In Conversation with Lisa Conway of Vantage Salon

Lisa Conway_Blog Header

Describe your business in a few words?

Vantage Salon is a community infused with knowledgeable, proficient stylists with strong foundations. We are committed to continuing education, cultivating great technical skills, stellar guest experiences, and customized services.

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

In 2008, when I took the leap to start my own business,  there were really only two options for someone who wanted to have their hair done professionally – a “high end” salon where clients felt they were often over-charged and pressured into services or product purchases, and the commercial discount chains with bad lighting and no consistency.

I wanted to create a new kind of salon where guests felt they could speak openly and confidentially about all their hair care questions and concerns. I wanted clients to feel confident that they were in well-educated, well-practiced hands, and their requests were listened to and understood.

What was your background prior to starting your own business?

For over a decade, I lived in New York working behind the chair in two salons while also styling hair for fashion shows and editorial publications. Looking for a change of pace, I moved to Denver in 2007 and was hired to manage a new salon that was trying to build business. In this new position, I regularly spoke with both stylists and clients about what they wanted their time in the hair salon to be. I could easily, and personally, relate to stylists trying to balance their love for the work with the demands of the job but, it was the candid conversations with clients that afforded me an entirely new, and enlightening, perspective.

Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?

I always knew I wanted to affect change, and never stop learning or growing.  I’m not sure I recognized these attributes as entrepreneurial until I started connecting with others who also carried fires in their bellies.  It was truly through these kismet-ted relationships that I fully grew into my entrepreneur spirit.

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?

I love this question because, in a way, it takes me back to a different time – I launched my first business 2 years before platforms like Pinterest or Instagram existed. I feel lucky to have participated in marketing strategies over a 12 year period and to be able to recognize the incredible resources available to new businesses now.  

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?

Alongside many others, the entire beauty industry was deeply challenged by last year’s Covid-19 closures. I was incredibly inspired by the creativity and ingenuity of my fellow stylists and small business owners through such an immeasurable time. I learned so much about the resiliency of our entrepreneur hearts and the power of communities coming together to support our local economies.      

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

When I look at reviews for Vantage Salon, guests talk about our appointments being about so much more than hair color or style – they talked about feeling informed and having new confidence in the way they look and feel. I’m proud of this and grateful to be able to build relationships that allow my fellow stylists and our clients to trust us not only to help them express themselves from day to day, but also, to be beside them on the morning of their wedding, or to shave their head during a battle with cancer.

This salon serves as a special place not just to receive hair care services but also as a location where individuals feel comfortable sharing personal experiences and talking about issues of importance in their lives and in the community. Because so many people from so many different walks of life come through, people can find resources and recommendations for almost anything. In return, I am given the gift of connecting people in this way.

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

When someone can speak in such a way that others love to listen to them, and listen in such a way that others love to speak to them, I know that we have great potential to grow alongside each other. That is the team I’m building.

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

Looking at Denver, a rapidly growing city, and the beauty industry, massive and full of innovators and forward-thinkers, I can’t imagine a more exciting combination for hair salons. This is a time when stylists can push the envelope by collectively sharing our inspiration, education, and experience with each other and with our clients. We look forward to uncovering what is next for our business too!

What is the biggest lesson you have learned in 2020?

Wow, what did 2020 teach me? That anything is possible…and we are all connected.

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

Everything. I wish I knew everything then that I know now. But, knowledge comes from learning and wisdom comes from living.

How have you managed to stay grounded this year?

Truthfully, I haven’t managed to stay completely grounded over this past year.  I’d love to meet the person who has.  However, when I know I need to find my foundation again, I turn to gratitude every time. 

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

A few years ago, I came upon a quote – “I don’t want to get to the end of my life and find that I just lived the length of it. I want to live the width of it as well.” I thought yes, that’s exactly how I feel! In my search for balance, I would say I continue to struggle most with simply fitting everything I want to do into each day.

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

I’m a serious lady. I’m focused, driven, and very structured. Often, people are surprised to find that I’m also pretty silly – it takes VERY little to amuse me, and, at times, I have a terribly immature sense of humor.

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

Work out, drink lots of water, and journal. 

What does being an Entreprenista mean to you?

Being an Entreprenista means that behind my success, is a tribe of other successful women who have my back. And I have theirs. 

Share it!

Posted in

1 Comment

  1. Larry Raymond on March 5, 2021 at 2:19 am

    Beautiful lady, all around!

