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On Monday, April 9, 2018, 200 Sola pros gathered at the Wyndham Grand Jupiter for a day of inspiration, education and community! With eight Sola Sessions under our belt, we are continually amazed by the ambitious small business owners who come from far and wide, eager to take their salon businesses to the next level. From launching the Sola 10,000 celebration to learning from the industry's best to inspiring one another, it was a day we'll not soon forget.

The daylong event included inspiration and branding from Nina Kovner of Passion Squared, marketing with Sola’s VP of Marketing & Education Jennie Wolff, an entertaining show with the Redken and Sam Villa Brand team featuring Sam Villa and Veronica Ridge, cutting techniques with Hattori Hanzo Shears (Corey Bakon and Fernie Andong) and a dynamic presentation by the Conair Team (BaBylissPro, Aquage, Rusk and Barberology) featuring Luis Alvarez, Nicole Fowler, Ajua Mason, Maybe Saylor and Danya Gamba. 

Additionally, SolaGenius, Muse Beauty, OPI, Platinum Seamless, MOP, ABBA, TruSTAR, Color Design, SalonCentric, and CosmoProf joined us to provide technology, makeup, salon tools, sundries, nail care and more.

With top notch education, the overall feeling was one of "community, love and genuine passion to teach others to strive to be the best one can be. It was inspirational,” said Sola stylist Lori Kolenz.

After a day packed with education and celebration, we had to share our top 10 moments with you:

1. Event Emcee Kim Bennett Horvath kicked off the day with an inspirational message about being the very first Sola stylist and her journey over the last 14 years. She encouraged attendees that you have to "get uncomfortable to grow", sharing a few pivotal moments throughout her journey as an independent salon owner.

2. Nina Kovner (Passion Squared) inspired Sola owners with heartfelt stories, sharing that at the core of your brand is experience. She talked about the importance of distinguishing your tribe and finding those who find true value in the services you offer and experience you provide.

3. Jennie Wolff (Sola Salon Studios) shared that in order to market yourself, you first and foremost have to have the willingness to learn and try new things. She shared tips on defining your target audience, marketing best practices and how to get the most out of Sola resources including SolaGenius, Sola Pro and the Sola website in order to grow a thriving salon business. 

4. Immediately following marketing, Jennie Wolff kicked off the Sola 10,000 celebration, inviting Sola’s first-ever stylist, Kim Bennett Horvath, to  say a few words about her Sola experience, both as a salon owner and Culture Ambassador for the brand. She then invited five Faces of Sola (Polly Sanders-Peterson, Julie Nhi, Alex Sylvester, Amanda Fagan and Chris Matthew) to join Kimi on stage, representing the dynamic and diverse community that defines Sola. The celebration continued with a surprise announcement of the 10,000th Sola professional, Savannah stylist Katie Oakes and of course balloons, confetti and #Sola10K M&Ms! 

5. During lunch, stylists mingled, shared stories, and visited with vendors to shop, learn, and shop some more.

6. Sam Villa and Veronica Ridge demonstrated the newest color placements and techniques, along with the haircuts and finishing tricks, and how to grow your business behind the chair. 

7. Hattori Hanzo Shears hosted a fun and upbeat cutting segment, emceed by Robie Kiefer, featuring Corey Bakon and Fernie Andong. Fernie (@fernthebarber) owns a salon inside Sola Salon Studios in Costa Mesa!

8. BaBylissPro, Aquage, Rusk and Barberology shared creative vision on the approach to modern haircutting, innovative barbering techniques, creative haircolor design along with fast, modern, easy to learn special occasion hair.

9. Happy Hour: attendees received drinks tickets, delicious bites and had a chance to mingle with the artists. Does it get any better than that?! 

10. No Sola Session is complete without an overstuffed gift bag, and these swag bags may have been our best yet, thanks to our awesome event partners. And a handful of lucky Sola pros walked away with a range of awesome prizes, including a $1,000 Redken Exchange gift card; free rent from Sola; a free shear from Hattori Hanzo Shears; extensions from Platinum Seamless; a makeup kit from Muse (valued at $465); product from MOP and ABBA; a gel manicure kit from OPI; and from SolaGenius – three free months of SolaGenius and marketing consultation with Sola’s VP of Marketing and Education, Jennie Wolff!

"When I came to Sola, my biggest fear was being alone and not part of anything beyond myself. I'm not forgotten, alone or not supported! I have all I need at Sola! The level of excellence that Sola puts out there allows me to be more proud as a studio owner!" – Robin Kelley

We are already counting down the days until the next Sola Session. We’ll see you on September 24, 2018 in Chicago! 

For photos of the West Palm Beach Sessions, don't forget to check out our Facebook album, or download event photos HERE!

 
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