Suelyn Farel of the Julien Farel Group on the power of helping everyone person flourish in their own career while being part of your organization

Suelyn Farel_Blog Header

Describe your business in a few words?

We have a 10,000 square foot “Restore” Salon & Spa on Park Avenue in NYC and an international hair care company.

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

I am a serial entrepreneur and had 3 companies prior to joining my husband to expand his!

What was your background prior to starting your own business?

I started working in my Grandparent’s real estate office in my early teenage years and loved it. Then I went to retail during later high school and early college years, and was a model which taught me to think on my feet and learn to sell myself. Worked for someone else selling/project managing graphic design services for 20 months learning the ropes, and left to start my own company. Knew I needed to run my own show.

Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?

Yes! It was always a dream and also I knew working for someone else wouldn’t suit my personality. I am independent, strong-willed and a bit free-spirited, while being intense. My ambition from a very early age was to be an entrepreneur and work for myself.

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 was fortunate that my first company was a Marketing Strategy and Brand Development company. Having majored in Marketing/Finance in college, I marketed quite well out of the gate and built a million dollar plus company very quickly. Fun fact: My first company was called “Work Hard Play Hard” because I’d had a dream of having an office full of people picking up the phone and saying that phrase. And it worked! My Fortune 500 clients loved that it was catchy and not so corporate.

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?

This past year! Having a service business in the heart of NYC, being closed for 3 full months in 2020 was one of the most challenging times in business. I actually went to my home office desktop everyday during quarantine—it kept me sane. Top priority was to keep our team together and inspired. I organized weekly Executive Meetings on Mondays, Wellness Wednesdays with group meditation or yoga and full team meetings on Fridays. It kept everyone’s attitude positive and reaffirmed that we’re all here for each other when together in person or virtually. I also did gratis consulting for other salon businesses requiring guidance as to how to reopen safely. As close as New Jersey and as far as the Bahamas!

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

My family. I have an incredible husband who is my life and work partner and two teenage girls.

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

Describe your dream job. Why do you want to be a part of the Julien Farel Team? I also ask questions to see if the candidate has looked closely at our website. And always, always check references.

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

Lots has changed. Social distancing and having limited capacity (state mandated) has given us new ways of operating. We’ve also streamlined staff to ensure clients feel comfortable and safe. We also miss serving drinks (water only now) and we can’t any longer offer magazines. Would like these perks to return, hopefully by the Fall. Also, our massage business has been impacted the most of all services…but with vaccinations and Springtime, we’re seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

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

Expansion into some new cities on the brick and mortar side and a dynamic rebranding of our hair care company that we’re in the process of.

What is the biggest lesson you have learned in 2020?

Good health is the thing of greatest value.

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

  • Hire slow, fire quickly— as soon as you know it’s not a fit.
  • Always be specific about a deadline. My “immediately” is not someone else’s version of the same word.
  • Don’t assume people understand what you’re talking about. Sometimes it’s the patience of reviewing it three times that makes the job get done well.

How have you managed to stay grounded this year?

Daily time outdoors and a new puppy.

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

No, there is no such thing for me like that! When I am insanely busy at work, my home life suffers. When I take a vacation and truly shut off work, I feel completely behind on work upon return. I am not a good person to ask about work/life balance. I do my best to get in 2-3 workouts a week but that’s as far as it goes. I’ve never had that balance and don’t anticipate I will.

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

I can speak 3 languages!

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

  • Prioritize your day each morning and review the same list before shutting down at night.
  • Delegate wherever possible, if you want your business to grow.
  • Support the people around you and bring them along on your journey. Celebrate their successes. Try to help each person flourish in their own career while being part of your organization.

What does being an Entreprenista mean to you?

It is an honor to be featured! Being both a woman and entrepreneur for more than 20 years, I love having opportunities to pay it forward and share what I’ve learned to hopefully help others. I am so grateful THANK YOU SO MUCH!!

Share it!

