“I’m not sure I would have opened so many locations. I have three adult salon locations and two children’s salons, and juggling so many places and managing such a large staff is definitely challenging. Early on, I was swept up in the day-spa frenzy, and I opened a three-room spa with full body care, massage and nails. The spa industry isn’t my true passion, so over the years that part of my business has dwindled. We now have one spa treatment room for skincare purposes only—no nails and no massage.

“I also think about timing and wonder if knowing what I know now, I might have made a move to become a bigger part of our industry sooner. When I first opened Salon Red at age 24, I was hesitant to even stand in the place of the owner. I remember guests would often wonder and ask their stylist who the owner was not knowing I was two chairs down and right there in the space. For whatever reason—anonymity, confidence or just naivety—I was so focused on building the businesses and creating my family that I didn’t really think about the bigger picture and my potential impact on the salon industry. I’ve only just begun to make my mark.”-JESSICA SOLER, Owner, Salon Red and Salon Red Kids, Atlanta, Georgia,

“I would have made men’s grooming even more of a focus than it is right now. Professionals are beginning to really see what Wahl can offer in terms of both beauty and barber schools and with advanced men’s cutting education. We have always had the right tools for the job, but we just need to educate the community on how to use them even better than we have in the past.” - KIM VO, Owner, Kim Vo Salons,

 “I would have started sooner! Although, I was the youngest I could be—legally, that is. I also wish I would have known that there were more possibilities than what were presented to me. My mother was very traditional and wanted me to be a doctor, engineer or lawyer. Though all great fields, they weren’t for me. I really wish there was a pre-cosmetology class during high school.

“A recent survey asked a pool of 80-year-old men and women what advice they would have told their younger selves and most answered the same thing: Be in a career that you love! Once you find what you love to do, work isn’t a four-letter word.” - JIM WAHL, Executive Vice President, Wahl Clipper Corporation,

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, Click here.

Read more about