Episode – 38 Summary:
On this episode of Hair Biz Radio, Hosts Mikey and Zakiyrah interview Sonja Walker, hairstylist and salon owner of twenty years.
– How did Sonja get started in the hair industry?
– She always did hair but never thought she’d want to do it for a living.
– She always liked the fashion and edge of it.
– She went to hair school and shocked her whole family.
– What did you do when you finished hair school?
– She began to excel in hair school and started working with a well-known L.A. stylist.
– She worked in the stylist salon when she graduated from school.
– She built a clientele and started doing booth rent.
– She began working on commission and then booth rent again in her next salon.
– She went on to her own salon in Fayetteville.
– What type of homework did you do before you started your salon?
– There was no research, she knew she needed a building.
– She wishes she could have gone back and done it differently.
– She felt like the work was all for a reason just to appreciate what she’d done.
– What are some things stylists need to look out for when opening a salon?
– Your location matters and you need to look into water heater, electrical, etc.
– Make sure your building is equipped for a salon.
– Make sure your paperwork is in hand before you open a salon.
– You’ve got to be a pusher and you’ve got to love what you do.
– Where are you located now?
– She upgraded to a bigger salon, stayed there for eight years and now she’s downsized.
– She got married, had a son and she’ll be moving back up again.
– What was the difference from marketing when you began to modern marketing?
– It used to be easier because there weren’t that many salons.
– What music videos were your favorite to work on?
– The rap videos, you often got to be an extra.
– You get known for doing video sets.
– How did you get hair stylists into your salon?
– Commission is the best way to go for a salon, but booth rent is the way she went.
– Make sure you can run your salon and pay your bills with nobody but you.
– The business is to make money not put out money.
– What sets your salon apart?
– Her salon is in a great location, no worries about crime.
– You feel comfortable on the inside.
– Her prices, services, and professional atmosphere make people want to come back.
– Stick to being professional, it brings in better clientele.
– What’s one of the craziest edgy cuts you’ve done before?
– She did a big photoshoot.
– The hair was white blonde, pink and had stars at the top.
– Why do you think a lot of people in the hair industry are not business savvy?
– They’re uneducated and the money is good and quick.
– This kind of success won’t last if you don’t focus on the business.
– Did you struggle with money management when you started?
– She had her first salon at 23, so all the money she made went into living the high life.
– Since she worked with corporate women, she listened to them and learned their money responsibility.
– What’s something that you learned from your experience with the IRS?
– Make sure you have a tax accountant.
– If you use cash app or square those are paper trails and the IRS will come after you.
– You get 21 days from the IRS to get it straightened out.
– Once you get your paperwork done, you’re smooth sailing.
– Is there anything the salon has coming up?
– She’s thinking about relocating, but isn’t for sure.
– She wants to work on more sets in Atlanta.
– Where can people find you?
– Salon Rae’Chanece
– 500 Lynette Ave. West Fayetteville GA 30215
– Instagram @salonraechanece
– “Overall, the salon business is down but there’s no stylist that should be broke.”
– “Always hold onto your connections.”
– “Focus on business and the money’s going to automatically come.”