Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal care but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Tanya Sullivan, Owner of CRAFT Academy Salon, located in Vancouver, BC, CA.

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

Our business is crafting the best possible experience for our guests and salon team. We are committed to making your time at CRAFT Academy Salon highly enjoyable and extremely memorable. We like to have fun, and it shows!

Tell us about yourself

Ten years ago, I recognized an essential piece was missing within the hairdressing industry - mentoring. So I built a salon model that focuses on mentoring existing and up-and-coming stylists, support and front-end team members, and other salon owners. True mentorship is a learning opportunity for everyone involved. It's that opportunity for growth and helping someone realize their full potential that excites me to continue to evolve and empower our team. We do this by providing ongoing education, uniquely made to measure experiences (i.e., exclusive team retreats), and a plan for personal and professional growth while offering our clients a stellar hair service experience.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Being a part of a team member's journey to accomplishing whatever it is that they set out to achieve.

I'm a big believer in servant leadership and how this approach makes the job of "salon owner" much more rewarding.

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

Dealing with all the elements that are virtually out of your control but categorically have as much effect on the outcome of your business success as your own sweat equity does, i.e., the rising cost of triple-net leasing, pandemics, city bylaws, changes to employer tax obligations, relationships with distributors, bureaucratic bs, inflation, the lack of mental health support from the federal and provincial gov't for small business, the surging cost of living and incompetent and heartless commercial landlords.

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

  1. Speak to at least three other entrepreneurs in your field who will share the brutally honest truth about what it means to operate your own company. Ask ALL the questions.
  2. Be prepared to support your team wholeheartedly through their woes as much as their wins.
  3. Recognize that all challenges are just learning opportunities in disguise.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Make sure your team feels appreciated. Be prepared to do all the work and give away all the credit. Build a diverse team and be the person you needed when you were in their shoes.

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.

Turn your craft into recurring revenue with Subkit. Start your subscription offering in minutes and supercharge it with growth levers. Get early access here.