Even the staffers at Salon Rootz in Medina, Ohio, probably didn’t realize that they were yearning for something else, something extra, something only partly related to their passion for doing hair. It took a full week of celebrating the salon’s 16th birthday to uncover this under-the-radar longing. To be specific, it took until Friday.
“We made our ‘Sweet 16' a big deal,” reports Jen LeBlanc, operations officer for the two salon businesses owned by Jen Tryon and Sheila Barco—Salon Rootz and Endz Salon Studios. “At the same time that we were celebrating 16 years in business, we also were celebrating 11 years in a row of being a Salon Today 200 salon.”
The week rolled out with one fun thing after another:
- Monday—Hat Day. On heads that day were fedoras, baseball hats, and everything in between.
- Tuesday—Fat Tuesday. Team members wore Mexican-inspired clothing, and the salon served Mexican food all day long to guests and staff.
- Wednesday—Formal Attire. Staffers dug out their old prom dresses, and the champagne flowed in a toast to the salon’s achievements.
- Thursday—PJ Day. Donuts topped off the day-long pajama party.
- Friday—Health and Wellness Day. Team members participated in planned physical activities and learned a wealth of information about fitness, food, nutrition, proper posture behind the chair, and more.
- Saturday—Sports Jersey Day. Team members showed off their favorite teams’ merch.
The festivities were selected with input from the team, which may have dialed up the enthusiasm.
“Sometimes you do things like this and not everyone participates,” LeBlanc says. “But that week, every single team member participated in every day’s activities. A 100 percent participation rate says a lot for trying something new!”
For a salon that’s active on social media and highly interactive with its guests, the week-long celebration perfectly represented the culture of fun and inclusiveness. But there was a serious side, too, and that’s how management found out that the team welcomed guidance on health and wellness to help them stay fit enough to have a long career.
Born to Run—and Walk, Bike, Swim
“Our team’s favorite activity day was Friday,” LeBlanc reports. “They enjoyed the physical activities, and it was informative. In our career, it really matters.”
Owner-operators Tryon and Barco, who have been doing hair for 25 years, told the team how attending to their own health had benefitted them professionally.
“They said that since they’ve been actively working out and eating right, they’re not exhausted at the end of the workday,” LeBlanc explains. “Their shoulders don’t hurt, their backs don’t ache, their legs aren’t tired. They told our team: ‘If you don’t take time for your wellness now, you’ll have to take time for your health later.’”
Wellness Physically and Mentally
Because of the popularity of the wellness day, LeBlanc says the salon will try to schedule something quarterly that combines an active endeavor with health information. This September, the plan is to take everyone canoeing on a nearby river.
“We’ll rent cabins for the weekend, or people can come just for the day,” LeBlanc notes. “These bonding experiences shape our culture. It’s why someone wants to be a part of us. We do hair education every week. That’s valuable to us. But when you’re talking about building a family type of culture, it doesn’t all have to be about hair. Just being plain old happy is important, too.”
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