The Zen Room at Cass and Company Salon gives team members a space to decompress.  
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The Zen Room at Cass and Company Salon gives team members a space to decompress. 

A disgruntled client, a tight schedule or an unpredictable color result can throw a wrench of stress in any stylist’s day. And for many, the only option is to keep smiling while bottling the stress until they’re home at the end of the day.  

Recognizing this, Angi Snodgrass, owner of Cass and Company Salon in Avon, Indiana, repurposed a former storage area in salon’s basement into a Zen Room, an in-salon space where her team members can escape and decompress.

For a few hundred dollars, Snodgrass designed the room with the following:

  • A zero-gravity chair
  • A back-massaging pad (this was donated by a team member)
  • A meditation/white noise machine
  • A grounding mat and grounding wristlet
  • Emotionally balanced lighting
  • Hanging green vines
  • A weighted blanket
  • An assortment of aromatherapy oils and sprays
  • A grounding mat and grounding wristlet

“The room has no windows and it stays cool year round,” she says. “On the outside of the door, there is a sign that the team member can turn to ‘In Use’ or ‘Open’ when entering and leaving.”

Team members are encouraged to reserve a 45-minute time slot in the Zen Room as often as they need, no questions asked. To do this, the stylist simply blocks out a time marked ‘Re-set’ in the salon’s Meevo software.

“We do not have the Re-set block time go against their percentage booked, because we feel it’s important for them to take this mental break, and we don’t want them to worry that it’s docking their numbers in any way,” says Snodgrass. “We’ve also taken the liberty of marking off someone’s book when we feel they need a little push to take a break or decompress. The only rule is this time is not a time to eat your lunch, be on your phone or computer. It’s really meant to be used to close your eyes and relax.”

“If that client is just pulling all the energy from you and you’re feeling anxious or overwhelmed, the Zen Room is a place you can go and just let all the stress melt away. You just sit in the chair, choose a calming mood light, put on the sound machine and breathe,” says Faith Hall, a stylist at Cass and Company. “I like it because it’s a calm space where I can just be by myself. I feel it’s a wonderful addition to the salon and it has benefitted the staff tremendously.”

Snodgrass knows the Zen Room also is benefitting the business. “Encouraging team members to take these short breaks has led to reduced stress levels. In addition, they are less likely to miss an entire day of work, which in turn creates increased productivity,” she says. “And, knowing our salon cares about our team’s mental health is also a great recruiting tool when introducing a future professional to the salon.

The Zen Room with the mood lighting on.  
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The Zen Room with the mood lighting on. 

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