FEATURE SALON OWNER AUGUST EDITION
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Christa Stephens- Salon Owner
Inviktus Salon A Paul Mitchel Focus Salon- Springfield, MO
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Meet Christa! She is the owner of not only 1, but 2 successful salons in Missouri! Christa has been in the industry for 8 years and has been a business owner for 8 years also! Christa is incredibly talented behind the chair, but also has a great passion and knowledge for the business side of the industry! She is venturing out, and will open her third location called Mavericks. This is a new venture in a barbershop, but she is very excited about diving into this new journey. Below we will talk about team motivation, her WHY, and of course, she will give some awesome advice for other owners! 
As always, we hope this interview will motivate you, inspire you, and encourage you, to continue to share your love and passion for the beauty industry. Be sure to follow her on Instagram and check out more of her beautiful salon and some of her work behind the chair!  Enjoy! #stylistssupportingstylists


1. What is the hardest thing to overcome when being a salon owner? 
 Being the best leader for my team at all times. Leaders are not born they are definitely groomed for the job. I was definitely not the best leader in the beginning. I had passion for the industry but I had no idea how to lead anyone more than myself. It’s been a journey but I definitely feel like a leader now!

2. Why did you become a salon owner? What is your WHY?
I became a salon owner because I new it would be hard to conform to the ideas of other salon owners I knew in my town and surrounding towns. I just new I wanted to create a different breed of stylists. 
My why is definitely my team, I have heard so many times you can’t make a living as a stylist or maybe they were not smart enough to be anything else , well I’m here to tell you I’m a 6 figure earning in the middle of Missouri and I am smart! I want any person who chooses to come to work for me to be empowered to change the perception of a stylist and to be able to provide for there family or them-self!!! Together we achieve , always together .... we grow more helping each other and respecting each other as different as we all are we still are very protective of each other. They are for sure my why.

3. How do you motivate your team on a daily basis? 
Keeping myself healthy and in a good frame of mind is key. I try to be someone I would want to be around daily and an influencer. Someone they can learn from as a mentor , challenges are a new thing for us I started daily challenges after a challenge group I was in it pushed me to work on my business more. They get points for everything they complete and a prize at the end of the month 

5. What is the one thing you wish you knew before opening your salon?
Lol everything! I knew how to decorate, see my guests, and rebook them. But putting together the formula for growth and pricing and all the other stuff! I was literally winging it , until I got paired up with Valeria Boss, a local salon owner who scooped me up and taught me how to put my visions into action and the how behind it.

6.  How are you keeping track of your expenses and staying on budget? What are some of the tools you use to stay on track with your finances?
Ugggg that’s always a tough one just learning how to predict growth for the next year and really keeping an eye on assistants and stylists growth really dictates my spending. We have been in business 8 years and we still are a very young company with a lot of growing to do. We are really shooting for 500,000 dollar year! We are getting sooooo close .
What do I use to stay on track? A really good accountant. This is key as he can spot weak spots in my business and predict growth for me. Best investment ever!

7. How much time do you dedicate to working ON your salon business as opposed to working IN your salon business?  
3 hours a night matching the number of days you are open per week !! I’m behind the chair 3.5 days a week. My off days are not really off as I educate and travel a lot. I believe every night for 3 hours I must be diligent to FB and Insta as well as looking at the girls numbers and coaching them daily. 

8. What was one of the hardest lessons you have learned while being a salon owner?
Systems don’t fail you people do . I’ve just always thought everyone wanted it as bad as I do so we train systems and then expect the stylists to move forward towards success. Sometimes they don’t and I used to always take it so personal and wonder what I did wrong why did so and so leave. My systems might not be there cup of tea and it has to be ok. It's ok to not be the right fit for my salon.

9. What piece of advice would you give to other salon owners that are also just starting out in the business?
Define the way you will do business down to a T before opening ! I didn’t have this structure till about 3 years in, and it really is a key component to success ! I mean down to the way someone cleans the restroom! Set the expectations from the start then allow room to build off of your non negotiable list. Your team will support what they believe In so ask them to help !! But you u must bring your vision to life with some starter rules and regulations.

10. Describe leadership and the importance of being a great leader for your team! How does this increase growth within your business?
This is a good one!
You must be someone people want to follow it takes one person that create a movement , that movement starts with you , what are you doing that makes someone want to follow you , it took me a bit to figure this out definitely goes hand in hand with leaders are not born they are taught. I read John maxwell a lot and business books all the time about how to be a better leader it’s really humbled me , and honored me at the same time to be someone people choose to call me their mentor! Hooray I’m doing something right!

Nina Tulio
THE LATEST APP FOR INDEPENDENT ARTISTS

As you know, I am always on the hunt for anything and everything that I can do to help make your life a little easier behind the chair. As an independent artist, chair renter, freelance artist, I understand what it takes to keep everything on point when it comes to your appointments, and beyond. I met the founders of Belbella and loved what they had to offer, so of course I wanted to share it with all of you.

Check out the latest app called BelBella!

I recently had the pleasure of meeting two of the cofounders of BelBella, Matie and Paul. They came to a workshop I was giving to see a bit of what I was all about, and then we got together afterwards. Matie is the CEO, the visionary behind the company, and leads the business operations. Her business partner, Paul, is the CTO of Belbella and is responsible for the technology side. The third co founder, Valeska, is a UX expert.

Here is the vision for the business from their perspective!
Matie’s vision for the company is that it focuses entirely on the needs of independent beauty professionals. She wants to offer in addition to the software solution an education solution. The educational part includes, career advice, sales tips, webinars, workshops and training—everything pros need to be more successful in business. To provide this education BelBella wants to partner, rather than developing it on their own.

They heard about 1N Agency and the work I do, and they reached out to me. The rest is history! Their team provides the software, and 1N Agency will complement that under an umbrella they’re calling “Career Academy." There are lots of software options for salons, but Matie saw an opportunity to focus on professionals that rent suites, rent chairs as well as those that are mobile. The team is a very savvy and experienced, and most of them have worked together in the past. They are focusing on the right things. Making it super easy for beauty professionals to manage their appointments on the one hand, and making it super convenient for clients to book with their favorite professional, all from one app. By automating the tedious manual steps, of responding to text and calls, sending reminders, marketing your services, etc. they allow the professional to focus on what they love and on making more money, in a more effective and efficient way!

I added their video for you guys below! This will give you more insight on what it is that the Belbella App can provide for you, your business, and your clients.  

I also recommend checking out their website and getting a feel for how it all works!
Click the red link below to check it out and enjoy! Nina xo

P.S.... You will start to see some of my blogs and education on their website under their academy section! 
 

Nina Tulio