Posted on May 31, 2017
Community is one of the major benefits to opening a salon at Sola. As barber and educator Antonio Heath Sr. puts it, “Everything you need is inside of our community. It’s exclusive, and it’s only for us,” he says.
He isn’t kidding! At Sola, talented and passionate stylists surround you — literally. Don’t be surprised if you end up finding partnership opportunities in some pretty unexpected places. Here, a few Sola stylists share their experiences with successful partnerships they didn’t even know they were looking for.
Get to Know Your Neighbors
Nail technician Kim Piasecki – owner of The Painted Ten – came to Sola looking to build up her clientele. And she didn’t expect it to be so easy! In fact, she was downright surprised to discover that the stylists in her building were just as eager to network as she was. During lulls in the day, Kim would walk around Sola Salon Studios Colorado Springs and introduce herself to her neighbors. Kim usually had daytime slots to fill and says, “I would let [Sola stylists] know what sort of openings I had — just in case they had a hair client coming in who wanted to pick up a quick nail appointment.”
With Cobranding, Sharing is Caring
“I didn't expect to have such great support and networking opportunities within Sola,” Kim admits. Once she started introducing herself to other Sola stylists, Kim quickly learned that plenty of the stylists in her building were interested in marketing partnerships. Hairstylists, she discovered, were eager to “trade clients” by making mutual referrals. “It’s a really nice community versus your traditional salon competition,” Kim says noting, “When we’re able to share clientele, Sola truly becomes a one-stop shop for all of our clients.”
“There are a few girls here that I regularly refer to,” Kim continues. For convenience, Kim adds, “I hold onto their business cards, and they’ll hold onto mine.” Having another stylist’s card on hand makes referrals a breeze. But nothing beats face time with a prospective stylist. When she has a few extra minutes, Kim takes her referrals a step further, walking her clients to nearby salons for face-to-face introductions.
Give Your Clients the Whole Package
Handing out another stylist’s card and making verbal referrals is a great place to start. Kim, however, was surprised to discover that salon owners in her building were also interested in partnering on special packages, too. During the holidays, Kim joined forces with a nearby esthetician and a hairstylist to produce a gift package that included a pedicure, facial, and blowout. For a bridal package, a nail technician, makeup artist and hairstylist might work together to deliver the ultimate wedding experience. “It can be a little tricky coordinating schedules so the client can do the services back-to-back,” Kim admits. “But it works,” she says.
Don’t Forget About Social Media
Social media is an often overlooked, crazy-easy place to forge relationships with other Sola stylists. When Kim needs a cut, color, or lash extension, she turns to the professionals in her building. “If I get my lashes or hair done, I’ll put a post on social media for all of my clients to see,” she explains. On Facebook and Instagram, she’ll let her clients know about the standout service she received, and she’ll tell them to ask about it at their next visit. “That’s what I do to help out other Sola sisters, and it always comes back to me,” Kim says.
Join forces to Educate
Antonio Heath Sr. – owner of The Tonsorial Shave – has been a national educator for Hattori Hanzo Shears for three years — and the barber never expected to expand his educational offerings with help from two Sola stylists, Amanda Fagan and Alex Sylvester. The trio met at Sola – “That’s the thing about Sola, it’s a community,” Antonio says – and realized instantly that they shared the same vision and passion for education. Over lunch, Antonio, Amanda, and Alex decided to create their own education team focused on cuts and balayage. “We have our first class coming up at Paul Mitchel in Sterling Heights, Michigan, on June 12,” Antonio reports.
Co-brand for a Cause
Volunteering is an inspirational experience that can give you a new perspective on your life or business. Beyond the personal impact, though, partnering with other stylists to support a charity can also be good for business, creating buzz among clientele. In February, Alison Sessoms and Hutch Strickland – co-owners of Hue Hair Studio – joined forces with Cindy Dias – owner of Bella Veau – to provide cuts, styles, and makeup application for hundreds of teens and young adults with disabilities at the third annual Night to Shine, a special needs prom sponsored by Tim Tebow Foundation. Both Hutch and Alison were impressed by the amount of support they received for their Sola community. “Everybody at our Sola chips in for everybody else,” as Alison puts it.