What is your story?
I am a highly motivated stylist and businesswoman who has been in the industry for 28 years in different parts of Massachusetts. I have been exposed to the many sides of the business from education, working for a salon and being out on my own as a booth renter and now a suite owner. This industry is forever changing and that is what keeps me interested and excited. I realized to stay successful in this business, you have to grow and adjust to the changes that happen.
My career is my passion and it is what gets me excited to get up every day. I love my clients and my conversations with them. I truly feel like I have a special bond of friendship with every client and the job is just the icing on the cake. Who knew being a hairstylist would be so great?
Another passion of mine is mentoring others and working with them to help them succeed. During my career, I spent many years as an educator for a big color company. I loved teaching at salons around the country, in classroom settings, and being involved as a team with others in hair shows. I get excited helping people grow and watching them believe in themselves.
I started my career as an assistant in a chain salon, which is how many people begin their career as a hairstylist. The chain really helped launch my career in the beauty industry and they provided me the opportunity to teach in their affiliated hair school and exclusive supply company. This opened a lot of doors and friendships in my career. I grew my clientele quickly and within three years I decided that renting a chair in another salon was my calling. I also continued my path of educating as well as being behind the chair. Entrepreneurship was my calling from an early age.
As the times changed in our industry, I realized I was changing and I did not like renting a chair in a salon anymore. At this point I decided to work at a bigger concept salon and spa where health benefits, disability and 401ks were offered. At that point I met a friend in education and she introduced me to a salon that I will forever hold grateful in my heart! This salon was ahead of their time. Our salon owner offered individual coaching on how to grow ourselves in this salon. The owner truly wanted you to succeed in your hairdressing career and had the belief that if you succeeded, then the salon succeeded. This is where my passion for mentoring and helping others succeed blossomed. I was truly sad to leave this salon, but my life moved forward, I got married and I started over as hairdresser in another location with a shorter commute.
I worked for this traditional salon for 12 years. This period is where I met some of my best friends in the industry and grew a fabulous clientele that I love today. But at that time in my life, I also realized I was not growing myself and truly missed the side of teaching and helping fellow stylists. This point in my career was personally very challenging and opened my eyes. For the last few years, I tried to find a way to branch out on my own. I realized that for me to grow, I needed to be my own boss and that meant I had to open my own business. I found that buying someone’s business didn’t make any sense financially and many of the businesses for sale were neglected or were overpriced. The question I had was did I really want to be the boss and continue to be a hairstylist. I didn’t want to rent a booth again and wanted control over the business look and feel, as well as the products. MY SALON Suite came into town and that was exactly the business model I was looking for and I never looked back.
What does owning your own business mean to you?
Owning my own business is the best decision I have made in my career. I wake up every day and I realize my confidence is back; I am my own boss again and I truly love it. It has been extremely fulfilling and the most challenging thing I have ever done in my life. I completely enjoy the benefits of having my own schedule and booking the services I want to focus on is what motivates me. I focus on the one on one client experience verses juggling two clients at once. I can do that in my suite, and I have many clients that love the personal experience as well as the privacy that my suite allows them.
One other advantage to owning my own business is the ability to choose exceptional products for my clients. I am now able to carry products that are environmentally friendly with less harsh chemicals, which is very important to me. I also carry a hair color line that is extremely low in ammonia for hair coloring. Our industry is constantly always changing, and I want to grow with it and make sure that my business grows too.
In the end, owning my own business is all about my clients. I like being prepared for the day knowing what my schedule is, who I have and what my services I am going to tackle that day. I can adapt my schedule to my client’s busy schedules. My clients have lives that include their work, families, travel, and last-minute changes that happen in life. It also means I can make my own schedule and to me that is so important to my life with my family. Hairdressers work crazy hours but at least now I have control over my time when making my schedule.
How has joining the Suite Elite impacted your life?
The day I met the owners of MY SALON Suite of Westborough, Ed and Amy Boulter, I knew I found my new hair home. This concept was what I was looking for and having such wonderful franchise owners made the decision to join them early on and take the leap of faith in their new business venture. They made this transaction so easy and helped me in every way to make me enjoy opening a business. Meeting them has definitely made me realize I would be able to have work life balance. I knew my life was changing in an amazing direction.
We had our Grand Opening at MY SALON Suite in Westborough Massachusetts one month after opening and this was an amazing event for me. I had never been apart of something so exciting!! Being a part of this new business concept with the other entrepreneurs that were like minded, was such an incredible feeling. My confidence was finally back, and I knew I made the right decision to open my business at the suites.
The other big impact I feel is freedom of setting my own schedule and work times are something that impacted me the most. I did not have this in my last job and I needed to make my day more productive and work smarter. I finally feel like I have a life/work balance. I don’t have to worry if I need time off for my family, I just make the time in my schedule.
The freedom to choose my own products has definitely helped me financially. I knew what my clients were wanting and asking for in the previous years to open my own business. I found an exclusive distributor that believes in the suite hairdresser concept and was able to help me sell products online that were not able to be purchased directly by the consumer.
What piece of advice would you have for a new Member just starting out?
If a member was thinking of joining the Suite Elite and has a desire to be an entrepreneur, I would tell them to go for it and never look back and ask yourself “why not?” If you do not try, you have no idea what the future could bring you. So many doors have opened for me and it has not even been a year since I opened my business.
I would also advise them to make a business plan before opening. This is a must! You should know your style, approach, goals and that planning will prepare you for success in your first year of business. If you specialize in a certain service you can turn that into your biggest service.
Being in the suites has made my life so much better. I was scared at first to make the leap. It is always a difficult decision to face the unknown and that you might be scared to try but sometimes you need to trust your abilities and push yourself in a different direction to help you grow. If you feel you have peaked at your current job and have this desire to be forward thinking and want to control your career path, then The Suite Elite is where you should be. If you are all over social media and love to share your work, why not market yourself and your own business. It is your life and artistic ability, so own it and create your own destiny. I have and I haven’t looked back.
Remember our world in hairdressing is evolving and now offering this amazing concept of studio suites. If you want to still have the feel of a salon but run your own business privately then this is definitely for you. I am very excited and proud to be a founding Member in Westborough, MA. If you love being part of something brand new, a change, or something exciting then this is your opportunity to shine. Why not try the opportunity and join the Suite Elite?
Follow Amy on Instagram @hazenhairstudio