Success can be contagious, especially if you share it! This week we spoke with Caitlin Brown, one of the Suite owners at MY SALON Suite Fairfield in Fairfield, Connecticut. During her interview, Caitlin hit on several of the things that make the Suite Life such a great choice for beauty professionals.
Caitlin’s Salon Studio - caitlinssalonstudio.com/
427 Stillson Road, Suite #204, Fairfield CT 06824
Q. How long have you been a beauty professional?
Caitlin: Since I was 15; it was my first job ever. While I was in high school I worked at a salon, first sweeping up and doing laundry and being an assistant, then moving to the front desk where I booked appointments, greeted clients and helped them.
Two weeks after I graduated from high school I started hairdressing school, and I’ve had my license for 8 years which means I’ve been a beauty professional for 11 years – no wait! 12!! It’s like I’ve been doing this forever, but I don’t know what else I would do – because I love it so much!
Q. What drew you to the Suite Life?
Caitlin: Definitely, it’s the flexibility of being my own boss. Before becoming a Suite owner I worked in three different salons and sometimes felt frustrated that I couldn’t run things the way I thought they should be run. In the last one I was basically managing the salon. They relied on me to do a lot of things that weren’t really part of my job.
At one point I finally just asked myself, “what am I doing?” I’m doing all this extra work without extra pay or benefits, and without feeling like they are taking my recommendations. The very next week I went to research the Suite Life and then decided to open my own Salon Suite.
Q. What do you appreciate most about being a Suite owner?
Caitlin: I love how positive everyone is here! It’s a big change to go from being a hairdresser working in a salon to being a “business owner,” but being here makes it so easily accessible for people who maybe don’t want to manage a whole team of people or manage other aspects of running a business.
Here, I can work as many hours as I want. I have my own space and I can do what I want in it. I can wear jeans to work, and comfortable shoes. I can do what I want without having to get permission from someone else!
Plus, here it’s like you have your own group of cheerleaders. People think that with other Suites surrounding you it’s like having competitors right next door but it’s not like that at all! The other Suite owners here aren’t competitors – they are colleagues. Everyone wants everyone else to succeed.
Q. Share your success secrets… If you were going to give a new Suite owner advice, what would it be?
Caitlin: To learn to set boundaries with clients. It’s easy to overwork yourself when you’re in a situation where you can work as much as you want, you can become very accessible to your clients. It’s important to be able to realize that “this is still my work.” People might take advantage and sometimes you have to be able to say no.
A client might feel like it’s ok to ask you to lower your prices for them, and you need to protect your value as a beauty professional. For me, if someone isn’t going to value my work as an artist and a professional, it’s ok with me if they go somewhere else for services where they can pay what they want to pay.
Q. What is your favorite color?
Caitlin: Oh, man, that’s hard! It changes!! Today – for now – it’s turquoise. Turquoise is a very calming color and it reminds me of the beach, like sitting on the beach looking out over a sea of turquoise water.