Vannessa Houlihan and the team at Maven Hair Company needed a software system that was nimble,...

Vannessa Houlihan and the team at Maven Hair Company needed a software system that was nimble, responsive and streamlined for their boutique beauty business. 

After 12 years as a salon employee, Vannessa Houlihan was ready to flex her own entrepreneurial muscle. She envisioned a boutique salon that catered to a younger demographic, offering on-trend hair services like balayage and highlighting, as well as makeup and wedding services. The result was Maven Hair Company in Franklin, MA, and four years later, her business in the competitive Boston-area salon market is going strong.

As a new owner, one of the most important decisions Houlihan had to make was choosing a salon operating software system for her business. With only four chairs in her boutique salon, she needed a system that was small but mighty—powerful enough to get the job done but not too unwieldy with features she didn’t need, and not too expensive. With Rosy Salon Software, she feels she made a perfect match.

Houlihan started her search with a specific list of criteria for running her business and Rosy ticked every box:

“This feature is so important,” says Houlihan. “We have a small salon and I was a new owner and I needed marketing support that didn’t take a lot of my time. With Rosy I can set up automatic campaigns connected to the system. We can set up emails for new clients, birthdays, past due for appointments, and we just set it up once and never think about it again.”

“Confirmation calls are another thing our small staff doesn’t have time to do,” says Houlihan. “With Rosy we can set up automatic confirmation texts or emails. Our clients love it, and so does the team. We can also automatically email or text if our records show a client might be running low on a product, they’ve purchased from us.”

With this feature, Houlihan easily stays in touch with all of her clients, via newsletters, announcements, promotions, etc. “This is a function that is always evolving,” she notes. “For awhile we did quarterly newsletters with big announcements and new promotions. Then we received feedback from our guests noting they loved hearing about the people in the salon—their promotions or simply what was going on, so we added that type of information to our newsletters. Then we discovered that if people felt like a newsletter was coming from me, it got even more replies. The system is really good at tracking so we can see what’s working and what isn’t. I’m taking some business classes and studying techniques for email campaigns to find effective marketing strategies.” 

Many salons think they may not be able to compete with Amazon or big box stores for product sales, but thanks to Rosy and its partnership with SalonInteractive, Maven has found a way to stay competitive when it comes to e-commerce. “We display products on our website,” Houlihan explains, “and when someone places an order, it’s shipped by my distributor. I don’t have to ship anything or process the payment. We offer small, exclusive brands like Kevin Murphy and the organic Loma that people can’t find all over. If I notice someone talking about a brand we carry on social media, I can comment and let them know we can ship it anywhere. So we get orders from clients who have run out between appointments, and also from people from remote locations.”

Rosy offers beautiful templates for email marketing, as well as the option to create custom pieces. For salons like Maven with a specific image, design esthetics are important. “I loved the Rosy esthetic from the beginning,” notes Houlihan. “It was beautiful and easy to use.”

As a new-ish salon owner, Houlihan is always learning and growing, and she says one of the best things about Rosy Software is its ability to respond when she has a new idea or strategy. “I plan to dive deeper into marketing and e-commerce,” comments Houlihan. “For example, I might target clients who receive highlights and send them recommendations for a new product that can care for their hair color. There’s so much to explore and I know that Rosy will make it easy to try out my ideas!”

For more information visit

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