Posted in
Tags

Leave a Comment





Disrupting an Industry with Alexandra Keating of Uni

Like many Entreprenistas, Alexandra always knew she wanted to run a business, and she has—multiple businesses, in fact. When she became obsessed with the fact that the personal care industry uses a lot of single-use products, she knew the solution and she knew her next business.  Today, we sit down with Alexandra Keating, founder of…

The DHL Express GoGreen Giveaway is Helping Entreprenistas Go Global in a Sustainable Way

In Partnership with DHL Express We speak to eCommerce founders every day that are looking to launch, scale and grow their businesses. One of the biggest things to consider for growth: international shipping – but the question remains, how do small businesses ship internationally and is there a way to do so sustainably?  In a…

How to Deal with your Team’s Burn Out

As an Entreprenista, your business is not just a job, it’s a passion. You put in long hours, sweat and tears, and endless effort to make it successful. However, this can often lead to burnout, especially during times of high stress. And with May being National Mental Health Awareness Month, it’s important to address this…

Tapping Into The Creativity with Catalina Escallon of Noodo Studio

While Catalina Escallon is an artist, and by definition, a creative person, she realized that a lot of people did not view themselves that way as they got older. So she and her partner decided to start a studio that helps people realize that there are many ways to be creative.  In today’s episode, we…

Building Your Personal Brand with Stacey Ross Cohen of Co-Communications

Stacey grew up around entrepreneurs, so it’s safe to say that being a business owner is in her blood, and she has been doing it successfully for well over two decades. But her newest passion is helping the next generation make sense and leverage the digital age to build a personal brand that helps them…

Learning The Heart and Soul of SEO with Meg Clarke of Clapping Dog Media

Like many Entreprenistas, Meg left the corporate world once she had kids and started to work on her own. She had experience with web design, so that’s what she did, before she realized that having the perfect website is meaningless if no one finds it. So she dug in and learned everything there was to…

Social Media Marketing 101 with Sarah Bugeja of Later

Sarah has spent her career constantly learning new skills—both on the job and off—to further her career. She also mastered learning when it’s time to move on to the next opportunity. Now she’s here to share her story and also her tips and tricks regarding all things social media.  Today, we sit down with Sarah…

Mamaprenista Candice D’Angelo reflects on Launching ‘The Selling Lab’

Below is a brief introduction about Candice D’Angelo and her business, The Selling Lab: Candice D’Angelo – a corporate dropout with 12+ years of sales experience – is the founder of The Selling Lab, a sales training agency where online and offline businesses alike come to level up their sales skills and build custom trainings.…

Founder Jené Hernandez, of Mixology Marketing, on Helping Businesses Stand Out and Achieve their Marketing Goals

Hello Jené! Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business: As one of the leading marketing agencies in Los Angeles, Mixology Marketing blends creativity and strategy to create bespoke marketing experiences for our clients. From digital marketing and social media to content creation, website development, and impactful events, we take a unique approach…

How To Create The Best Brand Message For Your Business with Xindi Soh of By Xindi

Over the course of her business, Xindi has had to confront herself and get a grasp on who she is, what she stands for, and what she wants. But the ride hasn’t always been what she was expecting. Now she preaches leaning into the hard stuff and believing in yourself, and it seems to be…

How To Find Unique Ways To Fund Your Business with Arion Long of Femly

Our Entreprenista of the Year: Arion Long has always been an overachiever; she started college at 15 years old. But one thing that threatened to hold her back was her periods. After going to many gynecologists, she found one that not only listened to her, but told her something that would change the course of…

Katherine Wallisch on Empowerment Consulting for Parents and Clinicians of Non-Speaking Children

Hello Katherine! Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business: As a speech-language pathologist specializing in Autism and Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), I have created a comprehensive empowerment program for parents and clinicians. My name is Katherine Wallisch, and I am the mother of a 7-year-old son and a 3-year-old daughter. Growing…

Digitizing Art For A Business with Sally King McBride of The Letter Nest

When Sally’s friends and family started having children, she looked for gifts that would be meaningful and lasting. As an artist, she decided to create watercolor name paintings. Soon, the commissions started flooding in and she had a proof of concept for a business.  In today’s episode, we sit down with Sally King McBride, founder…

When Being an Entreprenista is in Your DNA with Carrie Shaw of Copper

Carrie’s career path is quite the story: she started in product management and stayed in that for over a decade before switching to marketing and falling in love. After she had been with Copper for a couple years as CMO, she was offered the CEO position and almost turned it down, but she didn’t. Now…

Kristen Elworthy on Founding Seven Hills Communications and Embracing Her Desire to Story Tell

Hi Kristen! Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business: I’m Kristen Elworthy, and I’m the founder of Seven Hills Communications. We’re a PR micro-agency that works with mostly female-founded and mission-driven companies and personal brands in both the consumer and B2B space. Our wheelhouse is working with startups and emerging brands, and…