When you’ve read SALON TODAY 200 essays for as many years as I have, you can pick up on nuanced changes in salon business from year to year. But last year, let’s just say these changes were anything but subtle. Over the past two years, owners have adapted and evolved in seismic waves.
This year, we asked the ST200 applicants to reflect on what they did to recover in 2020 and what they did to rebuild in 2021. Many reported that The Great Resignation and burnout took a significant toll on the team. The demands of beauty professionals for flexible schedules, weekend days off and higher compensation had owners scrambling to expand their hours and design complex schedules that gave existing team member options. Owners also raised prices and examine their pricing strategies to factor in both time and product costs, quoting each client an individualized price. Societal demands for equality encouraged owners to draft new gender-neutral service menus, rethink their dress codes and expand education and retail mix to reach new client demographics.
The change in owner mindset through the ST200 essays was so vivid, I started passing off essays to Contributing Editor Rosanne Ullman to flesh out stories for salontoday.com while we were judging and even before we’d determined our list for 2022.
Follow the links below to see the resulting stories:
- Bella Style Salon confidently raised their prices over their local competitors, changed their compensation to hourly and designed a four-day workweek that gives staff members a five-day weekend every three weeks.
- Allure Designs in Beauty developed a culture rating system based on 12 behaviors. Employees rate themselves and managers rate the team members, giving Owner Shelly Malizola new factors to coach team members on.
- At Brio SalonSpa, Heather and Wayne Tytula organized a Social Media Squad and enlisted their employees to create content for Instagram and TikTok.
- Avantgarde made it easier than ever for clients to refer their friends with a textable QR code that rewards the client with a $25 coupon when she shows she texts it to five friends.
- To address the unpredictability in slow times, Broome Street Society in New York uses ClassPass to offer new clients free blowouts with a treatment purchase or discounts on other services.
- Proud of the diversity among their team and their clientele, Chi Wah Organica boldly placed a sign in its window that says “Racism and Hate have no place here,” which alienated some clients but attracted even more.
- To attract the attention of students at local beauty schools, the team from Centre Salons and Spas came in with snow cone machines, tarot card readings and carnival selfie walls, then the team gave out QR codes that connect to the salon’s application section on the salon’s website.