To start off, I’m going to give you a little bit of background on myself so that you can understand the point of this blog post. Growing up, I always loved doing hair. I did my first haircut when I was 13! I have two older cousins that are also hairstylists, so they were also a huge influence on my decision to take a gap year after high school to go to cosmetology school.
After I attended the Aveda Fredric’s Institute in Indianapolis for Cosmetology, I went on to get my Bachelor’s Degree in Digital Media Productions from Butler University. During this time, I worked at Salon 01 off and on for about five years and two other salons for a short amount of time. Because Butler is so small, their class schedules aren’t quite as flexible as some other universities.
For this reason, it was very hard to maintain a normal work schedule and clientele at a salon, so I just decided that I would be a “traveling stylist,” if you will. Starting off, I mainly just did my close friends‘ hair, but when I joined a sorority (Delta Gamma!), my business boomed!
I did some research on renting a booth in trendy Indy neighborhood Broad Ripple (you pay a certain amount every week to “lease” that booth). But in the end, I would have been losing money since I was only doing hair part-time and didn’t have guests consistently. So I decided that doing hair from home was the best option for me until I built my clientele up. It has worked extremely well for my lifestyle! So if you’re in a similar position that I’m in, you can make the travelin' stylist business work for you.
Here are 5 things I learned from doing hair at home that might help you if you make that decision.
Make it special. I told my boss at my full-time job that I was a hairstylist as well and he was intrigued by this and asked what my “schtick” was. “Do you have a TV that you turn to sports or something like that? I’ve seen that before.” I was kind of caught off guard and I didn’t know how to answer him at first! I told him that a lot of my clients are friends of mine so most of the time, conversation is enough. However, I do try surprise my guests with a travel size product or conditioning treatment if I have the means to do so.
Be confident! You are giving your customers the luxury of convenience! However, they are missing out on the “salon experience.” I admit, I like going into the salon, so I completely understand why people would want to go there as opposed to coming to you. But you have to give your customers reason to believe that you will give them the best haircut that they’ve ever had. Because if you can fulfill that testimony, the experience they create with you will be enough to keep them coming back. And this, too, I resonate with because if my stylist ever decided to do hair from home, I would follow.
Keep up on advanced education. One thing I absolutely loved about working at Salon01 was that because they so believed in having the best hairstylists as possible, advanced education was provided to every stylist just for being employed there. Having that background instilled in me, I realized how important it was to make sure to keep up on trends and advanced hair techniques as I moved in to employing myself.
Have set prices from the beginning. If you’re not sure how much your prices should be, take a look around at local salon in your area to see what their “New Talent” prices are. If you have a price list, and stick to it, you won’t run into any awkward encounters.
Make a schedule that best suits your life. I tend to accommodate anyone for whatever time they want if I am free at the time they request. However, if I was a stay-at-home mother, running around all day, I would designate specific days to do hair. That way, people know that you’re only able to do it those days and you can arrange for babysitters, or what have you, ahead of time. You want to make sure it doesn't become a task for you.
BONUS TIP - Allow your clients to buy products: One thing that was really tricky for me was stocking products to sell to my clients. As an independent stylist and college student (now young professional), I didn't have the extra cash to maintain a regular stock. On top of the initial expense, it was also risky. What if I bought the stock, but it didn't no one bought it? So much to consider! Now that I'm able to sell products to my clients through Loxa Beauty, I don't have to worry about that anymore. They can buy products through the site and I earn a direct commission on every sale. It has been an awesome way for me to earn more money and connect more with my clients through HairScriptions!
Although I may one day decide to do hair in a salon, for right now, this has worked the best for me! I hope that these tips are helpful and can lead you in the right direction! And in reference to my last post, I had a client donate his hair today! How awesome :)
Do you work from home? If so, what are your dislikes and likes about it?
For the love of hair,