STEPHANIE JENNINGS

DIRECTOR OF SALES

MINDBODY

Toughest business move: “Taking an entire salon and spa from booth rental to commission. I learned it is OK to lose people, especially if they are not on board with the way I run my business. I learned the value of risk taking.”

Best advice: “Always be professional, but charismatic at the same time. Be free to be yourself—people buy people, not products—but always stay crisp and sharp You never know what opportunities will present themselves or when or who you’ll impress.”

HEATHER BAGBY

OWNER, SHEAR ART SALON AND SPA AND THE SALON PROFESSIONAL ACADEMY TAMPA, FLORIDA

DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS

SUMMIT SALON BUSINESS CENTER

Lesson Learned: “Early in my career, I made an assumption that all of our salon team members understood and embraced our vision I thought that we could ‘will’ them to be successful. We didn’t have a clearly defined career path in place and spent an unhealthy amount of time redefining ‘success’ based on the latest class or seminar we attended. When we adopted the Summit Systems, our staff married the passion they have for their guests with a performance-based career path and our salon company has flourished every day since.”

Best advice: “At any stage of life as a woman, this industry supports your passion. Embrace the fact that you can be financially successful and at the same time do what you love. You have control.”

MONICA GREEN

(PRESENTED BY 1&1 INTERNET)

FOUNDER AND CEO, SO CURLY SO KINKY SO STRAIGHT

SOUTH EUCLID, OHIO

Smartest business move: “In terms of running my business, the smartest tool we could have invested in is our website. Being a professional in this industry means having a web presence. We use our website as a way to connect with our customers whether it’s by giving them the capability to schedule their appointments online or letting them know about upcoming events, specials and discounts.”

Best advice: “1. Always look the part, you are your best sales tool 2. Develop yourself as a person—find ways to grow and expand your leadership skills. 3. Stay focused. Find an area you can master and begin to build from there. 4. Take off the limitations—you can became whatever you believe and more! 5. Don’t take ‘no’ for an answer. If you want it, find a way to make it happen! 6. Always grow your spiritual side. It will guide you in making the right choices and it will open doors you would have never believed existed.”

CAROLYN HELMS

(PRESENTED BY ORIBE)

OWNER, THE BELL TOWER SALON, SPA AND STORE

WYOMISSING, PENNSYLVANIA

Lesson Learned. “I used to hire stylists with big books. Big mistake! Big books sometimes mean big diva mentality... and they tend to walk and take a few stylists with them. Now I hire people that I like and train them.”

“You really need to love this industry to be successful, happy and make money. Listen to the salon owners whom you aspire to be like. The people in our industry are so giving and love to share their knowledge. Reach out and take their advice. It has always worked for me.”

“At any stage of life as a woman, this industry supports your passion. Embrace the fact that you can be financially successful and at the same time do what you love. You have control. “

—Heather Bagby

MARILYN IHLOFF

(PRESENTED BY NEILL CORPORATION)

OWNER, IHLOFF SALONS AND DAY SPAS

TULSA AND NORMAN, OKLAHOMA

Biggest mistake: “Mistake isn’t really a word that I use much. I wouldn’t change a thing along my path, as all these efforts, fruitful or not, have placed me here today, surrounded by wonderful people in an industry I still love and where opportunities still abound.”

Best advice: “Find what you love to do, take care of yourself, learn something every day, be mindful and have lots of gratitude!”

CHRISTIANNA JACKSON

PRESIDENT

DAYSMART SOFTWARE, INC.

(MAKER OF SALON IRIS SOFTWARE)

Smartest business decision: “To invest a lot of software development resources into cutting-edge features, such as remote access. Don’t let fear hold you back. I learned that taking calculated risks is part of being successful.”

Best advice:  “Hard work is the key to success.”

GINA KHAN

(PRESENTED BY MATRIX)

OWNER, GINA KHAN SALONS

SAN FRANCISCO AND WALNUT CREEK, CALIFORNIA

Smartest business decision: “Partnering with Logics, it helped launch my color career and put me on the map!”

Best advice: “’Whatever career you work hard and be the very best at it and never forget your compass.’ That’s what my parents told me when they put me on a plane in India 39 years ago to start a new life in the U.S. It is great advice has served me well over the years and I have never forgotten it. I continue to strive to be the best!”

BERNADETTE KOTEL

(PRESENTED BY SALON LASERS)

OWNER, ABOUT BEAUTY

BOARDMAN, OHIO

Lesson learned: “Last year, I bought my first upscale salon at age 66. My biggest mistake was having no confidence in myself. I should have purchased my own salon years ago.”

Best advice: “My advice to any woman in the industry is always stay educated and informed. That is where the confidence comes from. You can never have enough education or confidence. Don’t listen to anyone else. Follow your own gut, then jump in with both feet.”

DEBBIE MILLER

ENTERPRISE RELATIONSHIP MANAGER

SHORTCUTS SOFTWARE

Smartest business decision: “To go to a Maly’s Hair Show in Michigan back in 1984. That one day changed my life. I used to sneak into shows and that day I got caught. The VP of education made me promise to try out for the Maly’s Education Team in order to get back to my seat. I made the team and most of those teammates are my friends today. Education changed my career, my life and my outlook.”

Best advice: “Remember what it feels like to sit in that chair as a client and be serviced by someone who cares. My lesson was no one cares how much I knew until they knew how much I cared. Sometimes, the moments people spend in your chair are the most priceless moments of their day, so listen, love and learn.”

ELAINE OCHTERA

(PRESENTED BY OUIDAD)

Biggest mistake: “My biggest mistake was to expand my salon too quickly. I learned that keeping control of inventory and focusing on the stylists and customer service is the way to grow a business faster than increasing square footage.”

Best advice: “This industry is multifaceted, pick the area that you are most passionate about and you will always succeed.”

TERRI TARRICO

VICE PRESIDENT OF MARKETING

HELEN OF TROY

Lesson Learned: “NEVER talk about a client to another client...they might be related (loll). Let your client do all the talking.”

Best advice: “Decide what you want and go after it. This profession is about fashion, art and style...there are no limits except the ones you put on yourself.”

“Find what you love to do, take care of yourself, learn something every day, be mindful and have lots of gratitude!”

—Marilyn Ihloff

Read more about