Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal care services but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Sonia Yarkhani, owner of Evolve Hair Studio, an eco-conscious salon located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We are an eco-conscious salon located on the downtown Toronto waterfront. Our team specializes in customized hair that's suited to you! We believe everyone is unique in their own way, and we love to collaborate with our guests to design a look that they will be obsessed with.
Our salon environment is inclusive, and our values and principles are rooted in respect, creativity, and collaboration. We care deeply about the environment and work hard to reduce our impact by recycling and reusing the waste we make. Wellness is another one of our main values - whether it be for our guests or our team - we focus on creating a space where people feel relaxed and looked after. Consider Evolve your little sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle of modern city life.
Tell us about yourself
Almost ten years ago, I was at a point in my life where I needed to make a change. I was unhappy with where my career was and what I was doing with my life. So, I had a light bulb moment and said out loud to myself, "it's time for me to Evolve," and that was the beginning of the journey. Shortly after that, I took the risk with my friend and colleague, Jody Kezar, to open our own salon. A little sanctuary away from the craziness of the core of downtown. Now fast forward to today (10 years later), I get to see people happy every day in our salon, from our team to our guests. I'm not doing as much hair as I used to, but I love the salon environment; it's energetic, creative, and full of fun all day. In 2019 my partner and I launched an educational retreat that focuses on fusing hair, business, and wellness education over a weekend just for the hair industry. And recently, this year, I launched my private 1:1 coaching where I mentor salon owners and stylists to accelerate their business and mindset, while teaching them to create balance while reducing stress. As much as I love hair and cutting hair, my new mission is to help others succeed and take their business and lives to the next level.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I feel like just being an entrepreneur is an accomplishment. However, being able to acquire our property, complete two renovations, and double our capacity was a huge feat for our business. Also, turning our business around and making it profitable and successful has been an accomplishment. The salon is at a point where it runs itself, thanks to the systems we put in place. This gives me the time and energy to produce new ideas for our businesses.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
I think having the right team is one of the hardest things. We really protect our culture and are very selective with who we hire. But this can definitely lead to challenges when wanting to expand your team.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Start by focusing on your values, really understand what you value and what you want for your business. This will be your guiding light for the future.
- Learn how to manage money and people. This is a very valuable skill.
- Make sure you have a budget for marketing. This is something a lot of businesses don't think about. In this day and age, marketing needs to be constant, and you need to have a plan.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Stay curious, always educate yourself and your team, and never get too comfortable.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email email@example.com; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
Feel inspired to start, run or grow your own subscription business? Check out subkit.com and learn how you can turn "one day" into day one.