Even small-town salons are living proof that education and mentorship are thriving in the hair industry and beyond. Here is just one example of a “mentor extraordinaire”.
Teeka Isakson has been the owner and operator of Teeka Lynne’s Salon and Day Spa in Halifax, MA since 2006. After having worked at 5 different salons in the area, she felt her creativity was being stifled. “I had some opportunities to attend hair shows and advanced salon trainings in the last few salons where I worked. But when I tried a new technique I had learned, management staff would say that I shouldn’t do things that way. I wasn’t allowed any creative freedom,” Teeka shared.
“Having worked in salons where there was no team effort, I understood everything I didn’t want in my salon. I’ve always believed it is better to know what you don’t want, than what you think you want,” she philosophizes.
The “Teeka touch”
Upon opening her salon, Teeka took the time to work with each individual team member one-on-one. They would talk a lot and role play scenarios about dealing with clients. The team would discuss everything from formulating color to positioning while cutting. Stylists would even team up and work on clients together to achieve the client’s hair goal.
When she joined the hairdressers’ association, Teeka received 2 free tickets to the Long Beach ISSE show. She was seeking both inspiration and confirmation that her teaching methods would help her team grow as stylists. Instead, she found much more than she bargained for! The show opened up her eyes and some life-changing opportunities, working in a celebrity circuit. “These experiences gave me the confidence to teach my staff new styling techniques one-on-one. It also helped to set up two pre-prom fashion shows in two local high schools,” she remembers. Even today, the community connection remains a priority.
Other doors opened for Isakson when she worked as a Color Educator for a leading brand. In addition to traveling and teaching, she was able to network with others who were managing their salons from venues all around the world.
Consultations, Communication, Commitment
Isakson is convinced that education is not limited to learning from like-minded people. Today clients often find color and cuts they want on line. This means that the salon professional must be able to give them a reality check. With all her experience, Teeka knows that a client who brings in a picture seldom understands the amount of time and work required to get that result. Of course, this also adds up in costs! So this is the perfect opportunity to teach your team how to do a proper consultation. It is important not to set the expectations too high in the salon atmosphere. It also helps them to know what questions to ask while booking the appointment before the client comes in.
“Everyone has a level of understanding and acceptance of each individuals uniqueness and talent and person,” Teeka explains. “I have succeeded in creating a non-toxic environment not only for my staff, but also for our clients.“
Teeka Lynne’s Salon and Day Spa – a role model beyond hairdressing
Indeed, guests at Teeka Lynne’s Salon and Day Spa understand it is a welcoming and safe environment. Business also grows thanks to community engagement. The Teeka Lynne’s Salon and Day Spa team continually support local sports organizations, school events and local fundraising. Recently they partnered with South Shore Foster Closet to help raise funds and awareness for foster children of Plymouth county.
Shannon McCarthy, a Stylist at Teeka Lynne’s Salon and Day Spa, shared just one very personal story. “Our commitment to the community was never more obvious than when one of my clients had fallen on very hard times, Shannon remembers. “Teeka took it upon herself to anonymously share her story on Facebook. Thanks to the community we have built over the years, our clients – no questions asked – gave everything they were able. There was an outpouring of money, clothes for her children, and gift cards, not to mention love.”
“I am a huge advocate of building my team up as opposed to beating them down to make myself look better. I tell my stylists I want them to be a better stylist than me someday.” Teeka Lynne’s Salon and Day Spa Testimonials
All the stylists, whether veterans or newbies, feel at home at Teeka Lynne’s Salon and Day Spa. Amy Allison, a Stylist, has been behind the chair for 22 years. Yet she still feels inspired by Teeka. “I have joined every class Teeka has been able to bring into the salon for us,” she says. “Recently I have decided to further my education with some online classes offered by Salon Centric. I also completed a class on domestic violence called Cut It Out.”
After more than four years at Teeka Lynne’s, stylist Kailee Diauto still loves the team atmosphere. “By working next to experienced stylists, I have learned proper consultation and communication with clients,” she explains. “I even had an opportunity to attend ISSE, my first international hair show, with Teeka. When not working on clients we make the best use of our time by cleaning, practicing new techniques and honing our skills on either a mannequin head or a model.”
Stylist Sarah Dawicki notes, “I love working in a salon where stylist are constantly offering kind words and corrective critiques. This fosters growth, not only as a stylist but as a person. It helps me to maintain my confidence in what I have already learned.”
Shannon McCarthy concludes, “Teeka showed me that we can always learn from each other. It has made me feel confident to now mentor our younger stylists the way she did for me.”