CEO toured Hair 51 with Helen Saxby. Helen explained her start as a hairstylist paying commission on her sales and making enough to get by. Later in life, however, she was offered the opportunity to buy Hair 51 Salon and she hasn’t looked back.

“I bought the building and the business,” she explained. “I rent next door to the barber shop and the upstairs apartments to help pay the mortgage. I also rent space to a stylist in the salon and I employee a stylist who gives me commission on her sales.” The multiple streams of revenue diversify her profits to help offset the slow seasons.

Helen also explained her investment in product inventory. “When you’re starting out you can’t afford much hair product for your clients so you work hard to make sales and pay the owner of the salon a commission to cover those expenses. When I bought the salon I became responsible for buying and supplying the product.” Helen stood over a section of product that filled a 4 foot shelf. “This, for example,” as she motioned her hands over the shelf, “is about $3000 in product.”

Team members asked questions related to customer care and managing diverse responsibilities including inventory and employees and upkeep on the building. In the end, Helen explained, “sometimes it’s great and sometimes it’s hard. Sometimes you have to reinvest in your business and you don’t take much home.” But owning her own business, she explained, “is very satisfying.”

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