Julie Johnston has been around the world and back. With all of the experience she has under her belt, she’s an international stylist extraordinaire. Julie’s husband served in the military, and with that honor and duty came the lifestyle of moving every three years, transforming a new house into a home, navigating a new location, integrating in a new community, and learning a new culture.
“I had to teach myself how to build a clientele quickly to be able to contribute to the household income,” said Julie of balancing the family’s military assignments and her career. “The fact that I did learn to build a clientele quickly allowed me to enjoy the income until we packed up and moved to our next duty station.”
Julie shared that one of the great advantages of moving so often is that she experienced a variety of styles, techniques, and cultures, which all affect the world of hair. She had the pleasure of taking educational classes from international companies, as well.
She got her professional start in hair care and styling in 1990, when she went to school after her youngest child was born. She graduated from the renowned Pivot Point School in Illinois. When her family settled in San Antonio after retiring from military service, Julie found Salons by JC, and opened her business there in Spring 2009.
Julie was not new to the salon industry. She grew up the daughter of a salon owner, so it was a lifestyle that she learned through her adolescence and beyond. As she nears retirement, she reflects back on her time in the industry and at Salons by JC Huebner Commons location in San Antonio, Texas.
“The BIG difference working at Salons by JC and all the different salons I’ve worked around the world is that I get to own MY business! The whole ‘enchilada,’” said Julie. “ I take care of my inventory, my backbar, making appointments, bookkeeping, paying my rent, paying my taxes, saving for retirement; it’s all on me. I control my future and my business and most importantly, MY SCHEDULE & MY LIFE!”
Because her mom was a salon owner, Julie also had an early start on learning the ropes in the industry.
“I was told by my mom years ago – Never take advantage of your clients. They pay for their service so there’s no ‘ownership.’ They don’t owe you anything; they don’t owe you their loyalty; they paid you already,” she said. “If they keep coming back, it’s because they appreciate your work. That’s the best compliment you can get. If they give you a tip, it’s a ‘thank you.’ You don’t work for the tip, nor do you ever expect a tip.”
In her nine years at Salons by JC, Julie has had some incredible experiences and learned the ways of the entrepreneurial world as she has demonstrated her talents both as a stylist and a business owner in an amazing way.
To salon suite owner newbies, she offers this advice, “ALWAYS save for your ‘rainy day.’ Put yourself on a budget to always have backup money to pay your salon bills. Remember this is YOUR business so ACT like a business owner not just a stylist. The successful suite owners are the ones that figure that out early on. Salons by JC provides your space, but you are responsible for your customers and your business.”
She also talked about the importance of respect and having pride in what you do. She emphasized that it is imperative to always respect your customers and respect their time – to be on time and dress professionally.
Julie has had a tremendous career and many memorable moments while at Salons by JC. She said one of the most memorable of these was when a fellow suitemate was diagnosed with cancer. She was going to miss a few weeks of work; from her surgery to recovery to all of her different appointments and treatments. Salons by JC worked with her, reduced rent; whatever they could to help her out so she wouldn’t lose her business. The other HUGE event and the astoundingly memorable moment was after the Houston floods of 2017.
“We were fortunate here in San Antonio, but in Houston there were fellow suite owners not so fortunate. Salons by JC corporate office raised money and divided it amongst the stylists that lost everything. That says a lot about this company.”
We appreciate Julie for sharing her wisdom from her time in the business and at Salons by JC. We honor and raise our glass to you, as well, in your retirement. Cheers to you, Julie – thank you for your service to the industry, your own business, and to Salons by JC!
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