Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal care but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Adrianne Tolentino, owner of The Lab A Salon, located in San Diego, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I have owned The Lab A Salon for 14 years now, which houses 17 stylists. We are located in the chic urban neighborhood in the heart of North Park, San Diego, CA. We are a hair salon that provides most hair need services and pride ourselves on being on top of trends and continued education. Our talented team has a match for any textured hair, style, and age. The passion, drive, and support carry throughout the salon.
Tell us about yourself
I have been in the industry for 25 years, so you can say I'm a veteran... The passion I have for our industry is endless. I am a forever learner, evolving and educating daily. When I opened The Lab, I knew I wanted to do what other salons weren't. To have a strong, talented team, have continued education throughout the year, be on-trend, create photoshoots, host hair shows, and help others. With my vision still strong and evolving throughout the years, coming to work is pure joy! We have such a beautiful blend of stylists of all ages, which keeps me young, and in the know. Seriously learning something new every day from this inspiring team.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I feed my team with a lot of business gems to educate them on how to be successful. It's all about mindset. If you want fulfillment in your career, it starts with how you talk to yourself. That's why we support and lift each other up. You have to have positive, rad cheerleaders by your side, rooting for each other if you want to have that fulfilled success, and that's what we represent at our salon. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing your team grow into badass stylists. That is the biggest joy, the success for others.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Two things, when stylists leave. When stylists advance in their careers and shoot for their dreams, as rewarding as it is to see them fly, it's hard to see them go. And... the balance between work, family/home, self-care, and time off. I am a workaholic, but I love what I do, so it's hard for me to turn off at times. But I've changed my in-salon schedule, management days and created some non-negotiables to have some balance.`
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Start small. I started with a big space, a huge team, and no business background. But, my team respected me and wanted to help make it work. Sign up for salon business trainings. I figured it out for a couple of years, then I started going to salon trainings throughout the years, and that changed how I do everything and run more efficiently. A strong culture is the heart of the business. Be a strong leader to make sure the right people are there representing that culture.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
If you want to be successful in anything, start with being a kind person that listens to others. Find something that lights your soul and brings you joy; others will see that and want to gravitate towards you. More opportunities will come your way.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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