The team from Metropolis Hair Fashion celebrate winning SALON TODAY's Total Salon Makeover 2019.
The team from Metropolis Hair Fashion celebrate winning SALON TODAY's Total Salon Makeover 2019.Eric McNew

In mid-February, the SALON TODAY team was thrilled to inform Scott Stuart, owner of Metropolis Hair Fashions in Knoxville, Tennessee, that he was the winner of the 2019 Total Salon Makeover competition.

“It is a crazy feeling and all the emotion make your heart beat fast,” Stuart says about receiving the news. “It is so rich to have your vision recognized.”

As the winner, Metropolis will claim a prize package valued at $30,000, including a complete salon management system including hardware and software from STX; new salon furnishings from Minerva’s showroom; and Keune’s complete hair care, styling and grooming retail collection, complimentary backbar and an assortment of professional color, forming and lifting products.

Through the entry process, Stuart shared images of Metropolis’ current space and wrote an essay detailing how the salon would leverage the prize package to grow the salon to the next level. Metropolis was among a list of finalists that were judged by representatives at SALON TODAY, STX, Minerva and Keune.

“Metropolis’ entry for this competition quickly emerged as a frontrunner as Stuart had a clear vision for his salon’s growth, and he had researched the prize package and had idea on how he'll leverage it,” says Stacey Soble, editor of SALON TODAY. “Our judges not only were impressed with his foresight, but also his enthusiasm to embrace the change necessary to get there.”

Afterward, Stuart shared that the essay itself has become a beacon to keep the salon on its path. “As many salons do, we found ourselves set in a pattern which becomes so familiar it is challenging to find a way to move on,” Stuart says. “I find I can read that essay again and get back on track, and it’s helped me share my vision with the team who are excited to see the plan realized. It really is about our team and our guests, without them there is no story.”

Metropolis Hair Fashions opened its doors in 1993, and built its success on a strong foundation of education. The salon has hosted more than 60 educational events in its 42-seat classroom, frequently reaching out to its friendly competition to share in the learning. Industry icons including Sam Villa, Nicholas French, Chris Baran, Gareth Palmer, Eric Fisher Susie McGill and Christopher Dove and Sonya Dove have taught in the space.

Stuart proposes the marriage of education and technology to take their business to the next level and will use STX at the core of its metamorphosis. “We will use iphones and ipads to bring our young stylists front and center where they may shadow senior stylists while providing customer centric services chairside, including pre-booking, retail sales and checkout,” he says.

Stuart plans to refocus his retail to a few salon-dedicated brands, which will result in increased product knowledge for the team, and greater retail sales. Keune will be positioned as a premium product line, and the salon has already offered their classroom to Keune educators to host cluster classes.

The team at Metropolis is looking forward to working with Minerva to reduce the size of its ‘Texas-size front desk’ replacing it with a smaller mobile reception desk. They also have their eye on a pipeless pedicure chair to upgrade their nail area.

“We are hoping to develop a new business model that will empower our stylists, reduce bottom-line expenses and launch us into the next salon era with the hybridization of technology, education and outstanding customer service,” Stuart says. “If we can accomplish this vision, we will have created a model that may benefit other salons and stylists.”

Keep checking throughout the year to see the Metropolis transformation.

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