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On Monday, February 13, 2017, nearly 200 Sola professionals from 16 different states gathered to experience the magic of the Sola Sessions. They came, they learned, they cheered, they ate, they discovered, they collaborated, they celebrated and they gathered inspiration from the industry’s very best.

The one-day event featured business and inspiration by Nina Kovner (Passion Squared), marketing with Sola’s VP of Marketing & Education Jennie Wolff, an insane amount of cutting and barbering with Steven Lightfoot and John Mosley of Hattori Hanzo Shears and TONS of color techniques with Leah Freeman of L’ANZA Healing Haircare. Additionally, Hydropeptide, KLASS Beauty, Product Club and State/RDA joined us as vendor partners to provide skincare, makeup, salon sundries and so much more.

We learned SO much at the Dallas Sola Session that we just had to share our top moments with you! 

Event Emcee, Kim Bennett Horvath–Sola’s first-ever stylist and Culture Ambassador/Director of Industry Relationships–kicked off the event by sharing Steve Harvey’s video “You Gotta Jump.” In the video, Steve shares inspiration on how to make your dreams come true, which Kimi compared to making the leap to salon ownership at Sola. She reminded the audience that when you jump, it’s scary at first, and sometimes throughout the free fall the going gets tough, but eventually your parachute will open. But you've gotta jump, because if you don't, you’ll never thrive!

Kimi also talked about the future of the industry, sharing a story of her 3-year old client, Aliyah who “counted her sleeps” till her first visit to Kimi’s studio. She shared that even with her teeny-tiny new client, she had the opportunity to provide a consultation, recommend retail, pre-book her next appointment, and Aliyah even went to school to shout referrals from the rooftop.

Nina Kovner of Passion Squared encouraged stylists to identify their “why” and inspired them to consistently deliver on that promise. She shared that as salon owners, Sola professionals need to ask themselves what problem they are trying to solve for their clients, encouraging them to create their own brand and the type of vibe they want to emulate. But branding and vibes all depend on the people they choose to attract in their salon.

Nina filled the room with love and awesome inspiration, sharing powerful insights from Simon Sinek: “people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” She reminded attendees that they are in business to solve problems and provide solutions, and it’s so important to always remember that money is the result, not the reason.

Sola’s VP of Marketing & Education, Jennie Wolff, provided a high-level introduction to marketing, sharing that the heart of marketing is storytelling. She encouraged the audience to assess their clientele before beginning to define and tell their story, because “marketing starts and ends with your customer.” She shared 8 different marketing tactics, ranging from social media to referral programs to technology, all that work together to make up an “integrated marketing strategy.”

While going around the wheel explaining a short overview of all 8 recommended marketing tactics, Jennie taught the Sola crowd how to lean forward to utilize the wonderful tools Sola has created to help catapult their marketing journey. These tools include: Sola Pro, the Sola Blog and SolaGenius, a new app to be launched in March!

During lunch, stylists mingled, shared stories, and visited with our brand partners to shop, learn, and shop some more.

Following lunch, John Mosley and Steven Lightfoot took the stage, representing Hattori Hanzo Shears. They reiterated that time is MONEY (especially as an independent salon owner), and recommended versatile tools that help you to maximize your time.

Mosley shared extensive barbering and clipper techniques, including a fade featuring a slight edge that allows for versatile styles when a client wants to wear their hair more than one way. He explained that before identifying the type of cut you should give your client, it’s important to ask some important questions such as: what type of longevity do you want in your haircut. Lifestyle totally plays into how short a guy would want to go. He stressed the importance of finding the tools that will help to get the job done.

Steven Lightfoot shared a unique cutting system, showing multiple body positions of the client that can be useful for revealing the real bulk and weight of clients’ hair. He demonstrated how to move through thick hair and cut out interior weight, explaining that texture exists in the haircut, not in the product (of course, product helps). He encouraged the Sola audience to learn from those around you, and make the time to respect the work of others.

After a short afternoon shopping break, Leah Freeman took the stage representing L’ANZA and wowed the crowd with 12 incredible, easy to digest color techniques. From balayage application on wet hair to dual tones with foils to color melting and hair striping techniques, the Sola stylists in attendance went home with a whole new world of color knowledge. She demonstrated multidimensional hair color application, using the same color with different intensity to achieve impressive results.

Throughout the day, the prizes were plentiful! Here is a list of winners of the awesome prizes:

  • Free Week of Rent: Tracey Bauer
  • Hattori Hanzo Shears: Calysta Taylor
  • KLASS Beauty Airbrush Machine: Natalia Flores
  • L’ANZA Color Trial Kit: Sue Scott and Quamanda Berry
  • Hydropeptide Complete Skincare Facial Kit: Susan Greenlee and Avery Asheet
  • Product Club Foil Dispenser: Jessica Kegar and Justine McGraw
  • Product Club Digital Color Scale: Austin Sykes
  • Product Club Color Whip: Brigitte Donaho
  • Product Club DVDs: Barbara Brian and Natalie Bravo


“I left the Sola Sessions feeling inspired to work on my brand, and what that would look like to my clients.” – Sara Gore

“The Sola Sessions are a great way to meet fellow Sola owners, who like you, took a chance to be their own boss. It is a day to mingle, learn, grow and be inspired for your future in your Sola.” – Tasha Tarsenko

“I learned about brand success strategies and target audience that I will be applying to my daily business strategies.” – Rocky Lane

While we’re still reveling in the magic, we already can’t wait for the next one! If you weren’t able to join us in Dallas, mark your calendar for a Sola Session coming up:

For more pictures, check out #SolaSessions on Instagram!

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