Leave a Comment

How to achieve a life of financial freedom with Alisha Pennington of ATvantage Athletic Training

Describe your business in a few words? Empowering, Dynamic, and Comprehensive. What made you take the leap to start your own business? I have been a business owner in a very niche industry (athletic training) for almost 10 years, so I have experienced the freedom and flexibility that comes with being a business owner. My…

How Jenny Strebe used positive affirmations and crystal healing to create her modern haircare brand AIIR Professional

Describe AIIR Professional in a few words? A modern haircare brand that is focused on well being through positive affirmations & crystal healing. What made you take the leap to start your own business? As I was driving every aspect of my stylist business and social media facets, the peace and relief I found in…

How FLyQuest CEO Tricia Sugita is using the esport platform to affect real change and make people happy

Describe your business in a few words? FlyQuest is an esports organization competing in the franchised League of Legends League Championship Series (LCS). What made you take the leap to help transform FlyQuest into the organization it is today? One of my primary goals throughout my career in esports has been to create a community…

Lauren Montgomery, founder of Monty’s, on making simplicity the new sophistication through her line of plant-based dairy products

Describe your business in a few words? Monty’s makes clean and craveable plant-Based essentials like cream cheese and butter that nourish your mind & body. With simplicity and nutrition at the core of the brand, Monty’s selection of cream cheeses and butter are made from real-food ingredients and crafted using time-honored techniques like fermentation. What…

How Maradith Frenkel turned bamboo into pajamas for the whole family with Little Sleepies

Describe Little Sleepies in a few words? We make buttery soft bamboo sleepwear that your whole family will love. What made you take the leap to start your own business? I saw a white space in the market after I had my son. I absolutely could not find a sleeper that checked all of the…

Erin Coles couldn’t find exactly what she was looking for in a band for her wedding so she launched her own — The Metropolitan Players

Describe your business in a few words? The Metropolitan Players is a wedding band collective based out of NYC – so we provide incredible music for weddings! What made you take the leap to start your own business? When my husband and I were planning our own wedding, we couldn’t find exactly what we were…

Azora Zoe Paknad on creating a new entry point to sustainability with Goldune

Describe Goldune in a few words? We make sustainability less beige! What made you take the leap to start your own business? I was into the sustainability world, personally and professionally, but I didn’t see myself in any of the dominant narratives I saw on Instagram or online in general. On one end of the…

Elisa Marshall on creating warm, French-inspired spaces with Maman, a collection of NYC-based cafés and venues

Describe your business in a few words? Maman is a New York City-based collection of cafés and event venues, offering family inspired recipes with French influences in a warm and welcoming home like environment  What made you take the leap to start your own business? Before I opened Maman, I had many passions and there…

Kim Hehir, co-founder of Brutus Broth, on enhancing your dog’s health through specially formulated bone broth

Describe your business in a few words? Brutus Broth is the latest innovation in pet health, made with human-grade bone broth that has been specially formulated to enhance any dog’s existing diet by adding beneficial nutrients, amino acids, and joint protecting supplements. What made you take the leap to start your own business? Sue’s dog…

How a lack of female empowerment in the real estate industry lead Marina Shiferman to create her business, The Real Estate Academy

Describe your business in a few words? I teach women how to buy and own real estate correctly so they can be the bad ass queens of their own lives. What made you take the leap to start your own business? I was a realtor for 10 years, I loved it but something was missing.…

Carla Olivia on revolutionizing the beauty bar experience with DashBar

Describe your business in a few words? DashBar is beauty made efficient! We are one stop beauty and wellness for the modern woman. What made you take the leap to start your own business? I have been an entrepreneur since I was 22 years old. I started my first business because a great opportunity was…

Christina Matteucci (a.k.a TeucciMama) on her 19-year tenure as the ultimate Number Two

Describe your business in a few words? I’m Christina Matteucci, Executive Director of David Beahm Experiences and proud “Number Two” to celebrity event designer David Beahm. I’ve produced legendary soirées all around the globe, but it’s my unique, 19-year tenure as the ultimate Number Two that qualifies me as a sought-after speaker and coach. In…

Niki Shadrow Snyder on coining the term “givefluencer” and making an impact with the Project Pop Drop foundation

Describe your business in a few words? My husband and I started the idea for the Project Pop Drop foundation on our first date. Our business sponsors a monthly drop off at a different homeless shelter each month. We spearhead these donation events with our children, and with local businesses and schools. We call this…

How Natasha Case of Coolhaus is disrupting the dessert space with cutting-edge ice cream creations

Describe Coolhaus in a few words? We are an innovative dessert company, specializing (for the time being) in ice cream/ice cream novelties. We are known for thinking outside the box, super unique partnerships, a truly cutting-edge brand identity and an inventive way of entering the marketplace with our trucks, brick and mortars, and now national…

How Jennifer Jolorte Doro used strategic partnerships to build Nouri from the ground up

Describe Nouri in a few words? Supporting people to feel their best. What made you take the leap to start your own business? I wanted something of my own. I’ve worked for many successful entrepreneurs and I knew I could do “it” my way and really enjoy it. What was your background prior to starting…