First of all, who am I?
This is officially my second blog post, & the last time I forgot to introduce myself!
My name is Jae. I have been in the hair industry for 7 years and I absolutely loveeeee it! There are so many people who get up every morning dreading to go to work and I am so glad to say that I am NOT one of those people!
I studied cosmetology at a community college, where they mostly teach you sanitation & simple cutting which is very important, I also learned the fundamentals: how to place a foil (shout out Ms. Lester), how to mix color, how to do a basic cut, etc. The day I finished my hours for school I walked in to a local Fantastic Sams to see if they were hiring & they were. The next day I went back with a model and showed them what I could do, the manager hired me and even gave me some tips and tricks on how to improve. Even though I was not licensed yet the manager watched over me while I did a few men’s cuts on REAL LIVE clients, my dream had come true. A few days later I applied for my temporary license so I could legally work on clients until I passed my state board exam. Once I passed state board there was no looking back. I credit working at fast paced chain salon for my ability to do a good haircut in a decent amount of time. The environment was very fast paced, we would whip out hair cut after haircut. I also learned a lot about hair color, but in my opinion the quality of the color used in the chain salon was not as good quality as the one I was used to in school. I stayed at that salon for two and a half years before I started looking for a more upscale salon.
I went to a few interviews around town looking for a new salon home. None of them seemed to be right for me. One day I went into a local salon that I had always heard good things about. The owner asked me when I could come back in with a model and I said I could get one in a few days. I was so nervous and excited at the same time. I chose a model whose hair I had been doing blonde for a while, I thought I would just do some foils and maybe give her a streak of bright colors to frame her face. The day came where I was to show of my skills to the owner. I arrived early looked around and the color bar, & the back bar, & got to know the salon. I was shaky and sweaty and VERY VERY nervous. When my model walked in she was no longer the beautiful blonde that I had last seen! My wonderful client (who I have since forgiven) had put Red Boxed Color all over her beautiful blonde locks. I was so shocked but I tried to play it off like I was all good and was ready to tackle her hair. I decided to go the same route and do a few highlights and a peakaboo of color and lets just say it came out horribly! I did not hear back from the owner of that salon and ended up staying at the chain salon for a while just trying to figure out what I was gonna do. 6 months later I get a text message from the owner of the higher end salon saying “Hey you still looking for a new salon?” I wanted to say “HELL YEAH I AM” but instead I politely said “yes!”. We decided on a starting day for me and I put in my 2 weeks notice at the chain salon.
I learned a lot from higher end salon! I learned how to slow down and take my time and understand exactly what my clients wanted. It was strange at first to have clients that were not in a rush. I learned how to blend my haircuts better, and how to use and apply great quality color! Eventually when I felt my clients were loyal to me and not just to the salon I decided it was time for me to get out on my own.
One of my Facebook stylist friends would always post pictures of herself in her salon suite and I always loved how it looked. So one day I messaged her and asked for some information. She said she was a Loft Owner at Salon Lofts, she told me how much she loved being her own boss, & moving to Salon Lofts was one of the best decisions she had made.
So… I made the LEAP!
In October 2017 I opened up Alfa Jae Salon LLC in Cary, North Carolina & these are the 5 reasons I chose to do so!
Make my own hours.
I am definitely not a morning person and having to work at 9 am all the time was not for me. When I was able to make my own hours I still came in a few days at 9 am but I also had some days that I don’t come in until 12! I also opted to work 7 days a week at the beginning of owning my business. I feel as if Sunday’s & Monday’s are great days to work when you’re building your clientele because those are days that other hair stylists don’t work, & you will be broadening your reach just by working days nobody else does.
Be my own boss.
I now have my own dress code, my own rules and policies, my own music/tv shows that I watch in the salon, my own everything! The only people I have to list to are my clients. I am MY OWN BOSS & I am in love with that feeling.
Build my own brand.
I’ve always had a very distinct style that may not fit the atmosphere of somebody else’s salon. Now that I am in my own space I have made my brand an extension of me. Alfa Jae Salon’s branding is still something I’m perfecting until this very day, but I can 100% say that it is all me.
Buy my own products.
I have always been the type of hairstylist that focused on being able to do all types of hair, from coily tight curled hair, to straight or wavy hair. I needed to have my own products for all the different types of hair that I do. Being able to choose the products that I use has been pivotal in making me even happier in my career choice. One of my favorite brands is Amika!
Choose the services I offer.
When I worked at another salon there were certain services that I would see on my schedule for the day and absolutely dread the idea of doing that service. As my own boss I never have to worry about that. There is not one service on my menu that I don’t absolutely love doing.
A few extra things that I love about Salon Lofts specifically:
They provide liability insurance.
They provide clean facilities with cleaning services 6 days a week (not on Sundays).
They provide monthly free education.
They previously had an agreement with Salon Centric to give us 5% rent rewards to our weekly rent. (5% of what we spent at Salon Centric the previous month would be saved and you can use it to pay your rent.)
The location I am in has a lot of other booming businesses.
They were easy to get in contact with to set up a meeting to see the facilities.
So now I’m in Salon Lofts and I am thriving. Opening Alfa Jae Salon LLC was the best decision I’ve made in my career thus far. I look forward to sharing my journey with you. Well now that you know me and know why I am where I am, tell me a little about you in the comment section. Why are you where you are? Any questions for me? Leave them down in the comments section and I will be sure to answer them!