Weekly Business Profile
Salon Ella Sol
Type of business:
115 Seventh Street NW
Albuquerque NM 87102
Number of Employees:
How did you get started in this business?
While I was attending college at NMSU, I fell head over heels in love with a cute boy in barber college; he soon became my husband and father of my children. He was (and is) a talented stylist, and I helped him manage the business side of his career for many years, but I was also impressed that it was possible to make a comfortable living doing something that's so much fun for me. Growing up, I had always helped my mother and grandmother with their hair, giving them perms, color and so forth. I always enjoyed that, so it was inevitable that I would become a licensed stylist myself.Years later, we remodeled and re-zoned the den of our Nob Hill home into a small salon with a respectable following—and I discovered that I, too, had an exceptional talent for styling hair. Though that cute boy and I are no longer together, we remain on good terms. My years of experience in managing the business side of salon work, plus years of working alongside excellent mentors like Sandra and Frank Stockton of Stockton Hair Artists, convinced me to open Salon Ella Sol.
What is your business philosophy?
I know that along with my hard-earned expertise, professionalism and talent, Salon Ella Sol needs to provide excellent customer service. And that is exactly what we do.
How do you maintain your competitive edge?
Education! My stylists and myself continually attend courses and workshops both here and abroad to stay on top of the latest styles, trends and techniques. We also use Redken products exclusively. In my opinion, Redken products are the best available—and I only want my clients to have the very, very best. For our salon to achieve Redken Certification is certainly something I'm very proud of.We've also enlisted the expertise of Summit Salon Consulting Group, an international company that specializes in helping salons achieve higher levels of excellence in all facets of the beauty industry through shared experience, training and advice. Their guidance has been invaluable in making our salon the very best it can be.
How would you define your position within the marketplace or within your market segment?
We are a mid to high-end salon … and it shows in the results. We can make you look amazing.
What was your best business decision?
I'm very excited with my new downtown location—not only because of its central location, but to be a part of Albuquerque's downtown revitalization. The salon itself is elegant, clean and comfortable. I couldn't be happier with my space.
How has the internet affected your business, and how do you think it might affect your business in the future?
Maintaining a functional presence on the internet is critical for any small business—you can't survive, much less grow, without it. I spend a good deal of energy and resources to make sure Salon Ella Sol's internet presence is pleasing, informative and useful. See for yourself at www.salonellasol.com.
What words of wisdom would you offer to someone starting their own business?
It's a lot of work! But I love my work, so I'm having the time of my life. Make sure you love what you do.
What do you look for in prospective employees?
Ingenuity, confidence and great personality. All of my stylists are top-notch and have my complete faith.
What inspires you?
Everything. Everyone. Life is amazing.
Three passions outside of work?
My passion is my work. … always. There's nothing on earth I would rather be doing.
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