In the Salons by JC community, there are few that have worn as many hats as Carol Westlund, owner at Salons by JC Dallas Casa Linda Plaza. Since joining the Salons by JC family while the company was growing, Carol has made her way through starting her own business in her very own salon suite, to franchising her own location and working with her own group of salon suite owners. Today, we’re excited to share more about one of the original leading ladies at Salons by JC – Carol Westlund.
Carol was initially introduced to the spa services industry through a therapist recommendation for her daughter. As a full-time parent of a child with autism, Carol was told that she should look into going back to school and becoming licensed in cryotherapy. While exploring the options and learning more about different types of therapy, she became interested in pursuing her certification with medical massage therapy.
While going through her certifications, it was never a part of Carol’s plan to launch a medical massage business, but sometimes life places opportunity in your court — and that is just what happened. Just as Carol was finishing up her certifications, a friend of hers that operated her own medical massage business suffered a neck injury that would prevent her from running her practice at full capacity.
“That day, my friend called to tell me she was stepping out of the business and needed someone to take over her practice,” Carol said. Seeing this as an opportunity, Carol decided to step in and take over the practice as her own.
“Taking over for my friend is how I initially found Salons by JC,” Carol shares. “At the time, her practice was located at the strip center where the first Salons by JC was.” After learning a little more about the salon suite concept, Carol decided to move the practice to Salons by JC.
Upon arrival, Carol started making connections with the people in the space. “Once I got there I met Cecil,” Carol recalls. “At the time, one of his roles was that of a full-time co-owner and part-time maintenance man. He painted the rooms and hung the cabinets. Basically helped me set up shop.”
Carol says that during the time she spent with Cecil setting up her new place, she began to learn more and more about the business model and the message behind Salons by JC. “The entire concept was really great,” Carol says. “I knew that at some point I wanted to franchise — I wanted to share this. At the time, they were getting all the details of franchising worked out.”
In 2011, Salons by JC officially launched the franchising program. Carol shares that it took some time, roughly two years, for her to make the plan of franchising perfect. Everything from nailing down the perfect location, to financing and breathing new life into the building was a project that Carol and the Salons by JC team were eager to go through together.
Once Carol had found the ideal location, she jumped on the chance. “I remember talking to Cecil and telling him I had found the perfect location at Casa Linda Plaza and he just laughed,” Carol recalls. “He told me that apparently, that is where they had wanted to open the original Salons by JC back in 1998. I think it is so funny that I get the Salons by JC location that was meant to be there, to begin with!”
Carol opened her doors in Dallas on March 25, 2013. It was franchisee number 3 for Salons by JC.
Carol has been a fan of Salons by JC from the moment she stepped foot into that first location. So much so that early in her journey she told Cecil that when the time came, she wanted to be one of the first to open a location.
“Having been a part of Salons by JC, I knew the business model was solid in comparison to other salon suite concepts out there,” Carol says. “Having worked so closely with the Salons by JC team during my time as a salon suite owner, I wouldn’t have gone with any other place.”
The importance of community and building each other up is another part of Salons by JC that has made her experiences all the more pleasant. “I’ve got a really good core group of people, many of which are still with me now after 5 years of being a franchise owner,” she says. “I wouldn’t be doing this without them.”
The Casa Linda area community is a tight-knit one. This becomes all the more meaningful when honors are bestowed upon Salons by JC from the community. Carol shares that her location was recently voted best Salon in the entire zip code. Of course, this could not have been possible were it not for the talents and support of the salon suite owners that come to work their hardest every day.
“I regard all of my salon suite owners as my greatest assets,” says Carol. “Without them, I wouldn’t have a business. I try to treat them like a family and with the greatest respect.”
In fact, Carol treats the suite owners to an annual cruise to celebrate them and their accomplishments as a team. “They are the people that make our location great,” she shares. “We treat them like family because they are our family.”
About Salons by JC: In 1997, Jack Griffey and Cecil Miller began their journey to transform the beauty industry one salon suite at a time. Like most young entrepreneurs, they started out with a big idea but had to learn how to start and run a business from scratch. After much perseverance and hard work, one year later, they opened Salons by JC in Dallas, TX in 1998, welcoming beauty and wellness specialists who were ready to break free from the traditional salon model. The company has since moved its headquarters from Dallas to San Antonio, where it continues to grow through franchising. Today, Salons by JC has over 87 locations in 24 states and Canada. For more information, visit salonsbyjc.com or salonsbyjc.com/franchise