Better BusinessJune 1, 2007 By: American Salon Staff American Salon
After making a few changes to its modus operandi, Samuel Cole Salon in Raleigh, NC, doubled its size, and its business.
After owning Samuel Cole Salon in Raleigh, NC, for about seven years, the husband-and-wife hairstyling team of Jack and Joelle Ray decided to take a hard look at their mode of business. "We were emboldened to make some much-needed changes," says Joelle. "We altered anything that wasn't working perfectly, from our hiring and training process to our bookkeeping."
The stunningly beautiful reception desk at Samuel Cole Salon is made of polished green onyx from Pakistan.
After making the adjustments, their client base doubled, then continued to grow by 50 percent each year for the next two years. When the retail space next to theirs became available just over a year ago, they wasted no time in signing the lease, doubling the salon's size from 1,400 square feet to 2,800.
The Rays worked with a local architect, Thomas Amann, and Michael Perry of Porto, a decorating and home furnishings store, to create a beautiful, modern and functional salon with a spa-like ambiance. White, curvilinear walls divide the salon, which the Rays named for their two sons, into separate areas for styling, retail, shampoo and reception. "It's a space that slowly unfolds as you walk from one area to the next," says Jack.
Among the many notable features are the sleek black cabinets, custom-designed by a local craftsman, the Carolina-blue ceiling and environmentally friendly bamboo and cork flooring. The cork is used in the styling area because it functions as a natural shock absorber, meaning it's more comfortable for the stylists. In addition, the Rays doubled the size of their stylist's lounge, a highly relaxing space for stylists that also serves as an education center, library and conference room.
A Bumble and bumble network salon, Samuel Cole is setting the standard for salons in Raleigh. It's been named a "Top Ten Color Salon" and "Best Salon" by Citysearch, as well as "Best Salon" by a regional magazine, Metro. Chalk it up, at least partly, to good design. "It's a very inspiring, very uplifting salon," says Joelle. "It feels good to be here." —CARRIE WATSON
DOLLARS AND SENSE
Women Don't Ask: The High Cost of Avoiding Negotiation—and Positive Strategies for Change (Bantam Books, 2007) is a must-read for all women. Authors Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever discuss the personal and societal reasons why women don't ask for things they need or want, and they offer advice on how to improve negotiation skills. Surprising statistics reveal the gender divide when it comes to this topic. Men are four times more likely to ask for higher pay than women are, and women sacrifice earning more than half a million dollars by the end of their careers simply by not negotiating their first job's salary. —N.P.