In Conversation with Carol Thomas of Just Because Hair Salon

Just Because Hair Salon_Blog Header

Describe your business in a few words?

We are all about healthy hair care, with signature therapy hair treatment products and styling natural hair, braids, relaxers, extensions, and more.

What made you take the leap to start your own business?

I took the leap and started my own business to make a living. I was tired of working in a salon that would go out of business after being there for a while, leaving me scrambling to find a home for my clients. I needed to be stable.

What was your background prior to starting your own business?

Before starting my own business, I went to beauty school while working in a corporate setting. After beauty school, I worked as a salon assistant and then became a stylist to manage a salon to now owning my very own salon.

Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?

I had no plans to become an entrepreneur. I would have been happy working in a salon that I was comfortable in, but I had to take matters into my hand after a few salon closures.

Take us back to when you first launched your business, what was your marketing strategy to get the word out and did it go as planned?

When I first launched my salon business, my marketing strategy was more community-based. I created a Prom Queen Project, where we send girls to their prom, We provide them with a three-week mentoring program, finishing off with a luncheon, and on Prom Day, hair, make-up, dress, and even a limousine is provided. I did this for many years, and the story was picked up by the New York Times and the Daily News. Also, I created a Street Walk fashion show, using young high school girls and turning them into models for the day. This event became the highlight of the summer and was done right in front of the salon. Also, I was involved in hosting women from the shelter and offering them beauty services once a month.  Brooklyn 12 News carried the story. I also created a product line that’s called St. Charles and hired a publicist. The line has six pieces: Rebuilding Hair Mask, Destress Hair lotion, 811 Oil, Wellness Condition, Night Cap, and Cleansing Shampoo.

We always learn the most from our mistakes, share a time with us that you made a mistake or had a challenging time in business and what you learned from it?

The mistake I made was getting too comfortable when you see the business growing. You wake up one day to no clients or recently having your business closed down. I learned that you have to have more than one stream of business, and business can be done online. Having my salon closed during the shutdown made me realize I needed to start selling my products online and hire a professional to help bring awareness to the product line.

What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?

The accomplishment I am most proud of is financing my nephew through college, and his mom died when he was at a very young age and helped my brother take care of him. It gives me great joy to see how much of a gentleman he turned out to be.

When hiring for your team, what is your go-to interview question? Please share any hiring tips you can share from your experience?

My go-to interview question is to tell me about your family? I can tell from the way they speak about their family you can tell if they like people, salon business is a people business and you have to like them.

How has your business or industry been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?

Well, the stay at home order left our industry with stylist and salon owners not having a paycheck overnight. COVID-19 was here, and just like that, on a Saturday at 8 pm, our doors were closed for three months, bills piling up, rent still needed to be paid, and we had no income. Now that we have reopened, COVID-19 is still here, but we are managing it, spending more on protective sanitary measures, and seeing fewer clients keep social distancing. A hairstylist with young kids has to work part-time because they have to be home with the kid for school, and some could not come back to work.

What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?

What’s next for my business is more online hair consultations and selling more of St. Charles online.

What is the biggest lesson you have learned in 2020?

The biggest lesson I learned in 2020 is “Be Kind To Yourself.” We spend so much time saying I am too fat or I don’t like my nose, my hair is too short, just silly stuff about ourselves. No more! I get up now and look in the mirror, and I am so thankful. Too many lost their lives last year.

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were first starting your business?

I now know and wish I knew when I started my business not to stress silly things. For example, I wanted a circular business card and the mission statement printed in green ink on the card’s back. When I received the cards, they wrote them in black ink. I was livid and wanted them done over. I did not pay for that, I shouted! Now I think about that day, and I ask myself, WHY! Now with COVID-19 and everything is more or less touchless. I know how to go with the flow and stay working on taking care of your clients and targeting new ones. Just stay building your business.

How have you managed to stay grounded this year?

I stay grounded by staying in prayer always, spending time with my friends on Zoom, and just laughing more. Finding Joy!

Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?

Yes, I believe in work/life balance, and some of my best tips are:

  • Take breaks to rest.
  • Taking time to enjoy a great lunch.
  • Try to take an afternoon walk to be out of the salon for a few minutes.

What’s something our audience would be surprised to learn about you?

They would be surprised to learn that I am scared of cats.

What are your top 3 tips to stay productive each day?

My top 3 tips to stay productive:

  • I make a things-to-do list.
  • I have a good breakfast.
  • I look on social media to get inspired.

What does being an Entreprenista mean to you?

Entreprenista means having vision and determination and taking that risk to succeed and still stay fabulous.

Share it!

