The Hair Company: Second Location Success
by Sara Altizer
Meet Jackie and Debbie, co-owners of The Hair Company in Leonardtown, Maryland. After experiencing great success at their original location, they made the decision to open a second location in Charlotte Hall, Maryland. Here’s the story of how Summit Salon Business Center provided a strong foundation to the team, taking the fear and guesswork out of opening a second location. It’s also the tale of how The Hair Company has harnessed their passion and standards of excellence to grow people and communities.
Making the Decision
Like a lot of salon owners, Jackie and Debbie had been contemplating opening a second location for a few years, but they were always waiting for the right location and the perfect moment. Jackie, who keeps an eye on demographics, had to learn to trust not only her gut, but also her research. When the location in Charlotte Hall became available, they saw a great opportunity to bring an upscale salon to an area with more of a “small town” vibe. Best of all, the location bordered a major commuter road for those traveling to DC, meaning more traffic for the salon.
Fortunately, Jackie and Debbie experienced none of the usual fear and uncertainty that can come with opening a new location. Instead they felt a great sense of comfort and excitement about the opportunity. This comfort was a direct result of maintaining such a strong foundation of standards, business practices, and team building through the use of Summit Salon Systems.
Marketing and Logistics
Leonardtown, home of their original location, is a very small town, but Jackie and Debbie successfully grew the quaint two-chair salon, adding twenty more chairs and a second shift. So their goal in adding a second location was to have somewhere to grow their increasing staff and to have the opportunity to add shareholders to the company.
Jackie explains that they were fortunate to find a great location where The Hair Company could stand apart and have the chance to shine. Located in an area where the only competitors are small “mom and pop” shops, The Hair Company has found their niche, offering a touch of class and high standards to their guests. Surprisingly, other than hosting a grand opening, running one or two newspaper ads and some Facebook promotions, marketing has been scarce. Because many of the stylists at the new location are new talent, a lot of the marketing is revolved around growing their business as opposed to advertising the new salon.
There are 22 stylists who work in the original location in Leonardtown, and 12 full-time stylists in Charlotte Hall. Because some of the stylists split their time between both locations, they’ve never felt a sense of “starting from scratch.” Every stylist at the new location was already in the Summit Salon rhythm, and the new location also provided a great opportunity for the new-talent stylists who were just starting on the floor.
As for Jackie’s schedule, she is behind the chair two days in Leonardtown with one office day, and one day in Charlotte Hall. Debbie and their current shareholders also split their time at the new location. This has created a good balance in the leadership team, allowing a chance for everyone to get involved and play an active role in the success of the new space.
Initially, overall sales dropped, which is to be expected considering the new location was staffed with stylists from the original location who went from fully booked days to having to rebuild at the new location in Charlotte Hall. Jackie referred many of her clients to other stylists in order to devote her time to growing the team. But within two years of opening the Charlotte Hall location, sales have rebounded and continue to grow steadily each year.
Growing the Business by Growing People
For Jackie, the best thing about working with Summit Salon Business Center is the Summit Salon Associate Program. Her passion is watching the stylists grow and providing them with the resources, knowledge, and business know-how that was never available to her when she first started in the industry. One of her favorite success stories is about a stylist who started with her part time as an associate ten years ago—now, that stylist is a shareholder in the company. “It’s all in their hands,” Jackie explains, and it’s a beautiful thing.
The Hair Company typically has between four and six associates at all times, but since there are currently no 4As at the new location, the associates are limited.
The Hair Company is always looking ahead to what’s next, and the future is certainly bright. They plan to open a third location and became partners in a TSPA in the coming years. Jackie has made growing this business her life passion and she gives it her complete energy and devotion every day. Her enthusiasm is truly inspiring. With The Hair Company’s dedication to leadership and the strong foundation Summit Salon Business Center provides, there’s no question that the sky is the limit for this growing salon.
The Hair Company’s Summit Salon Consultant is Gavin Salsbery.