Blush Salon: Confidence from Within
by Sara Altizer
Meet Michele Quinn and the team at Blush Salon in Newton Square, Pennsylvania. Michele, who opened her salon at the young age of twenty-five, feels fortunate to have had the guidance of the Summit Salon Business Center from the day she opened her business. Here is the story of her growth and beautiful success.
Michele Quinn started out as a young stylist working in a “Summit Salon,” where she was able to experience the Summit Salon Systems as an employee, making note of what worked and what was not working. When the salon changed locations and she was forced to rebuild her list of guests from the bottom up, Michele was inspired to open her own salon. She spent the next year really fine-tuning her skills while working as a freelance stylist specializing in events and weddings. When she finally realized that she was strong enough and had a solid clientele, she was ready to make Blush Salon a reality.
Michele admits that she had concerns about opening a salon and bringing on a staff. Time and time again she’d ask herself, “Am I doing everything right?” and “How do I know if I’m doing it right?” She struggled with balancing the work of retail and managing, owning, and styling. For a long time, she brought in one-third of each month’s revenue, and wondered how she’d ever make time for all three. She also felt great responsibility towards her staff. “The day I decided to open my own salon, I realized the careers of everyone who worked at Blush were in my hands,” Michele explained. “I wanted to make sure that I was a great leader, so that I could provide the skills and environment for each employee to be successful.”
And, because of her age, she also struggled with the fear of authority. Whenever she would mention that she was opening a salon, the reactions that she would get from people were more than disheartening: “… are you crazy? Right now, in this economy?” She knew that she needed direction, and with her brief exposure to Summit Salon Systems at the last salon she worked for, she knew Summit Salon Business Center could provide the leadership and business support she needed.
The Summit Experience
Michele describes her experience at The Summit as extremely emotional. Here she is, with the building lease signed but not one stylist behind the chair or product on the shelf, and she is surrounded by people who have been in the industry for a long time who are completely struggling to make it. She said it was very scary, but her defining moment came when she continued to hear over and over, “Michele, you are so lucky to be opening your salon AS a Summit Salon.” “I didn’t fully understand why at first, but it didn’t take me long to realize,” Michele explained. “I saw so many tears of sadness and happiness and I knew I never wanted to be in some of their shoes; I wanted to do it right from that moment on. No cherry picking. At that moment I knew that everyone was right and I said to myself, ‘I am at the right place, and I am SO lucky to be here.’”
The Grand Opening
Michele was so thankful to be able to open her salon based on Summit Salon Systems because it truly gave her a strong foundation, not only for the business side of things, but also for her confidence as a leader. When she introduced new hires to Summit Salon Systems, it made them feel really great and comfortable because every place they’d worked before, there was no plan. She said that within four months her team saw more progress and success than anywhere else they had worked before and they became full believers in the system.
The Summit Salon initiatives Michele touts as most impactful for her are, “Setting up my budget guideline. HAVING a budget guideline. Knowing what is in my budget so I don’t get lost in my expenses. One-on-one meetings and being able to communicate with each member of the team is so important. And, lastly, setting up my sales plans for each year. Being aware of my own personal and salon goals. Having that vision each day is huge. I know exactly what numbers I need to hit each day/week/month of the year.”
Michele reports that she has great clientele satisfaction, because now her guests provide the salon with more opportunities to grow—they are spreading the word, writing reviews, and sending in referrals.
In spending a little time with Michele, I could not help but notice how frequently she brought up confidence. When I asked her what was most effective in helping her build that confidence, she said it came from having support. She knew that no matter what came her way, that she had the ability to ask for help, learn, and make the right decisions. This confidence helped her command the respect she deserved and have the knowledge to mentor and lead others. “I have grown so much as an owner,” Michele explained. “I would know nothing of being an owner without Summit Salon Business Center. I am beyond excited to see what the future brings.”
One year after Summit Launch: 2013
Total Annual Sales: $396,139
Two years after Summit Launch: 2014
Total Annual Sales: $655,895!
Blush Salon’s Summit Salon Consultant is Derek Reynolds.