For the fifth year in a row, Maria Armenteros, a stylist at the Seal Beach Phenix Salon Suites in Orange County, CA, has been named to the prestigious OC Hotlist. “It warms my heart to know I can make my client’s look and feel amazing,” she said. “I have been a stylist for over 30 years … Loving what I do means keeping up on the latest trends and always furthering my education. The beauty of this industry is that you are constantly evolving and honing your skills.” For more on Armenteros, go to serenityhairsuite.com and mariaarmenteros.com.
John Aultman says he “moved from a small town in Georgia to a smaller town in Colorado, went to South Park and then decided, I needed a bigger city.”
That ended up being Colorado Springs at the foot of the Rocky Mountains.
This path also took Aultman to the doorstep of his calling as a talented stylist with a passion for color.
“I love styles that can be punked out for a night on the town or dressed down for a day at work,” he said. For hair he loves “rich brunettes, sassy reds” and 3DeLuXe 7.32. This is also where Aultman found Phenix Salon Suites and became a member of the National Education Team and the International Artistic Team that recently created the first Phenix Hair Collection, dubbed “Reflections.” Continue reading
Stylists long to be independent, but making that jump to self-employment can be intimidating. “They’re used to having someone else run their business,” said Marti Alter. To help bridge that gap, Alter plans on hosting a class on how to be your own boss at her two new Phenix Salon locations in the Coachella Valley.
Simple as it may seem, understanding the nuts and bolts of small business can be a high hurdle, Alter said. “A lot of them have always worked for somebody else. We can show them how to be successful on their own.”
In the meantime, Alter is set on having her new Phenix Salons at full-throttle by January, when the population really starts to buzz here in the Coachella Valley. That’s when this SoCal oasis is flooded by ‘snowbirds’ who migrate from painfully cold parts of the country for the warmth and luxurious spa atmosphere.
It was in the Coachella Valley community of La Quinta in early September that Alter opened her first Phenix Salon Suites and a second in Palm Desert just two weeks later. She and her business partner have targeted Palm Springs for a third location. A big part of what Alter intends to provide in these business classes for stylists is the confidence to make the move by helping them understand self-employed functions like marketing, bookkeeping and tracking clients. She’ll bring a lot of experience to the classroom. She’s been self-employed for over 25 years, as an independent insurance broker.
A key player alongside Alter has been her assistant manager, Emerald Williams. “She is the Spirt of our Phenix family,” Alter said. They initially hired her as a receptionist but quickly promoted her and now plan to hire two more part time receptionists. Continue reading
Attracted to the “simplicity and effectiveness” of the salon suite concept, Sam Hilo and his partner, Shadi Najjar, opened their fist Phenix Salon Suite in Tustin, CA, just days ago.
How’s it going? 100 percent leased with a waiting list.
“We are delivering a product that is clearly in demand, and makes dreams into reality,” he said. Those are the dreams of the stylists and other salon professionals who come to Phenix to launch their own businesses.
Hilo also has faith in the formula that “high quality salons will never be obsolete or threatened by a highly evolving technology-dependent world, which is moving more and more transactions online and away from retail.”
Something’s working. Hilo’s franchise was 100 percent full when he opened the doors Nov. 5 with a waiting list in his pocket. “We followed Phenix marketing recommendations with post cards and Craigslist ads to make it happen,” he said. Hilo also let Phenix guide him on site selection, “which proved to be an excellent decision.” Far from content to rest on his laurels, he has plans for locations in Chino Hills and Fullerton underway and expects more to follow. Hilo came to the salon industry as a real estate investor and business owner with several income tax service franchise locations.
Before finding Phenix, Hilo looked at another salon suite franchise but was put off by their “pushy sales tactics and vague answers.” He applauded Phenix’ Ken Aselton, Vice President of Franchise Development, for his straightforward and helpful demeanor throughout the process. Next up? Already in the planning are locations in Fullerton and Chino Hills. “We plan to open even more,” said Hilo.
The Holidays are fast approaching and this is a great time of year to say “thank you” to your clients and cultivate your business along the way. At the same time, don’t forget to take care of yourself and avoid stress.
Remember, you’re being helpful, not pushy. Ask clients whether they have upcoming holiday parties or big events. They may not have thought about making appointments yet. Letting them know that your calendar fills quickly this time of year is a favor.
