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I had to pinch myself again....
I did. I had to pinch myself again! I remember standing inside my little salon when it was so close to completion, I was so proud of it, but the end seemed so far away! Now I am actually sitting here, blogging in my studio. I feel pretty proud of myself. My vision had to change shape a few times. As I sit here and admire how the details came together I feel pride. I am still not easy with it, but I am learning to accept the compliments, and feel proud of my little shop.
House hunting was an interesting process. It became hard to believe we would find everything we were looking for in one house, and still have it feel like a home. It's been over a year now, we aren't quite at the "home" feeling yet, but I can see it on the horizon. After 6 months of dancing with the lovely City of Surrey for permits, and a couple of months to build, we have arrived! Sort of....I sit here at 12:43am, while everyone is quiet and sleeping, writing my blog in my shop. I am currently playing Grace & Frankie on Netflix, and reminiscing about how I had to vacuum out the cabinets. Why you ask? Because the Mr. Cabinet Door Maker had his own timeline, mine was of no concern to him. Five weeks past our delivery deadline with no cabinet doors. It's a first world problem, but I was bursting to have them installed. One delay after another, we made it!
I have been self employed for five years now, the time flew by. I have grown as a woman, as a wife, as a daughter, and now as a badass girl boss! I actually have my own shop! Seeing each guests reaction when they walk in has become one of my favourite things. The pleasant surprise, their eyes move from one detail to another, they feel instantly comfortable, it makes my day. It validates that I made the right decision to get permits, and build out a proper shop. By the time this blog is launched I will have hopefully passed my final building inspection, and my Fraser Health inspection. I've been asked a hundred times why I chose to go thru so much trouble for just a hair salon in my home?
It's not just a hair salon to me. I made some very conscious decisions. I knew I didn't want to own a commercial space. This economy makes me nervous the cost of living is going up and luxury services are harder to afford. Having my home studio allows me to keep my pricing at a place where I hope to be affordable to my guests, while earning a honest living to pay my bills. I also have other passions and hobbies, I didn't want the extra responsibility of covering payroll, or chair renters, or all of the extra overhead. I have never been motivated by being the biggest and best, I am very comfortable where I am. It is so beautiful to know you don't need to prove yourself to anyone, and to have to empowerment to live a more balanced life. Balance is my biggest struggle, but I have come leaps and bounds.
It also chaps me to no end that as of 2003 hair stylists and aestheticians, by law, are no longer required to go to school to learn their craft. We are no longer required to obtain a cosmetology license! Pretty much anyone and their dog who thinks that if they watch enough youtube videos, or follow enough Instagramers qualifies them as a professional and they can perform services. You have to be so careful where you go for your services, is that stylist or aesthetician trained in: proper chemical usage, hygiene, sanitizing implements and their environment, protecting clients from communicable diseases? It was important to me that I have that Fraser Health approval, and a business license, to go along with my cosmetology license and various other certificates in upgrading my skills. I am proud to say that even though I work from home, I am conducting myself in a professional manner that protects the health and safety of my clients for their comfort. Believe me, there is a future blog brewing here!
But I digress.....I am so very excited for everyone to see it in person. I am a total amateur design junkie. I put a lot of my personality in this space. It's got its little quirks, a little bit of a old school vibe with some more comfy contemporary elements. I became a little obsessed with making the most of every square inch. Doesn't matter how many times I measured, or how many times I pestered my poor contractor to re-measure, or made my patient husband re-measure, I still can't believe how much we fit in that little room! Everything has a purpose weather its functional or just pretty to look at. I won't bore you by blabbing on, I'll add some notes to the photos.
Major thank you's have to go to some lovely people. First my mother. I basically took over her basement suit for months, forcing her to live upstairs with us, until we finally got permits! Thanks mamma for being so patient and living like a squatter. Another thank you goes out to Eclipse Contracting. Nick and his crew are great to work with, and I'm super grateful that his lovely wife is a designer, and they are good friends! I have blown up poor Lisa's phone with pictures, and ideas, and questions. There has also been a ton of support from my guests which you guys all know I have been super grateful for.
The shop has been running like a top since the renovations. I have been riddled with good intentions of having open house or customer appreciation night, but since we bled from one reno into another, it has yet to happen. March will be a full year in our little studio space and I smell a party brewing!
Till next time.....Read More
A good consultation.....
Have you ever gone into a salon where the stylist guided you over to their chair, stood behind you, and asked "What do you want done today" ? Seems like business as usual right? Standard practice? This method has to be one of my biggest pet peeves.
First of all, the hair salon chair on average is two to three feet away from the mirror. In theory, your mirror image is then four to six feet away from you. This means that when a stylist is standing behind you for the entire consultation they are not making eye contact with you, and it places a distance and disconnect between the service provider and the guest. This results in miscommunications and often times with the guest leaving unsatisfied. The number one complaint amongst my new guests is not feeling heard by their previous stylist.
All of my guests receive a consultation upon arrival to their appointment. Sometimes with recurring guests these consults can be quick because we most likely chatted at the previous appointment and made a plan for the next. This allows for more predicable appointments for the guest so they can plan how long their next visit will be, and roughly what to budget for.
New guests generally get booked a slightly longer appointment so that we can get to know each other. I add an additional thirty minutes to a new appointment. This allows time for me to pull important information out of the guest. During that first appointment I will sit face to face, so my guest knows I am listening!
Important topics I like to cover in that first consultation:
- Your morning styling routine. Do you love tools and products? Or are you a wash and wear gal, no fuss no muss?
- What tools and products do you currently have? Are they right for the style your trying to achieve?
- Your lifestyle & work. We need to make your look fit your life...we need to discuss what you can realistically achieve at home so you always feels great. No point in desiring a very fussy hair style that requires a lot of styling if you don’t like to blow dry to your hair for example.
- What condition is your hair currently in?
- Your hair history going back at least 2 years if you have hair past the shoulders.
- The hair style &/or colour your desiring.
- Eye colour & skin tone as they play a huge roll in choosing the right hair colour family.
- Face shape
After we have discussed what to expect during your appointment, I will also go over what to expect for future appointments. In order to have a successful first appointment, we need to discuss and set up how to maintain your new look. Some services will just need to be addressed during each appointment, while other services require some audience participation at home to maintain the look and the health of your hair. At every consultation we will also go over your service costs, there will not be surprises at the end of your appointment. We discuss and agree upon budget before we start your actual services. And some specialty services, such as hair extensions, will require a written agreement and a deposit.
As my guest in my studio, it is important to me that your feel comfortable, heard & cared for!
Till next time....Read More