Salon Business News

Beauty Backbone is Business Education for Owners by Owners

February 28, 2018 | 9:10 AM
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Karla Lopez-Martinez, Keri Davis-Duffy and Jon Rizo, developers of, a salon business website.
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Salon owners can purchase programs on in five different business areas, including education, culture, leadership, operations and finance.
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Every salon owner who has attempted to share their know-how through business classes realizes part of the job is dealing with scores of emails from participants asking for more clarity, examples of program templates or insight on a particular problem.

As she taught around the country during the past two decades, Keri Davis-Duffy, who co-owns Gila Rūt Salons in San Diego with Karla Lopez-Martinez, often wished she had a website where she could direct fellow owners for answers to questions like how to organize a product promotion or the best strategy for giving raises to staff members.

Now, she does. Davis-Duffy and Lopez-Martinez, along with Gila Rūt lead educator Jon Rizo, have launched Beauty Backbone based on the five components of running a successful beauty business: education, culture, leadership, operations and finance. The umbrella program includes Train U, Beauty Backbone’s first product to launch last January that helps salons create a solid educational program by training the trainers.

“We’ve put together all the materials we’ve developed for Gila Rūt and launched a support system for the industry, based on all the comments, concerns and questions we’ve received in coaching the past 20 years,” Davis-Duffy says.

The website includes written and video blogs that any visitor can access, plus program components, templates and examples under each of the five business components that can be purchased a la carte. For example, owners in need could download 10 cultural commandments, opening and closing procedures, staff scripts, or an employee annual review template. Soon, Davis-Duffy says users will be able to access a template to customize their own staff handbook.

The goal of the TrainU educational component is to take any hairdresser and turn them into a dynamic educator by teaching them how to teach. With access to the site, owners can download education, customize it with their brand, choose the lessons they want to incorporate and download both trainer and student binders.

“It’s all designed to be very easy,” Davis-Duffy says. “We can take hairdressers who have never taught and soon they are confidently teaching classes.”

The Beauty Backbone system is purposefully designed to not be overwhelming and owners can pick and choose what they want to order according to their needs at the time. In addition, owners can order individual or a package of coaching sessions with Davis-Duffy or Lopez-Martinez.

“It’s like speed dating, rather speed coaching sessions,” Davis-Duffy says. is offering $50 off to Salon Today readers on any program of their choice when they use the coupon code ST2018. 

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