Adrienne Velazquez was bitten by the Beauty bug early, as a young girl traveling with her family to Canada. In the hotel were a number of stylists preparing models for a fashion show. “It was so breathtaking to see all that beauty, and I liked the whole behind-the-scenes action—from the curling of the hair to the makeup, and I loved the idea of getting on stage and showing your work,” she says.
While Velazquez was intrigued by the world of cosmetology, her parents were dismissive of the idea. “My parents wished I had taken the route like my siblings and gone off and done that whole college thing, because they assumed in their world being a hairstylist was not a lucrative career, but I proved them wrong,” she says.
Velazquez envisioned herself on stage at Bonner Brothers and the dream fueled her early days as a student and a young stylist. “Years ago, I had gone to a Bonner Brothers show with my aunt who also was a hairstylist, and when I saw all those beautiful hairstyles and the artists performing on stage, I shared with my mom how I wanted to do that one day,” Velazquez says. “I was so fascinated and intrigued how they had the audience so captivated.”
Eventually a brand approached Velazquez and invited her to share on the Bonner Brothers stage, and while, at first, she was shocked, she jumped at the chance and says it was a blessing because her father was able to witness her work on stage and told her how proud he was. “Dad said he had never seen someone speak something into action like that,” she says.
Velazquez’s life eventually led her from New Jersey to San Antonio, Texas, where she opened up Joyez Salon Spa, a curly-certified salon that welcomes clients with all hair textures. Along the way, as Velazquez taught fellow stylists her techniques, she also encouraged them to know their own worth and charge for it.
“I don’t care what town you live in, as long as you are comfortable putting out great work and charging your self-worth, you will most definitely get clients in your chair,” says Velazquez. “Most stylists are so afraid when they think of the price point because they are counting the money in their own pocket instead of thinking about the value of the service they are providing.”
Velazquez loves telling people that hers is the most rewarding career: “It’s not just about the money, because you also look at how you impact and change lives, and if this is something that you are truly passionate about, then the money will come.”
Today, Velazquez coaches others as the “Six-Figure Stylist” and she’s excited that her salon is approaching seven figures in sales revenue as a business. She says treatments are a big key in building those sales for herself and her team.
“We are a textured salon and a treatment salon, so that means we deal with all hair types and every single demographic and we specialize in all smoothing treatments,” Velazquez says. “We love Keratin Complex because they offer an arsenal of treatments based on what kind of client is sitting in your chair. The curly community is a $5 billion dollar industry, and when you look at how you can build your ticket past the hair cut—when you can offer smoothing treatments that are 60-minute treatments that you can charge $300 for, you are actually hitting your money goals because you can offer treatments for all hair types from our curly girls to our clients with fine, thin hair.”
While many clients, and some professionals, still envision a keratin treatment as a service to obtain stick, straight hair, that’s a misconception. Keratin Complex’s portfolio of six different treatments are designed to make the hair healthier, eliminate frizz, increase manageability, repair damage and leave the hair softer with luminous shine.
“We also get clients that have straight, fine hair and with Keratin Complex’s signature proprietary keratin and certain techniques you can plump up the cuticle and create the illusion that the hair is thicker than it actually is,” Velazquez says. “Personally, I love the clients with the fine, straight hair and the clients with really curly hair because those are the clients who you see the huge difference with.”
Velazquez always starts off with a thorough consultation, asking her guests what they love about their hair and what they struggle with. “That helps us cater to them and customize a treatment to that consultation,” says Velazquez. “For instance, if you have a guest coming into the salon and they have curly hair, the big mistake some stylists make is assuming they want straight hair, but if you’re listening to the guest they’ll say they want manageability, or they’ll say they want hydration, or they’ll looking for a style they don’t have to use a flat iron and a blowdryer every day.”
By really listening to the client and customizing a treatment that meets the needs the client is loosing for, Velazquez says 90-95% of Joyez’s clients regularly receive a smoothing treatment. “Smoothing treatments puts your salon in a category where you’re not competing with other salons—I love providing services that our clients can’t easily get their hands on elsewhere.”
The subsequent recommended retail regime also helps the Joyez team boost the client ticket. “I ask my clients if they had a Bentley would they take it down the street and put regular gas in it, and they always say no because it won't perform like it should. The smoothing treatment is the same—you’ve had a luxury service so therefore you want to make sure you are using luxury after-care products,” says Velazquez. “Plus, when guests pick up that bottle of shampoo or conditioner at home they are thinking about the salon visit, and they may think I need to call them for some new color.”
For reprint and licensing requests for this article, Click here.