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Episode 1: Going Independent + Getting Started In A Salon Studio

It all started nearly 16 years ago on a napkin at a Starbucks... Listen as your host, Jennie Wolff, and Sola’s first-ever Sola stylist, Kim Bennett, discuss why and how Kim started her nearly 16-year journey with Sola and much more on this episode of the Sola Stories Podcast.

Kim first opened her Sola studio in Denver, Colorado in 2004. Even though salon studios weren’t as common in the industry as they are now, Kim saw the opportunity, saw the heart of the company, and took a leap of faith that changed her life forever. Kim has been a sounding board for the company since the beginning to ensure that at Sola, the beauty professionals always come first.

Listen as Kim shares what inspired her to become a hairdresser, how she became a national educator for Paul Mitchell, and why she moved to Denver. Kim describes what led her to Sola, what inspires her in life and business, and how instrumental her mentors were to where she is today. She also speaks about mentorship, how seriously she takes it, and the responsibility she feels toward anyone who seeks her advice.

On this episode, Kim shares what it was about the Sola Salon Studios concept that appealed to her, her fears when she first opened, and what she was most excited as she embarked on her journey. She speaks about how her salon has evolved over the last nearly 16 years and how the redesign of her studio has given her inspiration for continued growth. Kim opens up about being a single mom and how being her own boss allows her the freedom she needs to be there for her daughter.

Kim believes that she is who she is today because of that meeting at Starbucks. Her salon at Sola isn’t just a job for Kim. Sola is her family. Jennie’s conversation with Kim isn’t over, stay tuned for part 2 because there is so much more to discuss.

Listen To Episode 1:



In This Episode

[00:26] Welcome, everyone!

[00:41] Jennie shares her background and why she accepted the position at Sola Salon Studios.

[01:39] Jennie introduces Kim and shares a little of her inspirational journey with Sola.

[04:15] Kim, thank you so much for being on the show!

[06:43] Kim shares how she got into hairdressing and why it appealed to her.

[08:41] Kim speaks about becoming a national educator for Paul Mitchell, who led her to move to Denver.

[09:39] What led you to want to work with Sola?

[11:06] Jennie chats about what she learned from Kim, about how different types of salons are to the industry.

[12:21] Kim believes that what inspires her in life is just life. She loves the life she has and shares her joy.

[13:31] What inspires you in business? 

[14:51] Kim discusses her mentors, how instrumental they are to her success, and how she feels about mentorship.

[17:35] Kim shares that Jennie has been a big part of her journey because of the fresh eyes she brought to the industry.

[19:42] Kim speaks about how she found her mentors and how she approached them.

[21:25] They chat about how social media enables you to connect with mentors that before seemed untouchable.

[22:42] What does being a mentor mean to you? How do you respond to people that reach out to you?

[24:19] Kim shares what appealed to her about the Sola model.

[26:48] Kim speaks about her fears when she first started looking to join Sola.

[28:39] What were you most excited about when you were setting up your studio that first day?

[30:02] Kim describes what has changed since the recent redesign of her studio.

[33:01] Kim shares how her business has evolved and how she continues to stay inspired to grow.

[36:10] How has Sola as a company evolved?

[38:25] Jennie speaks about the Sola Pro app, SolaGenius, and other Sola tools and programs that have helped Kim grow her business.

[39:17] Kim shares what she would say to someone who is on the fence about opening their own studio.

[41:03] Kim describes how having her studio has impacted her life outside of the salon, helping her create work-life balance.

[43:26] When you have a salon studio, you can control everything about how you work. There are no limitations.

[44:57] What one piece of advice would you give your twenty-something self if you had the chance?

[46:24] Tune in to part 2 to hear more about Kim’s journey and evolution with Sola.

Episode 2: Creating Connection + The Importance of Education

Do you long for belonging to something bigger than yourself? Listen as your host Jennie and Sola’s Culture Ambassador, Kim Bennett, continue discussing the benefits of a career with Sola Salon Studios, Kim’s nearly 16-year-long journey at Sola, and much more on this part 2 episode of the Sola Stories Podcast. If this is the first time you are tuning in, Jennie Wolff is the Chief Marketing Officer at Sola Salon Studios, and Kim is Sola’s first-ever Sola professional. 

Kim shares why she believes it's so important to create and harness relationships in the beauty industry and the work you have to put in to build trust and honor. She also speaks about how she has established relationships within the Sola community all across the country using social media. Kim discusses how her local Sola community has impacted her business and tips on how a new Sola professional can create those meaningful relationships with their own Sola community.

Kim speaks about the importance of education in the beauty industry, especially for independent salon owners. She shares ways Sola helps to educate stylists and the tools she and other Sola professionals can use to grow their businesses. Kim chats about why she became a Paul Mitchell educator and how she has parlayed that partnership in her salon.

Do you want to become an educator? Listen as Kim shares advice for listeners who are thinking about becoming educators and the steps they can take to make it happen. She also stresses how important it is to make the most of your partnership with Sola. The Sola team has dedicated themselves to ensuring Sola professionals have everything they need to be successful as long as you are willing to put in the work.

If you haven't listened to part 1, you should definitely check it out, but you can also listen to this as a stand-alone conversation. So sit back, relax, and enjoy.

Listen To Episode 2:



In This Episode

[00:26] Welcome to the Sola Stories Podcast!

[00:42] Kim, thank you for being here!

[01:01] Kim shares why it is so essential for her to have connections with people.

[03:14] Kim chats about how connecting people can be a lot of work; build trust and honor.

[07:13] How have you established relationships with your Sola community, and how has it impacted your business?

[10:25] Kim shares how she has built relationships with Sola communities all across the country.

[12:21] Kim gives tips to new Sola stylists for using social media to connect with the Sola community across the country.

[15:01] How did you build your clientele and nurture those relationships? How do you continue to grow year after year?

[17:10] Kim shares ways to confort a problematic client, and when that might be appropriate.

[19:47] Kim speaks about why continuing education is so important to independent business owners.

[21:56] How do you think Sola can help people stay educated at this time in their career?

[23:31] Kim shares why she became an educator with Paul Mitchell.

[26:17] Kim believes that combining her position as an educator with Paul Mitchell and being a salon owner at Sola is the magic she needed to be successful.

[28:58] You don't just educate on stage, but also every day with the client in your chair.

[30:08] What advice do you have for any listeners who want to become educators?

[31:56] Kim speaks about how to become an educator.

[33:34] Kim chats about how a stylist can make the most of their partnership with a brand.

[34:49] How has partnering with a brand like Paul Mitchell helped build a more substantial business for Kim Bennett Studios?

[37:05] Kim shares how people can make the most out of their relationship with the Sola brand.

[39:40] Shout out to Angela, who is producing the podcast for us.

[41:30] Kim chats about why she says you have to get uncomfortable to grow.

[43:16] Kim's last words of wisdom are for everyone to find their balance of gratitude and perspective.

Links and Resources

Jennie Wolff

Sola Salon Studios

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Connect with Kim

Kim Bennett Studios



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