A Third Generation Company with the Business Support to Last a Lifetime
Profile by Sara Ren Altizer
Snips SpaSalon has been a family-owned and operated business for three generations. Grace Springer, the matriarch of the family, originally opened the salon in her Minneapolis basement to allow her to work and be home with her four kids. Her two daughters, Cindy Mckee and Sandie Corcoron, grew up watching their mother’s passion for the industry, so they decided to follow in her footsteps. As Snips grew, the family moved the salon out of the basement and into retail space that would accommodate the thriving business.
When Grace lost her fight with cancer in 1980, Cindy and Sandie decided it was time to move Snips to a location in Eden Prairie that was closer to them. With the move, the sisters immediately hired more stylists. As the salon company continued to grow throughout the years, there were several remodels and expansions, the last of which landed Snips in a 5,000 square foot location in Bloomington, Minnesota. In this new and improved space, more than thirty team members perform spa, nail, and hair services. The
growth and stability of Snips provided Cindy and Sandie the opportunity to successfully pass the company on to their children.
Sandie’s daughter, MaLissa Young stepped up to become the primary owner of Snips SpaSalon in 2004. MaLissa is truly the visionary behind Snips, and she works with the leadership team to implement and the company’s directives. “As a business owner, though, who am I kidding?” MaLissa explains. “I am also a plumber, computer technician, Sam’s Club delivery driver, social worker, cleaner, painter… etc. The greatest challenge that I face as an owner is having enough time to accomplish and work on everything that I feel needs to be done.”
“In the beginning of the ‘licensed’ portion of my career (I began folding laundry at a very young age for Snips), it was crazy. Everyone had LARGE client counts and no one had a ton of money to show for it, including my family,” MaLissa says. “You used to be able to cut hair well, and be nice, and build a book. Times have changed. As technology has advanced and clients have increased access to information, being nice and having good technical skills is now the minimum. Stylists now need a comprehensive and strategic plan to grow and maintain clients.”
“Salon owners and stylists tend to forget that we have a ripple effect on so many people,” MaLissa explains. “If we are able to stay present and be intentional with our work, we are not only helping the person in front of us, we have an impact on those around that person. Our impact spreads beyond our guests to their family, friends, and community. It is powerful.”
Summit Salon Systems
MaLissa Young heard about Summit Salon Business Center from her distributor, Jim Marshal. Using the groundwork that her grandmother, mother, and aunt had already provided for the company, MaLissa knew that having these proven salon business strategies would ensure that Snips would remain a strong company for many generations to come.
At Snips SpaSalon, three Summit Salon Systems have had the greatest impact on business:
- Performance-Based Compensation
- Learning how to grow people for a living and become a leader. This includes being business owners, not just service providers.
- Financial Strategy—Creating a budget and knowing how to spend, save, plan, and track all of the spending and sales projections.
“Information pushes me further in my business development,” Malissa explains. “I have not always understood the concepts or the ‘why’ behind the advice, but over time, after hearing the information over and over, I began to understand more about how to be successful. I began to understand how to create effective marketing campaigns tailored for my demographic, how to be a mentor to my staff, and how to help them grow to their full potential.”
“Since becoming a Summit Salon Consultant, I have been able to be a part of improving the industry by helping to develop the Nail Associate Program and supporting documents,” MaLissa says. “I also have had to get to know the leaders in my industry in ways I never could have dreamed! For example, I attended a networking meeting in Michael Cole’s living room. It made me feel so cool that I actually got to go to his house, and sit in a room with him, and that he thought that I was cool. The icing on the cake was when Randy Kunkel showed up to this same meeting!”
“My career as a Summit Salon Consultant has impacted my salon company in many ways, because I practice everything with my team first!” MaLissa explains. “I have to do what I say! I have a consultant, I do budgets, one-on-ones, salon marketing planning, Associate Program, etc. We are not perfect, but if something goes wrong I know why. It is ALWAYS because I didn’t follow the system.”
WHAT’S IN IT FOR YOU?
MaLissa Young offers this advice for salon owners and stylists who are just starting out:
“Don’t do it by yourself. I know this program is an investment, but I meet too many salon owners who say, ‘I would have saved so much money if I only knew this stuff earlier.’ Be willing to listen and take action. Don’t forget you are a business owner, too, not just a stylist. Be vigilant about giving the right amount of time to both areas.”