Ep. 38: Building A Business with Sonja Walker

August 14, 2018

Episode – 38 Summary:

On this episode of Hair Biz Radio, Hosts Mikey and Zakiyrah interview Sonja Walker, hairstylist and salon owner of twenty years.

Show Notes:

– 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

Tweetable Quotes

“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.”

Resources Mentioned

Private Label Extensions Facebook Group
Private Label Extensions Website

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