Hair Canvas – Milford, CT    
Salon Owner- Erin Coyle

Meet Erin, owner of Hair Canvas in Milford, Connecticut. I have had the pleasure of spending time with Erin, and she is super sweet, very talented, and is driven by her passion for hair and balayage! "How lucky am I, that I get to do something so creative, that makes people happy. I am truly blessed." Being a new salon owner, for sure comes with it's challenges. I wanted to be sure to share Erin's experience and perspective with you since she just opened her salon in October of this year. Education is also very important to Erin and her team. "At Hair Canvas Salon we believe that through constant education and staying on the forefront of current trends, proper consultation, keeping the integrity of the hair and a customized haircut or style is the key to hair happiness." 
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. Enjoy!

1. What has been one of the biggest challenges you faced when opening your hair salon?  Going from a commissioned employee to a booth renter to an owner in less than 3 years has been the biggest challenge, because my roles have changed so much so quickly. I've had to adapt each new role. I've been behind the chair so long, but never had to be as organized as I do now. That is a new challenge.

2. Tell me how you decided on what product lines to choose for your new salon?  Being a colorist, sulfate-free and color-safe were an absolute must. I have always loved Kevin Murphy, so when I saw the Eleven Australia line I knew I had to get it. It's everything my salon is about - it's beachy and bohemian. It’s just like the way I love to place my highlights - as if you've been on the beach all summer. I picked R&CO for the same reasons. The ingredients are amazing, moisturizing, color-safe, and PETA approved was a big one, too! Not to mention the packaging is gorgeous and straight forward and lets the client know what it does.

3. What piece of advice would you give to other salon owners who are looking to open a hair salon?  I would say to get your brand, LLC, logo, and tax IDs squared away before you even rent a space.

4. Tell me 3 things that new salon owners should focus on to grow their salon business?  Focus on your existing clients, if they're happy they'll refer others! You have to be on social media these days. There are 1,000 salons, but people want to see your work. It's your portfolio, so take pictures and post! Network and collaborate! Get involved in your community.

5. How did you decide and choose between booth rental and commissioned stylists?  I know myself and I love hair. It's my passion and I didn't want to step away from that too much. As the owner to be dealing with pay roll, taxes, etc., it seemed less stressful to have independent contractors who are responsible for their own supplies, books, and marketing. It is the best of both worlds, because we still maintain salon camaraderie yet everyone is their own boss/business. It may not be as lucrative as having commissioned employees, but I see this business heading away from that with all of the available booth rentals and salon suites.

6. How did you come up with your price list? Did you research your local competition?  I've had the same prices for years. I’ve gone up a bit here and there, but it's the average price of the area.

7. What was of most shock to you when going through the process of opening your own salon? What should new owners expect?  Everything takes longer than you plan and a lot more money than you expect. Be prepared for that! 

8. What is the most rewarding part of being a salon owner?  Looking back over the years at how hard I've worked and that this dream became a reality. I took everything I've experienced, both good and bad, and learned from it to continue to create a successful salon and a professional and motivating work environment for other stylists.