Founder and CEO
Eveline Charles began her career in the beauty industry when she chose to study hair design in 1974. Since that time, she has grown her privately held business from a one-woman operation to a corporation bearing her name. By 2005, Charles had turned one salon into an empire, becoming a household name in cities around Canada, and her ambition inspired her to expand her empire—adding the EvelineCharles Academies and her own product line.
As you grew your company/brand, what “ah-ha” moments of clarity helped you shape its future course?
I am a runner, and after running the 100th anniversary of the Boston Marathon, I came upon a poem called The Winner. It describes my vision of “thinking big and growing big.” At that moment I decided to literally “run” my company like a corporation. I was going to work on my business vs working in my business. I was also very inspired by the E-Myth book by Michael Gerber. A company-altering realization was the strength of having a vertically integrated, circular business model. Today, we train a skilled labor pool of future industry leaders, we manufacture our high-performance product lines, and we showcase both in our salons and spas, where we are in direct contact with our guests. This direct contact allows us to have a pulse on the ever-changing needs of our guests and the industry.
As you shaped your company, what have been some of the biggest stumbling blocks?
The transition from an entrepreneurship to a professionally managed company. I took my entire senior management team to UCLA for their Salon Management program, and the big take-aways were to ask ourselves, “What business are we were in?” to clarify our core competencies, and have a clear understanding of the transitional process of becoming a professionally managed company. The more a company plans for its growth, the less growing pains they will experience.
How would you describe your management style? What do you think makes you a good leader, and in what areas would you like to improve?
My style of leadership is direct and motivational. I can create excitement and challenge people to bring out their best. I have built integrity in my leadership style because I lead by example.
How do you set goals for yourself? For example, do you prefer more small, accomplishable goals or fewer large goals? How do you hold yourself accountable?
When it comes to goal setting, I always have professional and personal goals. I set my goals high, and have the discipline and persistence to achieve them. I always verbalize my goals to the public so I stay accountable.