As SALON TODAY opens up the application process for its fourth annual Total Salon Makeover competition for 2017, last year’s winner, Hair Anatomy @ the Fountains II, Inc. in Lake Worth, Florida, is well into its business transformation.

In late summer 2016, Hair Anatomy’s owner, Merri Vega, accepted the prize package valued at more than $30,000, which included a retail collection, fully stocked backbar, the Color Therapy product portfolio and comprehensive marketing and education package from Keratin Complex; a complete salon management system, including hardware and software from STX; furnishings and interior design consulting services from Takara Belmont; a business assessment and coaching from Strategies; and a color-dispensing station and hair-color management system from Mia by SureTint.

Shortly after the win, Strategies’ Neil Ducoff started consulting Vega. Ducoff also connected the winner with a longtime Strategies’ client, Bruce Todd Salon in Cape Coral, Florida, and Vega and her husband planned to spend several days observing management practices in Todd’s salon. Vega also is making plans to attend one of Strategies’ Incubator training seminars in the spring.

Vega met Takara Belmont and decided to spend her prize package on eight new styling chairs, three drying chairs, two manicure chairs and a custom retail cabinet.

After Keratin Complex met with Vega, the company generously decided to customize their prize package to meet Hair Anatomy’s needs. When Vega purchased the 30-year-old business from her former employer two years ago, she kept the salon’s color inventory which consisted of bits and pieces from five different lines. Vega decided it was in Hair Anatomy’s best interest to convert to a single color line.

Marigel Osorio, a regional education manager with Keratin Complex, recently conducted a color class with the team. “The salon has a mature client base and when I visited they were very, very busy and were doing multiple gray coverage color services,” Osorio says. “Vega and the team were interested in updating their color techniques and learning more highlighting and balayage trends, so they could offer existing clients new techniques, while also attracting new clients to the salon.”

The team was so intrigued by the new color education that one dedicated stylist, Patsy, grew out her gray leading up to the class and volunteered to be a model.

“Most of us have been doing color for more than 20 years, but is was still great to have a color class and review techniques,” Vega says. “As we’ve been using the Color Therapy line with clients, we’ve been so impressed—the colors are so rich and the coverage is great.”

“Vega has put a lot of hard work and love into the salon, and you can tell,” Osorio says. “She and the team came to the class full of really good questions and ready to explore some new techniques.”

SALON TODAY will continue to report on Hair Anatomy’s progress as they work more with Mia by SureTint and STX, while opening up the application process in order to select next year’s Total Makeover winner. The application process is easy—salon owners need to upload current pictures of their salon and write a short essay about how the competition’s prize package will help them grow their business to the next level.