Owner to Owner: Kathy TomczykKathy TomczykThe Experience Salon and Spa
Wheeling, Illinois

The best hires I have ever made were …

My receptionist and my shampoo staff. The first person a guest comes in contact with is very important-my receptionist must do everything necessary to accommodate the client. The shampoo technician leads the client from reception to the shampoo area. Her knowledge of products and soothing manner toward the client makes my job easier when the client gets to my chair.

The best decor investment I made … Is the built-in fireplace in our reception area. On cold days, it is everyone's favorite place to relax while waiting for their services. Our coffee bar is probably the second favorite place among our clientele; it's where we gather for our "girls night out" and bridal parties.

Our best customer service technique is … Our consultations. Everyone is beautiful in his or her own way. Our job is to enhance this beauty with our expertise and knowledge. If they look good, I look good.

When I'm stressed out I … Concentrate on what I can do to make changes in the salon. Making changes gives everyone a new attitude and a new perspective about the salon.

A major challenge I've faced in my career is … Opening my own salon. After being behind the chair for 30 years, I now have to think about the business aspects of the salon. I enjoy working with people and making them look and feel special-but now I have the added challenge of keeping my staff happy as well as the clients.

The last charitable event we hosted was … A "Pink Week," for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Each day we had a promotion to raise money for breast cancer. We also just completed a community service project with the local library; we talked to pre-teens about self-image and how important it is to be healthy and smart about your look. We will be returning to do another program for "Health Week."

The most effective technique we use to sell retail … Is to supply our salon with professional products that can be purchased at salons only. Clients are educated during the service on how to use the products for the best results. We make sure that every client leaves with the products we use; otherwise their results won't be the same at home.

I love what I do because … I love to make people look and feel their best. It is important to me to give them a look that they can maintain themselves.

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