Posted in
Tags

Leave a Comment





Michele Henry of FACE FOUNDRIÉ on why she leans into her fears, and the importance of dreaming big

Describe FACE FOUNDRIÉ in a few words? Efficient and effective focused facial bar specializing in all things face, facials, lashes, brows, and skincare. What made you take the leap to start your own business? I worked in my parents’ small inground pool business from age 13 all the way through college. Being an entrepreneur is…

Ashley Spriggs of Pivot Media on the power of genuine relationships

Describe your business in a few words? We are a media firm that gets your message the attention it deserves. We offer services in Public Relations and Podcast Management. What made you take the leap to start your own business? It was the right time! I was growing my client list as an independent contractor…

Mary Allard of The Third Place podcast on inviting listeners to explore uncomfortable conversations in a safe space

Describe your business in a few words? The Third Place podcast is a weekly podcast that invites listeners into the hard conversations that we have a tendency to avoid. It is a podcast that “goes there,” within a safe place where curiosity is encouraged, differences are welcomed, and empathy is embraced through healthy dialogue. What…

Kelsea Olivia of East Olivia Creative on creating experiences that spark curiosity, joy, and connection

Describe your business in a few words? East Olivia is a boutique creative agency that specializes in large-scale floral installations. What made you take the leap to start your own business? I have been starting businesses since I was a child, selling my crafts and babysitting. As an adult, I had an innate desire to…

Tiffany Roman of Small Biz Highlight on creating a platform to help small businesses thrive

Describe your business in a few words? Small Biz Highlight is a web show, created to help introduce the people behind a small/local business, their products and services, and discuss how COVID affected them. What made you take the leap to start your own business? Back in April 2020, COVID shutdowns were in full effect…

11 Mamaprenistas share their best productivity tips to manage a business and a family

1) Tierney Larkin, Founder at Larkin Living Spaces: “Be sure to have a designated space to work that is just for you and your business. It can be a makeshift office in the corner of a room, or even a traveling cart that you can take around with you to store all of your supplies…

How Two Entreprenistas Launched & Scaled Their Business on Shopify in 30 Days

Within 9 years, Stephanie Cartin and Courtney Spritzer have bolstered the presence of over 300 women-owned companies — all through social media strategy, platform management, influencer marketing, paid media and creative service. Given their success with Socialfly, Steph and Courtney recently decided to create a podcast called Entreprenistas, which provides a community to celebrate and…

Sarah Kallile of Lunnie on building the first community-led brand for modern mothers

Describe Lunnie in a few words? Community-led brand for modern mothers. We’re reinventing the nursing bra. What made you take the leap to start your own business? I’m a mom of two young girls. While breastfeeding my second daughter, I was frustrated with my clunky nursing bra and how it made me feel frumpy. I…

Ramy Sharp on launching Ramy Brook to fill a void in the marketplace, and what inspired her to take the leap

Describe Ramy Brook in a few words? Happy, Sexy and Strong! Ramy Brook is female owned and operated, stemming from one woman’s dream to uplift, empower and celebrate women. The apparel, accessories and swimwear collections transcend generational dressing, offering something for anyone looking for a vibrant and celebrational style. My vision is for women who…

Charlotte Michailidis of Parenthood Ventures on fueling the next wave of innovation for early stage ParentTech

Describe your business in a few words? Parenthood Ventures is the founder ecosystem for early stage ParentTech – i.e., startups serving parents, from fertility to teens.  Companies in our community span sub-sectors like caregiving, employee benefits, food, physical goods, digital health, retail, clothing, education, media/entertainment and fintech.  The objective is to fuel the next wave…

Vanessa Coppes of BELLA Media + Co on how determining who her customer was changed her business

Describe BELLA Media + Co in a few words? Lifestyle media company sharing content and resources for living a beautiful life. What made you take the leap to start your own business? My mental health. Launching my business literally saved my life. I was suffering from postpartum depression and needed a creative outlet. I launched…

Ingrid He of the Sjogren’s Tracker app on using her creativity to help people with autoimmune disorders manage their symptoms

Describe your business in a few words? Sjogren’s (SHOW-grins) Tracker is an app that helps people with autoimmune disorders manage their symptoms and flares. We aim to help our users better understand their conditions and identify triggers to their flares. Our mission is to create innovative solutions to improve the lives of users and facilitate…

Bari Koral of Yogapalooza on pioneering kids yoga with Yogapalooza!

Describe your business in a few words? Bari Koral is a Kids Yoga Pioneer and recording artist. Bari inspires thousands of parents, teachers and young children every day with her kids yoga, music and mindfulness activities and popular YouTube channel. What made you take the leap to start your own business? After burning out on…

Angelica Hanley of ACouplePuns on growing her business while staying 100% true to herself, and the biggest lessons she has learned over the years

Describe your business in a few words? ACouplePuns specializes in sparking joy through laughter and delivers the punniest content and high-quality paper goodies for every special occasion and moment in-between. Whether your bestie loves her house plants, binge-watching Friends, or drinking coffee, ACouplePuns has a punny card for that!   What made you take the leap…

Kelly DuFord Williams of Slate Law Group on disrupting the traditional law firm space and building a business where employees can thrive

Describe your business in a few words? Slate Law Group is a forward-thinking, accessible San Diego-based boutique law firm that provides legal, tax and HR services for small to medium sized businesses and corporations. What made you take the leap to start your own business? I was inspired to start my own business because I…