HERE to see the full lineup of speakers at the business forum.

To learn more about this year's ABS, or to purchase tickets to the business forum, visit