At ESTETICA, we want to inform other professionals on how they can become independent and the benefits of that decision. Celebrity hairstylist, Redken stylist and independent entrepreneur, Autumn Morris gives us some insight about how the life of a normal stylist, turns into that of a celebrity stylist, and ultimately results a system like Sola Salon Studios!
To know more about Sola Salons and their systems, click here. Stylists can become entrepreneurs themselves, and by doing so, they can transform into the masterminds (or the bosses) behind not only the art, but also the space where the artistry takes place.
Tell us about your work Studio Salons and when did you start to work with them?
“I have a large 2-chair studio at Sola Salons in Encinitas, CA. I have been at Sola for three and a half years and it seems like yesterday. Sola Salons is for the stylist! They give us an opportunity to not only be independent but to have our own Salon without all the headaches.”
Did internationally renowned stylist, Chaz Dean, have an impact on your entrepreneurial spirit?
“ABSOLUTELY! From the onset Chaz Dean instilled fundamental values and foundations to my skillset and work ethic. I assisted Chaz Dean when I was 19 years old. His belief in caring for hair inspired me to create a product line based on the same foundation of what he taught me! I am forever grateful that he was my mentor. He really is part of who I am as a stylist today.”
I understand you backed off from the title “celebrity hairstylist,” what was it that made you want a change of scenery?
“An opportunity presented itself to move to San Diego & as much as it pained me to go honestly I have only grown and. I still keep in contact with a few of my celebrity clients, in fact, a few still get their hair done by me. I have never backed away, and am still actively working with key clientele when opportunity presents itself.”
Where did you first hear about Sola Salons?
“I first heard about Sola Salons through a dear friend and co-worker, Lisa Orr. We went to visit the building before it was even Sola. At that time I was not in the frame of mind to be in what I thought was a ‘cubical’. My husband would tell me… ‘You are so much better than that, it seems like medical suites!’ It took me 2 years before I actually moved over to Sola! I sent two of my friends there before I went. Finally the opportunity arrived and it was meant to be!
Turns out, my husband was wrong… Sola is so much more then any little office space and the opportunities are endless!!! My income keeps growing along with my passion & skills.”
How does media and web impact your business and your salon’s brand?
“I have found that social media is the new ‘referral program’ – I get at least 3-4 new people a month just from Facebook & Google! This is without me putting a ton of effort into it!”
In many careers it is becoming popular not only to promote yourself like a brand, with hairstyling, how did your clients react to that?
“My clients LOVE to see me accomplishing my dreams, they have encouraged me along the way! Honestly they are the reason why I am where I am today. The space makes them feel like they’re celebrities too.”
What would you tell someone is looking to become an independent stylist (what advice would you give to a younger version of yourself)?
“I always encourage growing and stepping outside of your box! There comes a time as a stylist when becoming independent is simply the next step and you have to jump! If you continue to grow your clients will grow with you! With hard work and dedication to the art you will always come on top. Yes, it is one more responsibility and if I can do it so can you!!! I think some of the biggest fears of being independent stem from our fear of not making money or paying the rent. If you write out each day what your ‘DREAM WORK DAY’ would be like then compare it at the end of the day your setting goals! Having a positive attitude has a huge impact on being successfully independent. Chaz Dean taught me to always be positive and to continue to make goals for myself. Don’t give up or get discouraged and trust the process – shoot for the stars!”
What are the top three advantages of working with studio salons as opposed to other alternatives that beauty professionals have?
(1) “SELLING RETAIL!!!!!! It’s a huge profit that stylist renting at salons are missing out on. No offense, but we all have the same licensing, so we should be able to reap the benefits of product sales. I feel very strongly about educating our clients on products and yes they can get it at Ulta or Target but if we educate them on it and our prices are the same the majority will buy it from you. Sola also helps by giving you funds to start up you retail shelf! This is amazing!!!”
(2) “My clients feel like celebrities when there in my studio, they have the ‘one on one’ experience. There are no distractions or drama for you & your clients. You don’t realize how much most people don’t like to listen to drama.”
(3) “Sola supports us, allowing us to be creative in every way. I feel it’s the way of the future! They recently added an area called ‘creative space,’ a place where you can reserve and hold classes, shoot your YouTube videos, and even permits having parties, free of charge!!! Sola Provides this for us! Austin, whom I lease from, felt like education was the missing piece. I have held a small Redken class in my room before and it felt amazing! Now with creative space I can do a bigger class! The opportunities are endless at Sola Salons.”
By Alejandra Acuña