As one of Ouidad’s flagship locations as a salon dedicated to curly-headed clients, Ouidad by Chadwick and Igor in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, already is used to redefining the typical salon concept. At its helm are Chadwick Pendley and Igor Araujo. Trained by Ouidad in the original Manhattan location, Pendley serves as master artistic educator for the Ouidad, training stylists in the curl cutting and styling techniques throughout the country. Araujo brings additional expertise as a Goldwell technical artist. The salon has been nominated for four Mindbody Bold Awards, winning in the Greastest Business Growth category; was a 2017 Salons of the Year finalist, and is a 2018 Salon Today 200 honoree.
Now, the innovative salon is leading the industry in cutting edge technology with its latest installation of Smarter LifeStyle Network (SLN) interactive technologies. “Telling our story has never been easier,” Chadwick says. “It gives us the power to add our custom videos to the network playlist. Our clients have more info at their fingertips. It is a completely immersive experience.”
In a candid interview, Chadwick recently talked to us about the motivation behind this business decision:
ST: What intrigued you most about Smarter LifeStyle Network (SLN) and influenced your decision to install in your salon?
Chadwick: We were first intrigued by the possibility of linking up with others and becoming part of a much bigger picture. We feel we can accomplish big things when connected with others.
ST: What is your favorite feature of the network?
Chadwick: I personally love the fact that so much beautiful information about fashion is being produced and delivered. Fashion always inspires. Now we have the most up-to-date buzz delivered right to our salon through the Smarter Lifestyle Network. Clients love to stay current not only their curls but also their own style and this network responds to that need.
ST: In what ways have you been able to customize your content/videos?
Chadwick: We are able to customize our message through videos and deliver the content of that message with SLN. SLN gives us a professional platform to bring it all together and deliver to our guests a beautiful piece of media we would otherwise not have the time or resources to produce.
ST: How do your clients perceive SLN?
Chadwick: They are very excited to have a smart device filled with useful and entertaining information to use while they wait in our lounge. The guests are very impressed within seconds. To be able to offer them a source of information that they actually enjoy and find useful helps separate us from others and says that we are different – We are not only current, but we are cutting edge!
ST: Can you describe how SLN helps you to sell products or higher margin services?
Chadwick: By helping inform our clients through SLN, we can now sell more retail and more services. Education is key and SLN helps to do just that – further educate our guests.
ST: How has SLN improved your wait space?
Chadwick: With the introduction of SLN, we elevated our level of service and luxury in our lounge. The guests now have a resourceful tool they can use to help pass time while they relax in our salon.
ST: Would you recommend SLN to other salons?
Chadwick: Yes. It just makes sense. The one-time installation cost is well worth what SLN brings to the table in terms of entertainment and awareness.
ST: Are there any other tools you've used or come across that compare to SLN, in terms of customization and profit generation?
Chadwick: No not even. We feel that SLN is in a league all their own. After lots of research, we found nothing in the market that compares to what SLN provides for our environment.
ST: Do you approach sign in or other parts of the client experience differently now that you have a tool like SLN available?
Chadwick: We do. We welcome guests into the salon and offer them exclusive beverages and SLN tablets for their enjoyment the moment they arrive into our Lounge.
ST: How do you think SLN will affect your business model going into the future?
Chadwick: We believe it connects us to a bigger team and that allows us to do bigger things in the future. It helps us promote our story furthermore to an audience we could not reach. This is huge!
ST: How has your service experience been with installation and maintaining SLN?
Chadwick: Both installation and maintenance of SLN has been with ease. Technical support walked us through every step and remain only a phone call away if we have any questions or concerns.
Smarter LifeStyle Network is an interactive media company focused on helping salons create the optimal client experience by reducing their perceived wait times through the latest in fashion, beauty, and lifestyle entertainment. The network supplies salons with the opportunity to collect valuable data by providing clients with the ability to share their voice through surveys. The salon can then put this information to use in ways that will positively impact the consumer experience. The goal is to create a valuable two-way conversation that helps increase the salon’s bottom line through advertising revenue share and higher customer satisfaction.