Would you rather pay to play or play and have to pay?
For the last 16+ months, I have been an active skin care therapist at Sola Salon Studios of Rancho Cucamonga, CA. I could have never asked for a more enriching environment for me to take my leap of faith into this beauty industry. My business has shown me things that I have never seen possible and provided me with a better insight into today’s society.
When I first got the notion of opening up my studio I was scared s**tless! Taking on a rent of $338 a week and not having any clientele was silly to say the least. I wiped out my savings, bought all the necessary supplies, and spent countless hours a day building my empire. In a strange way I feel I built my business up to be bigger than it was far too quickly. The look on the face of a new client was simply priceless. This starstruck look of astonishment and confusion never gets old!
Since my studio was located in a “mini mall of hair salons” my business name was not located outside the storefront. This alone posed a major issue to first time clients. Also, since I worked 11 hour days 6 days a week, I rarely had a chance to keep up on voicemails. I’m far too old fashion and I believe any call to be made after dinner hours is best made the next day. Creating a business that has a larger than life that varies far from the reality, I was unable to keep up with the demands. There were times I was booked 6 weeks in advanced. You can’t even begin to imagine the number of rude, condescending, narcissistic, and flat out angry voicemails I have received on a daily basis for this reason only.
After doing numerous LivingSocial and AmazonLocal deals, I was able to gain a steady clientele. Definitely not a loyal clientele, but steady. The hardest part of keeping my business afloat was trying to avoid no-shows. On a daily basis I would have anywhere from 6-11 appointments and 35% would actually show up. Heartbreaking to say the least. Business got so bad that for the last 8 months I have been paying to work. On a good week, I make about $25. I invested in my favorite skin care line, Dermalogica, in hopes that retail sales could pull me out of debt and nobody buys product. Lo and behold.. I’m even farther in debt. I almost feel like my life has turned into a series of unfortunate events.
Leaving my studio has been one of the hardest decisions I have had to make in a very long time. I have poured every ounce of each and every day into establishing this business – I would hate to see my empire fall. It’s better that I stray away now, rather than later, so I don’t tarnish the name I worked so hard to build. It’s time for me to be happy again. It’s time I get a better paying job and save some money. I’m soo excited!