Owners: Christian and Alicia Blazevich
Location: Wexford, PA
Summit Salon Consultant: Jessica Luppold
Sq Ft: 1,783
Number of Locations: 1
Most Successful Sales Campaign: The client who refers the most new guests as well as the stylist with the most referrals within an eight week period – win a gift card to Tiffany’s.
Total Sales Increase (3 years after Summit): +23%
Bespoke Beauty Bar in Wexford, PA was named a Salon Today top 200 Salon in 2017. Who would imagine that only three years prior they were feeling hopeless and running out of options. Read on to see how Summit Salon Business Center gave them the business systems they needed to turn their salon culture around and find tremendous growth.
One of the highlights of Alicia Blazevichs’ childhood was going to the beauty shop with her Grandmother every week. She enjoyed the upbeat and creative atmosphere and witnessed every client leaving happier than when they came. As she started getting regular beauty services as a pre-teen she fell in love with the salon industry and the career of a hair stylist.
“I was always very into changing looks and trying new trends.” Alicia explains, “I was obsessed with fashion, magazines, and the runway. Owning my own salon was my number one intention when I attended beauty school seventeen years ago, but did not come to fruition until Christian (my husband and co-owner) and I met. He saw the potential and strength in us becoming strong business partners as well as married! Christian was inspired to become a stylist because of the creativity involved and he always wanted to become a business owner because of the sense of community it has the potential to foster.”
The excitement of opening Bespoke Beauty Bar was quickly met with the demands and reality of such an undertaking. Alicia and Christian were taking much less money home than they were making as stylists before opening the salon company. After nearly two years of this they realized that there were some major challenges that they did not know how to overcome.
“Our culture was flat and uninspired.” Alicia admits, “We had a small staff with no real structure for growth. We also had somewhat of a hostage situation in that some employees had an entitlement attitude because of years in the business. These employees were resistant to growing our team and wanted to keep assistants as assistants. The morale among our support staff was low. Our employees were okay with us if they were getting exactly what they wanted every time. If they were told no or given direction, then we were the bad guy. Essentially we were making decisions based on stylist’s emotional demands, and not making decisions based on hardcore business numbers. It was inhibiting our growth tremendously.”
Christian and Alicia felt worn out, beat down, and stuck. They desperately wanted to move forward and have more structure but as leaders both working full-time behind the chair as well as running the business they were overwhelmed. Something needed to give.
“We were good about keeping a finger on the pulse of the industry, and we admired salons in other areas of the country that were growing rapidly, we realized that they all had one thing in common… the Summit Salon Systems. By our first Anniversary at the salon we knew that we needed to put something in place, we were just not sure what. We did a complimentary phone analysis with a Summit Consultant, and that was it.”
When Christian and Alicia attended The Summit (the 3.5 day leadership bootcamp by Summit Salon Business Center) they felt awakened and inspired. They had already been working with a Summit Salon Consultant for six months- so had a foundation of the knowledge but it was at The Summit that they began to see the long-term vision.
Summit Salon Consultant, Luke Huffstutter, presented about his salon company Salon Annastasia and how he turned their culture around by incorporating a strong Associate Program. Summit Salon Facilitator and Shareholder, Michael Cole, spoke about best practices for service providers and how to inspire that behavior in them. And their one-on-one Meeting with Summit Salon Facilitator, Shareholder and Director of Operations, Heather Bagby, was all they needed to walk away feeling truly confident that they would be able to succeed.
At The Summit, Alicia and Christian realized that the three biggest challenges at Bespoke Beauty Bar were:
- No definitive education path for new talent.
- Recruiting career minded stylists instead of applicants with a long list of demands and drama.
- No definitive plan for financial/business growth.
To solve these challenges, Summit Salon Consultant Jessica Luppold, strategized a solution for Bespoke Beauty Bar. Christian and Alicia implemented the Summit Salon Level System, monthly Personal Development Meetings and the Associate Program.
“A Personal Development Meeting (PDM) is a one-on-one monthly coaching session.” Alicia says, “This focused time with the service providers has grown our business while growing our team. We now spend time speaking to the factual, black and white numbers of their business instead of talking about how they FEEL they are doing. This has been an eye opening experience and the accountability has completely changed our salon culture.”
Christian and Alicia also implemented the Associate Program. This structured system that encourages high performing stylists to pass on their knowledge and education to new talent has helped to bring career minded stylists into Bespoke Beauty Bar. In the past two years, they proudly added five new stylists through the Associate Program. It is now the benchmark of their business.
“Now, each and every one of our stylists looks out for and supports each other.” Alicia explains, “They are quick to compliment each others’ work behind the chair as well as their achievements whether they are professional, like getting promoted through the level system, or personal, like being able to move into their first apartment. We are all on the same team. Implementing the 32-hour work week from The Work/Life balance module has been not only great for the stylists and much appreciated, but also for the client’s as well. There is not as much stylist burn-out!”
Christian and Alicia now focus much more on leading as mentors and coaches, not as bosses. They are much more attuned to the new talent within the salon. “The professional beauty industry is constantly changing and, let’s be honest, it is about youth. Valuing the ideas of the newer stylists, as opposed to keeping the- ‘we always did it this way’ mindset- keeps us constantly growing creatively. We also focus on paying it forward. You are only as good as your newest team member, or the person you are educating and there is always more to learn.”
Even though they did lost a front desk team member, two assistants and a few toxic stylists, Alicia and Christian recognized it was ultimately for the best. That transition paved the way for a culture where everyone feels that they have a purpose, a sense of community, and that they love coming to work.
Are you ready for RESULTS like these?
If you are considering attending The Summit and seeing what we have to offer, Alicia has some words of wisdom for you. “Do it. The only thing you have to lose are the people, beliefs and systems that are NOT WORKING for the company anyway!”
Total Sales: $478,632.06
One year after Summit Launch : +5%
Two Years After Summit Launch : +17%
TOTAL : +23%
Total Sales Increase: +23%
Total Service Sales Increase: +25%