Ryan Sieverson, president of SEVEN haircare, says that the development of SEVEN was a natural progression following the success of the SEVEN Salon in Seattle, an ideal test site for a new line. But Sieverson is introducing more than hair products to the industry; he is proposing a new way to partner with salons for shared success.
“We recognize that salon owners and stylists are entrepreneurs and that we all need to aspire to a certain level before we can realize our full potential,” Sieverson says. "That is how we built our salon business, through the idea that we are all responsible for our own success. We need to put ourselves on the same level as other licensed professionals and carry ourselves with that same degree of professionalism.”
In a conversation with MODERN, Sieverson talks about how SEVEN is helping propel product innovation, and the salon conversation, forward.
MODERN SALON: Please share a bit about your beauty background.
RYAN SIEVERSON: I am in my twenty-second year in the industry and I’ve had the opportunity to work with some truly great brands. I began in field sales as a salon consultant in southern California, and have led both small and large teams. Beauty is an industry that marries care for oneself and others with artistic expression, so it really reflects my values and attracts like-minded people. And it’s especially fulfilling to me when you have a leadership role and can help others unlock their potential and realize their dreams. I think that is something we at SEVEN do quite well.
MS: Seven has some very unique beginnings. Can you please talk about the salon, the evolution of the product line, and what sets SEVEN apart?
RS: When the salon opened in Seattle, they were my customers and they carried my line, at the time, exclusively. The SEVEN story started with an idea about what one can do, about taking creative vision, artistic abilities, and strong business acumen to create a salon that would set itself apart and succeed in a highly competitive market. It started with nine chairs and four stylists, and through the implementation of excellent client services, and good business policies and practices that were consistently met, the salon grew and expanded to another location. Over the course of 12 years, we grew to 41 chairs, with over 60 stylists, open 7 days a week, and we are one of the most successful and productive salons in the US.
Around six years ago, the team decided that the products they were using weren’t delivering the finished look that their clients wanted. They needed products for more touchable and natural styles. We began a product development process and were able to do thorough testing within our own group of stylists. It launched five years ago, and was carried exclusively in the SEVEN salon. We have employed a direct sales model to salons in the US, starting in the west and branching out from there to as many as 25 states, today.
The way we set ourselves apart is we help salons fulfill the promise of what is locked inside them, the potential all salons have to be truly great businesses and not just a place where great hair gets done.
We created our amazing business through policies, practices, and marketing promotions, and we are willing to share all of it with our partner salons. Instead of being precious with our information, we are the open source solution for the salon industry.
MS: How will you be reaching the hairdresser?
RS: Some of the strategic decisions we made in this regard are classic and some, unconventional.
We have classic education in the field, with educators visiting our partner salons. We recognize our educators strengths and let them share the things they love and excel at doing. Our Master Educator Team consists of specialists in many different areas, from editorial, to romantic hair, to haircutting.
On the unconventional side, we have recognized the importance of fresh, relevant content and have retained a media company, SalonHero, to create content on a daily basis and to help us be a true partner to the industry. Everyone knows they need a great website, a compelling sizzle reel and rich email marketing campaigns, but I’ve met some very successful salon owners who say they just don’t have the time to do those things that need to be done. Working with SalonHero, we can create that website for you, we can shoot and edit that reel for you, we can teach, show and even do what you need done, making us a partner on another level to the industry.
MS: What should we look for from the brand in 2018?
RS: What we have coming up is lots of innovation and lots of growth.
We’ve launched our first beauty supplement, the SATARA OPTI formula, which contains biotin and a blend of botanicals to fortify hair and nails. We’re also introducing an at-home bond haircare system, the KENTE BOND system. It’s a shampoo, conditioner and reparative spray that has been clinically proven to reduce breakage by 60 percent.
And as for growth, we are expanding distribution throughout the US and internationally. We are launching in Australia, which coincides with our partnership with actress Portia de Rossi, who is from Australia. We chose Australia because its salon industry is most like the US. They have great salons, they have professional products, they have specialty retailers, and distributors, and they take education seriously.
MS: Final thoughts?
RS: The first time I toured and met with our manufacturer, I thought because we are a startup in this industry it will probably be hard to get their attention because they work with much bigger companies, doing much bigger runs. Instead, I found that they are keen to work with companies like ours because we are inspiring. We don’t start with a marketing brief that says this product has to cost 19 cents to produce but, instead, we say we want a product that delivers at this level, with these results, and we’ll test over and over and when you find this formula, tell us what it will cost.
Get more information about SEVEN haircare.