You can be staring at a brilliant idea and not realize it. But when that lightbulb finally goes on, you really feel the glow.
In 2018, Citrus Salon in Martinez, California, implemented a Style Bar option for clients to come in for a quick blowout, regrowth touchup, gloss, or conditioning treatment. This was the lowest price point, available only a couple of days a week and mentioned casually—just enough to make guests aware. When the pandemic threw everything up for grabs, Style Bar was one of the concepts that owner Candice Gliatto took another look at. She started to see how it could dovetail with the salon’s new training schedule.
Perfect for New Talent
“With California’s cost of living continuing to climb, we knew that an 18-month apprenticeship program was no longer a sustainable option for our New Talent,” Gliatto says. “We redesigned our apprenticeship program into an eight-week, intensive boot camp providing students 24 hours a week of classroom and hands-on education.”
When they weren’t in the classroom, what would training look like? It could look like Style Bar.
A menu item more than an actual “bar” or area, the now daily, highly promoted Style Bar offers affordable services but no choice of technician. Designated chairs are equipped with house tools, and the New Talent stylists rotate, with one or two taking the full day’s Style Bar clients. Now that it’s more prominent at the salon, Style Bar gives new hires, who otherwise would be assisting senior stylists, valuable working experience in a condensed time frame.
“The New Talent stylist gets additional time behind the chair to gain that confidence in styling, conversing with clients, staying on time—the whole thing is such an impactful experience,” Gliatto says, adding that it’s also a jumpstart in building their clientele.
Senior Stylists and Clients Like It, Too
“The client having a frequent blowout might decide to stay with the new stylist for cuts and color,” Gliatto explains. “We have a culture of guest-sharing and, as an employee benefit, we don’t hire until our existing stylists are fully booked.” By remaining with the New Talent artist, the client may have more flexibility in scheduling appointments, at least at first.
Senior stylists like the arrangement, too, because it frees them up to fill their book with higher-ticket services like balyage. This builds income for the salon as well, plus Style Bar is taking in revenue simultaneously. According to Gliatto, Style Bar accounts for an additional $3,000/week. The salon doesn’t miss out on income from a root touchup when guests can easily book that “in-between” service—and pay less for it—through Style Bar.
Says Gliatto, “It’s like having another experienced stylist on the floor.”
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