Aella Salon & Day Spa

Salon ownership fell into place for Aella Salon & Day Spa owners Rich and Retta Houk in Meadville, PA. As ambitious and capable individuals they believed that they had the knowledge and most importantly the drive to make a salon company successful. As Aella grew, so did the complications and the opportunity to evolve the salon company into something truly special in the community. By utilizing the Summit Salon Systems, Rich and Retta were finally able to cross into the million dollar club and continue growth that they had only hoped was possible.

Quick Stats

Year Opened: 2013
Current Square Ft: 4500 (Before expansion approx 2500)
Number of locations: 1
Summit Salon Consultant: Carrie Rutt


Total Annual sales: approx. $750,000
Average Retail/month: approx. $8,500
Average Services/month: approx. $54,000
Average Employee Salary: approx $15,500

One year after Summit Launch

Total Annual sales: approx. +30%
Average Retail/month: approx. +15%
Average Services/month: approx.+30%
Average Employee Salary:
approx. + 25%

Favorite Products

Summit Planner : Stylist



“I really wasn’t thinking I would ever own my own Salon Company. One day an opportunity presented itself and my husband and I thought it would be a great idea to go for it.” Retta explains, “I didn’t realize how much really went into it. We started out with two business partners who did not have a background in this industry. Working full time as a stylist, I felt overworked, 0verwhelmed and stressed out. I knew that I was winging it. My team has always seemed to listen to what I had to say – but I really was leading with no direction.”

Retta and Rich had a hard time finding employees because it was a brand new business opening in the area. They struggled with understanding how to order inventory, how to manage employees (Front desk, Spa & Salon employees) how to deal with business partners when it came time to making decisions and how to grow as a company. Retta was doing her best to handle these tough challenges, all while working full-time behind the chair.

“I was searching for more direction for myself and for my team. Rich and I were ready to take full ownership of our salon company and  our main sales rep Michelle Bower suggested that the Summit Salon Systems might work well for us – we decided to attend the 3.5 day leadership seminar, The Summit. During The Summit, we had a 1 on 1 with a Summit Salon Consultant and she showed us how we could improve, as well as finally having a program to follow and set goals by.”

During, The Summit, Rich and Retta recognized that the biggest challenges with Aella Salon & Day Spa were:

  • Low Retail Sales
  • Over-spending
  • Expanding/Growing

Rich and Retta left with open eyes and hope. They finally felt like they were organized and had a plan and direction to get closer to their end goals. Retta explains, “It was hard to convince our business partners that the Summit Salon Systems would work for us, so we bought them out and decided to jump feet first into the Summit Salon Systems and program.”


“The Summit Salon Systems have allowed me more time to
focus on helping all of my employees grow.” 


Aella Salon and Day Spa, Now

The Three Initiatives that Supported Aella’s Growth:

  • Daily planning
    • The Summit Salon Planner and Level System empowers Aella Service Providers to set goals for themselves to be successful. Having a detailed career path inspires the team to see their full potential and opportunities in the professional beauty industry. “Our service providers were always decent employees,” Retta says, “but by being able to show them their potential it really inspires them and gives them motivation to be successful.”
  • Budgets
    • Sitting down with a Summit Salon Consultant and creating a customized budget for Aella, gave Retta the guidelines for inventory management, marketing and staffing for the front desk. Having a set system that she can understand and follow has allowed her to gain control of the financial status of her company and know how to strategically grow to the next level. Retta explains, “I am more in tune with the numbers, sales, budgeting and the business as a whole.”
  • Recruiting
    • Retta discovered how sacred salon culture is to growth. She also learned that the best way to protect and continue to grow the salon culture that she wanted, would be hiring fresh talent to go through an Associate Program and learn the systems right off the bat. Retta and her Summit Salon Consultant created a customized outreach program to recruit new talent which has allowed Aella to expand.


Aella Salon & Day Spa is now a Redken 5th Avenue Elite salon company with a close knit work family in an environment where teamwork and education is extremely important. “Our clients are more confident in all our service providers instead of being confident with just a few of them,” Retta explains, “the focus on growth and education has brought Aella more consistency and direction and it shows in our team. Aella’s success was not done by one person alone but with the help of Summit Salon Business Center and our entire team. It takes a lot of time, effort and teamwork but we couldn’t be more proud of where we are today and where we are headed in the future.”


If you’re considering implementing the Summit Salon Systems in your salon company, Retta has these words of advice:

“Just do it. You will be so happy you did.”