Sheena: When did you start working in the beauty industry?
Ana: In December 2016, I was the director of sales, training and operations for a national yoga company and led the expansion from 3 locations in 2 markets to 13 in 6 markets. Later I was introduced to Look Style Society and saw potential for a similar expansion.
Sheena: How did you hear about ShearShare?
Ana: I was at the Cosmoprof Convention. Dr. Tye and Ms.Caldwell were panel speakers, and Courtney was sitting behind me in the audience. I introduced myself and invited them to take a walk-through of the salon in the early days of ShearShare. They stopped by and since then, we’ve been a host!
Sheena: What are the differentiators of the Look Style Society?
Ana: Look is a 18,000 sq ft. luxury high design space. The founder is a luxury home designer. He believes that the space you inhabit really impacts the quality of your creative work. So he created the space for beauty professionals to do their craft. In terms of ok it’s pretty, then what? We have the flexibility. We know that people choose to be independent business owners as booth renters because they want to run their own schedules. In this industry a lot of places are pretty strict on their rental rules and you have to do a full lease and show up for the time you’ve paid for. That’s not truly supporting entrepreneurship. So we want to give you all the tools you need to succeed but you can run your business on your terms once you’re in our house. We have a full time support staff.
Sheena: Awesome! Why did you want to become an authorized host on ShearShare?
Ana: I think that what the Caldwells identified, which is this group of professionals who really want to expand their network and travel and part of their reason to do their craft is to be able to do it anywhere. There wasn’t a way to do that before. ShearShare aligns with our belief that we exist to support the independent business owner. It makes 100% sense for us to partner with a company like ShearShare to do that.
Sheena: How did you get your first booking? Was there anything in particular that you did?
Ana: I don’t think I did. Our first visiting stylist was actually a Las Vegas local and looking for a place to pop in. Then she ended up signing a lease with us and is here on a regular basis now. I think it was just the photos. We have some well done professional photography on the app.
Sheena: A visiting stylist did decide to make LOOK her permanent home, how did you go about facilitating that transition? Were you surprised by that.
Ana: I was pleasantly surprised. She booked one or two more times and then initiated the conversation with us about renting. We were thrilled to have her! We make sure everybody feels comfortable and that visiting stylists have access to the same amenities as our regular renters. We don’t treat them any differently.
Sheena: What do you think visiting stylists love about your space and keeps them coming back?
Ana: I think the location, design, ease of parking, and how comfortable the stylists and their clients feel. Also, the ease of access, we make sure they have no problem getting in to everything that we have to offer.
Sheena: How did you create a community among visiting stylists?
Ana: We are always here and have someone to greet them if I can’t be here. We introduce them to everyone around them. Our stylists here have an internal facebook group and each location has a really luxurious break room and I think that we do our best to make sure everyone knows the name of who is coming and welcoming them in.
Sheena: What trends have you noticed about the industry and where do you see it going?
Ana: I think that the idea of wanting work to support beauty professionals’ lifestyles and not the other way around is the trend. I don’t think it’s isolated to the beauty industry. We are sort of in the gig economy and freelancing in all industries is sort of where everything is going . I think beauty is the same way: independent artists want to make sure that they have a work arrangement that supports their lifestyle. That’s the trend. Moreso I want to do what I’m passionate about but I want to do it on my terms.
Sheena: Is there anything you’d like to see ShearShare do differently?
Ana: I would love like a summit. A meeting of other hosts on a Skype call or something. I’m sure we all have the same challenges. Part of the reason I know that Tye and Courtney started ShearShare was them needing to fill empty booth space in the absence of permanent renters. That is an issue every rental salon has everywhere ,and I think that having that network to connect and learn from each other would be a great place to start!
Sheena: Thank you so much for your time Ana and thanks for being the best part of ShearShare!