For the past 11 years, Crystal Vasquez boosted her skills in every way. After Cosmetology school, she started out at a barber shop, so she could master men’s haircuts. “Cosmetology school doesn’t teach you how to do a men’s edge up or a bald fade, and I wanted to do it all,” she says.
The otherwise all-male shop was a chair rental based barbershop, where few clients would trust her with their hair. The Barbers she worked with took her under their wings and taught her to master the art. Still, she needed to make more money, so she moved another salon to learn more about hair color. She soon moved on to managing and joined that salon franchise’s National Design Team. She advanced from developing her own classes to becoming a trainer.
“It’s a lot of work and I had to study on my own while managing and working behind the chair,” recalls Crystal. “As a manager, I tripled the location’s numbers in one year. But I still wasn’t putting enough money in my pocket.”
Then one day another employee, who was also a friend, asked her a question that left her thunderstruck: “How are we going to pay for our kids’ college?”
“My father, who had his own business, had been continually asking me why I was still working for someone else. Having three kids, I had to plan for their needs”, said Crystal. “I knew two other trainers who had moved to Salons by JC in Round Rock, TX, we toured the location and discovered that Salons by JC had a good reputation and had been in business for a long time, which was important. Two weeks later, I took a leap of faith and signed a lease.”
An experienced manager, Crystal also made sure she was prepared to go the salon suite rental route. She looked at her numbers to be sure she had enough clients. What was key to her success was her relationships with her clients? “Once you’ve solved someone’s hair problems and have delivered superior customer service, you develop a great relationship,” she says.
Another consideration was pricing. She ended up setting her prices just a bit higher than her clients were used to while stressing that in a suite, her services would be highly personalized with no interruptions. She’s been in her suite, Parallel Salon in Round Rock, TX, for two years now and is implementing yearly modest price increases.
Since joining the Salons by JC family, Crystal says her income has doubled, even when she takes self-employment taxes into account. “And, I’m working part-time just like I did before because family time is so important.”
In addition to having strong client connections, Crystal’s success lies in her ability to offer any range of services she chooses, something most employees can’t do. “I love doing waxing, too; it’s an easy upsell,” she adds. Hoping to customize her services even more, she is in the process of moving to a larger suite and also planning her next steps in her career.
“I’m considering getting certified in doing lash extensions,” she says. “Several of my clients have them, and it would be a good thing to have under my belt.”
To check out Crystal’s latest work, follow her on Instagram.
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