Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal care but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Allison Jahr, owner of Textur Studio, located in Toronto, ON, Canada.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

We are a colourful, vegan-friendly, and inclusive salon located in the heart of Leslieville, Toronto. We are a home away from home: we aim to have clients feeling their best while also offering a safe and accepting environment to all who walk through our doors. While our main focus and love are centered on the hair we produce, we understand the salon experience goes far beyond this - it is closely intertwined with the relationship built with one's stylist. Textur Studio embodies professionalism that is met with ease. Creating an environment that allows for a feeling of comfort and the freedom to be oneself in our space is top priority. We strive to create an experience that is well-rounded and exceeds clients' hair expectations while also valuing a modest and grounded attitude.

We open our doors to any and all who would like to contribute in ways large and small to the well-being of our fur friends as we exclusively use products and hair colours that are animal cruelty-free and vegan. We believe care and appreciation for the world around us begin with that for oneself through mindful self-care.

Tell us about yourself

Following high school, I obtained a degree in Psychology at the University of Waterloo. While undoubtedly an invaluable experience, it became clear in the latter portion of these years that I was deeply drawn to artistic expression and human connection. I began to explore my love for the beauty industry in uncountable evenings spent cutting my own hair while putting studying on the back burner. In turn, hair school became the inevitable next step!

I put two feet in and opened Textur early in my career after convincing a trusted colleague and friend to jump ship with me. Eight years have flown by, and now I run the business myself alongside a team I am exceptionally proud of.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Notable accomplishments as a business owner include being unrelenting in changing times, whether that be in the dissolution of my business partnership over four years ago, perseverance through the pandemic, or maintaining a stance on the business values and its vision regardless of the hurdles it presents. Alternatively, I accept I am only as accomplished as each day-end, and I understand there is always something to learn as a business owner, boss, and hairstylist. Thus, my greatest accomplishment is the ability to sit in this simple realization ongoing, creating space for open-mindedness and growth.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

Management of the core pillar in the business: the people within it! Effective and thoughtful management of those who work within the business is of great importance, as the salon team is at the center of everything. Continually polishing management skills is a key action that aids in differentiating between a sole-proprietorship and a full-fledged business. A business that strives to meet the needs of its team members ultimately meets the needs of the clients it services.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Stop telling yourself, "I can't" - self-doubt and worry are the usual stoppers in the way of actualizing any great idea. Plan in length, but anticipate the feeling that planning can continue to no end - eventually, there must be action, and this will always be imperfect. The inevitable challenges you will face will likely be the ones you could never dream up, so plan well and then move.
  2. Take in advice and bounce ideas off those you trust, but have confidence in your vision - take a little and leave a little. Hearing "yes" is inspiring, validating, and motivating, and hearing "no" creates a moment of pause and reflection, either to be considered or dismissed. "Yes" and "No" responses hold great value, but ultimately the buck stops with you.
  3. Be open to learning about the business - you may continue to be a service provider, but knowing your business will be an asset in creating something beyond yourself.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Take chances and quiet the fear of creating a bit of mess - take one thing of value from every hiccup, and celebrate your successes along the way!

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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