In Spring 2016, Qnity partnered with SALON TODAY to host the Emerging Leader Cup for a competition designing the salon of tomorrow. Emerging Leaders is a subset of membership of 2 to 10, an association for salons that operate businesses from 2 to 10 locations. The Emerging Leaders represent members of the group who are 30 years old or younger.
For the purposes of the competition, the group was divided into three teams and charged with the mission of sketching out a beauty concept for the future. The teams were judged on the originality of their salon concept, how they worked together as a team, the feasibility of their concept, and how well they presented their idea. After the presentations, the judges scored each salon and conferred together to select a winning team.
In the end, the judges agreed that the Co-Collective team just edged the other teams out to win, but they all felt there was value in sharing the ideas of all three teams. Here is the slide presentation and the concept by Co-Collective:
Co-Collective: Life in a Pop-Up Economy
Team Members: AmberLynn Maxwell of Ihloff Salons; Jessica Gordon and Michael Gordon of Gordon Salons, and Garrison Neill and Tatum Neill of Paris Parker Salons
In search of a new salon concept, the Co-Collective group started by looking at some of the consumer behaviors that are currently trending in the United States, and started imagining how those behaviors could be translated into a salon concept. The behaviors included: collaborative, co-working spaces; a growing need for a sense of community; retailers that are opening pop-up shops or shops in neighborhoods versus a traditional mall; brands that are encouraging customers to visit multiple times a week by partnering up with coffee shops and tea bars; and the emergence of high-end food halls.
The team started imagining how a salon concept could start collaborating with other businesses. As a result, the Co-Collective is a trend-forward salon that features an experience table check-in area, stations on casters so they can be moved to accommodate events; flex scheduling to appeal to younger stylists; and a photo area to encourage social media.
“The collaborative work space is not just a tool to keep current employees satisfied,” said presenter Garrison Neill. “Many employers have found this open floor plan to be a powerful recruiting tool. The open, laid-back atmosphere gives the impression of a flexible and innovative corporate culture.”
The salon would partner with a local coffee purveyor to open up an in-salon coffee bar next to a shared workspace, with designated areas for walk-ins and clients with reservations. As an added bonus, customized coffee orders could be delivered directly to the station during a client’s appointment.
The retail space would double as an art gallery and each month artwork would rotate through the space, and the salon would host monthly art gatherings to maximize exposure. Within the retail area, a dedicated space would be used to host retail pop-ups, keeping retail offerings fresh and exciting for salon guests.
The salon would cater to clients aged 18 to 40 who care about fashion, style and are trend conscious.
The team also stressed the entry cost for the salon startup would be lower because it’s a space within a space, and the cost to operate also would be lower because the salon would be sharing the space with other businesses.