Posted on September 20, 2017
Ashley Lecroy and Sabrina Solis just took their first vacation in two years! And the stylists have had plenty to toast to since opening their joint salon – Lush Hair Studio – in July of 2015 at Sola San Marcos.
When Ashley and Sabrina met a decade ago in beauty school, the two were fast friends. The stylists even share a similar story regarding their journey into the industry. After high school, both Ashley and Sabrina enrolled in college for a semester — then promptly switched to cosmetology school!
Ashley and Sabrina hit it off right away. “It sounds cheesy,” Sabrina says, “But it was a match made in heaven. Ashley is friendly and easy to get along with, and—.”
“We’re best friends,” Ashley chimes in. “She’s my sister, pretty much.”
Fresh out of school, Ashley and Sabrina snagged jobs at the same commission-based salon in San Diego, and that’s when their friendship and careers really began to blossom.
Ashley and Sabrina dove into the industry headfirst. “The owner [of the salon] put us on the floor right away, and threw us into the fire,” Sabrina explains, noting that she and Ashley benefited from working around other, more seasoned stylists who were always happy to share their advice and insight.
In addition to chatting up other hairdressers in the building, Ashley and Sabrina attended professional classes, too, in order to advance their skills in areas such as color and dry cutting.
Four years into their careers, the stylists were ready for a change. But they couldn’t imagine not working side-by-side. Ashley and Sabrina left the commission-based salon, and began renting booths at another San Diego studio — and that’s where they began hatching a plan to someday open their own place.
“After we started booth renting, we knew we had gotten the hang of it. We wanted to have a spot where we could do everything on our own,” Ashley says.
“We actually looked at another salon suite first — but it seemed overly complicated,” Sabrina recalls. When the duo learned about Sola, they loved how clean the building was and how “everything was already built,” as Sabrina puts it. “Sola didn’t just meet our expectations — it exceeded them,” Ashley adds. “It’s nice to know that our clients are coming to a beautiful space with clean bathrooms and hallways,” she continues.
“All we had to do was move in and decorate,” says Sabrina. And that was the fun part! The duo’s previous digs were “too colorful, almost tacky,” Sabrina says. She and Ashley came up with a modern, minimalist design scheme that was visually pleasing without being distracting.
Business has been booming. “We probably each get about two to five new clients a week,” Ashley estimates. “Honestly,” Sabrina says, “growth hasn’t slowed at all. We’re at the point where we are wondering if we need more space.”
Ashley and Sabrina specialize in color – mainly balayage and corrections – and they’re big on before/after photos. In fact, it’s photos that have helped the stylists grow their business at such an impressive rate.
There’s nothing wrong with advertising, but everyone knows that a stellar word-of-mouth recommendation is the best endorsement a business can get. That’s why Ashley and Sabrina encourage their clients to post reviews and before/after pictures on Yelp. “We ask them to do it,” Ashley says. “They don’t mind doing it because they’re usually really happy with their services,” she adds.
“Social media has been critical to building our business,” says Sabrina. “It’s just the best thing for getting the word spread,” adds Ashley, noting that she and Sabrina also use Instagram and Facebook.
Of course, the reason clients are so eager to post good reviews is because Ashley and Sabrina are great at what they do. And they’re great at what they do because they’re always looking for ways to enhance their knowledge and expertise while staying up-to-date on the latest trends.
Ashley and Sabrina don’t think twice about shelling out extra cash for classes in Los Angeles and beyond, and they’re excited to take advantage of Sola’s educational offerings, too. “We also watch a lot of videos,” Ashley says. Following your favorite celebrity stylists, Sabrina says, is an easy and cost-effective way to stay on trend.
“Right now, we’re happy where we are,” Ashley says. And who wouldn’t be happy owning a thriving business with their best friend?