Photo Credits: Karen Morgan Photography with Allegany Magazine

     Photo Credits: Karen Morgan Photography with Allegany Magazine

Salon Owner: Holly Burner
Studio 757
LaVale, MD



Meet Holly. Owner of Studio 757 A Holly Burner Salon And Boutique. Holly has been in the industry for 17 years and has been a salon owner for the past 5 years. As you read through her interview, she gives great advice on how "having a clear vision for your business and how you want it to run," is most important. Of course, Holly and I met through Facebook. I'm hoping one day we will meet face to face. Not only does she have great advice and insight. I am so digging the positive vibe and energy that she is putting out on social media that stems from her passion for this industry. 
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 social pages to check out some beautiful work done by Holly and her 4 stylists! Enjoy! 

1.    What has become one of the hardest things to overcome since becoming a salon owner? 

One of the most difficult things I have had to handle with being a stylist and owner is balancing personal and professional life. I am a full-time mom, wife, stylist and owner, often the lines start to blur between all of my responsibilities and duties.

2.    How are you motivating your team on a regular basis? How are you keeping them inspired and excited about coming to work every day?

I try to remain very positive and encouraging for myself and employees, I give them constructive criticism and I am always pushing them to their limits while reminding them there are no limits in this industry! We have scheduled monthly breakfast meetings where all of my employees and I discuss what is happening within the salon (good and bad) and if by chance there are any issues, we come up with solutions and put a plan in action to resolve them. I also like to promote healthy competition within the salon to help light a fire under some of my newer stylist and it keep it burning under some of my more seasoned stylist. I like to choose a statistic monthly and reward the stylists with the highest percentage for that month, or the most improved for the month. For example, last month I rewarded my stylist with the highest service to retail percentages, with a $50 gift card to Sephora.                                                                                                                      

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3.    Looking back what is the one thing you wish you knew when you were first opening your salon?

Technology! When I first started my business, I kept all booking and clientele information by hand, I wish I would have known then how beneficial a salon software would be for employees, myself and even my clients. It is so helpful keeping track of appointments, client info, statistics for myself and staff and so much more.

4.    How are you keeping track of your expenses and staying on budget? What are some of the tools you use to keep track of your finances?

I think one of the most beneficial things that I have done for my salon is hired and accountant and stuck with him throughout the journey of my salon. I consult him with any business ideas for my salon, taxes and also payroll. Also, another tool that was already previously discussed is a good salon software to keep track of reports, for example a register summary each night, profits and loss, and monitoring daily what is coming in and going out.

5.    How much time a week do you think salon owners should dedicate to working ON the business as opposed to working IN the business?

Personally, I think that one full day should be dedicated to working ON my business. Although, it is not something you can just shut off in my day to day. I find myself working on and in my business every day, whether it be early in the morning before clients, in between clients or even after all the clients have left.

6.    What piece of advice would you give to other salon owners who are also just starting out in the business?

My advice to new salon owners would be to have a clear vision of how you want your salon to run. Implement tools and have them in place before your grand opening. You need to have clear sight of your brand, software in place and also your salon culture. I asked myself the question, “How am I going to set myself apart from other salons? What can I do to attract clients and be unique?”

7.    How are you attracting stylists? Do you hire and train right out of beauty school? How long is your assistant program?

I am blessed to say we have a very popular, well-known business for a small town that is over populated with salons. We also have a great reputation within our area, this absolutely aids in the attraction of stylists and clients. My stylists and I work very hard day in and out to satisfy our clients and make it a wonderful experience for everyone. I have recently decided not to hire any more seasoned stylists, I now team up with local cosmetology school schools and hand pick students who I feel would potentially be a good fit for my salon. I then get them in and begin their assistant program which lasts 3 months. This way I can work hands on with their fresh minds and really shape and mold how they do things and ensure they mix with the environment and brand I have established.

8.    What is the biggest misconception others have about being a stylist and salon owner?

A common misconception as a stylist would be that there is no money to be made. The sky is the limit in this industry you will make as much or as little money depending on how hard you work and how much time you put in. A common misconception as a salon owner is that you don’t work as much and that you do whatever you want. In reality you are working twice as much as simply being a stylist and you are the last to get paid. The business comes first and takes a good five years to really flourish.

In conclusion I would like to add that there are ups and downs about owning your own salon, but I would not trade my job/career for the world. It is the most rewarding thing to see your dreams come to life, flourish and grow every single day! I’m beyond blessed to have the talent and drive to do something that I am very passionate about and love coming to work each and every day.