Be very cautious of overbooking. This can get you into trouble, even cost you clients. If they feel they’ve been short-changed, they probably have. Just put yourself in their position. Even with an assistant or colleague, juggling multiple clients at the same time is tough.
This is a great time to get started on a client email list, if you don’t already have one. There are a number of great services online that not only help you achieve professional, creative results easily but also ensure that you steer clear of spamming.
Email and texting are virtually free, but never underestimate the value of a handwritten note or postcard. The problem with email, particularly a ‘campaign,’ is that it can feel impersonal. For a birthday or another special occasion, or to wish someone “Happy New Year,” even a quickly written note to a special client can have big impact.
New clients will be looking for appointments so call back quickly, be ready with a cheerful demeanor, a calendar in hand and a referral to a colleague if you’re already booked.
Obviously, put out some candy for Halloween! Seasonal treats around Thanksgiving and Christmas add to the fun.
Don’t feel like decorating your whole salon? Pick a vanity or floor-standing mirror to exercise your ghoulish talents. Put a wreath on your door.
Most importantly, take care of yourself. Remember to have some fun and get plenty of rest and leave time for family. The Holidays can be very stressful. It’s tempting to work, work and work some more, but this can take a serious toll and leave you diminished to the point of losing clients.
Be happy and open to change!
David Huffman may have been born into the construction industry, but he’s in the salon industry now.
Director of National Construction for Phenix Salon Suites, he is responsible for quality control of the many locations under construction across the country. He oversees architectural drawings and mechanical, electrical and plumbing designs (MEPs), assists managing partners in locating top contractors, troubleshoots construction problems and protects the Phenix branding, insisting on the highest standards for project development.
Huffman’s father was a major apartment builder in San Diego and in 1990 he began his own general contractor’s business, building everything from custom homes in posh Rancho Santa Fe to commercial projects.
Three years ago Huffman built the Encinitas Phenix location, one of the first outside Colorado in the nation. That’s where he met Gina and Jason and fell in love with Phenix. About a year ago he was named Phenix Director of National Construction.
Huffman describes a simple formula that guides his work: “It’s all about the stylist.” That’s a core principle of the corporate strategy that Huffman embraces.
• He and his business partner, Mike Assof, developed the individual thermostat ( with a timer) in each suite, giving stylists even more control over their environments.
• Building almost 30% of all existing locations, David works 16-hour days, six days a week designing and building the most quality locations in Southern California with his partner Mike at Ocean West Builders. Their commitment along with the developed spec’s ensures every Phenix location across the country is of the same quality and integrity to protect the brand name of Phenix.
Huffman loves winning teams. In addition to quarterbacking for Phenix Salon Suites construction, he’s a huge Chargers fan (remember, he was born and raised in San Diego). He is convinced he has won the Super Bowl with Phenix Salon Suites.
Inside the Chicago location of Timothy Baumruck’s Phenix Salon location, the walls are covered with the signature chocolate browns, mauve and caramels that immediately evoke the sentient warmth and care provided by the Phenix professionals in the 35 suites.
Step outside and find something a bit different for a Phenix franchise, proof of their extraordinary versatility. The client has just had her nails done in cherry and her chestnut hair is propped in a flawless bun for a Holiday party. She steps onto the broad sidewalk as bright yellow taxis dart side-to-side in the street. She unfolds the collar of her long coat and smiles at the dusky sky as a flurry of heavy snowflakes fall between the skyscrapers. At 100 East Walton Street, this is a very urban neighborhood of shops, hotels and condos, less than a block from the city’s Magnificent Mile on one side and the inexhaustible nightlife of Rush Street on the other.
“It is a really cool location,” said Baumruck. The cost of a typical service in this part of the city is four or five times typical prices, and that presents opportunity and challenge, he said. Maybe one or two units are available at a given time and professionals have relocated their businesses from as far as 25 miles to be there.
In addition to hairstylists, the location is home to manicurists and other professionals offering eyelash extensions, Botox and permanent makeup, among other services. “So we have a pretty broad mix,” said Baumruck. “It’s a very busy place. Always jammed.”
For lease information, call 877.787.6685.
Baumruck has two other beautiful locations in Illinois at 91 Randhurst Village Drive, in Mt. Prospect, and 530 East Golf Road in Schaumburg. He is currently scouting for three to five more locations to open in 2014.