Today, I am going to share a story with you about why we should always be in the learning seat even when we are having "success".
Once upon a time there was a small successful beauty salon that had been around for many years. This salon was successful and at one point was experiencing great growth and serving new clients each month. The owner was so proud and excited, believing that the growth and new clientele meant the business was doing great! She also thought that since her salon was growing, things had to be going well, which changed once she received the following review:
“Today I had an appointment with Chrissi at “.......” salon. I was celebrating a birthday and was super excited for my appointment because I had a planned a night on the town to celebrate my big day. I booked my appointment three weeks in advance and arrived 10 minutes early. The salon is super cute, and everyone was very nice, however, when I sat in Chrissi’s chair, and I told her I wanted to be blonde and have my hair blown out, she looked lost. She asked me a few questions, “petted” my hair, told me I had “ALOT” of hair while she contemplated how to tell me she had no clue how to do my hair, and I had a lot of it and ultimately, I would have to find another salon. I felt very small and like “my hair” was the issue. I intentionally booked an appointment with this salon because of the great reviews they had on blonding... Well, I learned that they “do” great blonde hair as long as its straight. This was a very disappointing salon experience for me.
The salon owner was surprised to read this review and promptly reached out for help- mainly because she never wanted a client to have the experience of feeling small and unwelcomed again. Part of the surprise was that the salon had never received such a negative review before and based on the growing clientele, she believed that they had created a salon space that welcomed all hair types. However, unfortunately this was not the case!
This review and disappointing client experience showed her that her salon was not as inclusive as she thought it was, which led her to DEIAB work. She felt terrible about her client’s experience and committed to doing the work to make sure that from that day on, any client who walked through her doors would feel welcomed and a sense of belonging in her salon space.
The salon owner then went to work learning about Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Access, and Belonging (DEIAB) and what she needed to do to put these principles into practice. What she quickly learned is the putting DEIAB into practice would help her create the salon space she always wanted for her clients. She now credits DEIAB work with scaling up and shares the following principles with other salon owners and stylists hoping to do the same.
🤝Diversity meant that the salon would be open to people from all backgrounds and identities.
🤝Equity meant that everyone would be treated fairly and given equal opportunities.
🤝Inclusion meant that everyone would be welcomed and accepted for who they are.
🤝Access meant that the salon would make sure everyone had the same chance to take advantage of the services and products it offered.
🤝Belonging meant that everyone would feel a part of the salon's community.
Her salon space became inclusive and welcoming to all hair types and continued to scale up and grow.
The end. In a perfect world, salon clients would never have this experience, however, we don’t live in a perfect world and I’m sure this experience happens all the time, but not at your salon… Creating a space that is inclusive and welcoming to all hair textures takes work and intention and if you’re not sure where to start, I am here as a resource along with The Beauty Collective community. We are here to help you learn how to build the business of your dreams. One that is welcoming to all!
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