click image to zoomSpoke and Weal's Jon Reyman (left) and Christine Thompson (right) with SALON TODAY Editor Stacey Soble. What’s it take to get a new salon venture off the ground? Determined to find out, SALON TODAY invited long-time industry veterans Jon Reyman and Christine Thompson to blog about the experience while they prepare to open two new salons in San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Both Reyman and Thompson bring experience to this journey. Reyman, who was the former artistic director of the Aveda Advanced Academy in New York, helped launch the Van Michael salon in Miami, and he continues to travel extensively as a stylist and educator developing curriculum for salons and institutions across the world. Thompson has successfully operated Salon Lux with two locations in San Luis Obispo, California for many years.
Recently, Reyman and Thompson partnered to launch Spoke and Weal salons, with the first location opening in December 2013 in San Francisco, and the second scheduled to open in Los Angeles in March 2014.
In the first of a series of blogs about their expansion process, they talk about the allure of the California market and what bumps they've encountered thus far:
SALON TODAY: Why were San Francisco and Los Angeles attractive markets to launch your Spoke and Weal salons?
Reyman and Thompson: “California is a great market. We wanted to bring some East Coast to the West Coast and we think our quality of service and systems will work well there. We have a no-nonsense way of working with our guests and with each other. We like the idea of mixing things up. We think the way we approach our work, how we build and refine technical skills, and tie together efficient systems will be well received in California’s creative and professional communities. We are specifically targeting urban areas with professional cultures, as well as cultures that promote creatives—places we think will benefit from our work and who will come on board with the style of service we offer.”
click image to zoomSmall but mighty, the 700-square-foot salon based in the Russian Hill neighborhood of San Francisco is the first location in the Spoke and Weal venture. SALON TODAY: What do you look for in a salon location?
Reyman and Thompson: “Nothing is ready for a salon! Really, it’s hard. Besides scouring the streets for what’s available, we look for complimentary businesses, fun active neighborhoods. For the physical location, we look for good LIGHT! With that said, the neighborhood doesn’t define us. We believe that if we build a product that is intelligent and well executed, the right people will find us.