Today’s trendiest salons are always looking for new and innovative ways to up their game. For some salon owners, this has been about efforts to open a new location or grow in size, but for many of you this involves becoming more efficient in your current setting. Salon owner and industry expert Stacey Coronado has some advice for the latter.
Stacey has been in the beauty industry for sixteen years. She’s a master stylist, salon owner, and educator. She started her career by joining Sexy Hair right out of beauty school and eventually grew into her own by partnering with Aveda and opening her own salon, 20 Volume. Among Stacey’s many accomplishments she has created and mastered her own new talent training program and she is recognized as a true industry disruptor with her many groundbreaking ideas for salon-wide improvements.
One of Stacey’s biggest, new-age ideas is that of her revolutionary salon remodel. Her salon, 20 Volume, is a paperless salon—which likely has many of you saying, “Sure, I could go paperless.” But Stacey took this business-wide renovation one step further by going completely desk-less. With her expert industry insight, Stacey will walk you through how she managed to pull off this impressive transformation, and how it has been a game changer for her salons ever since.
Doing Something Different.
In 2009 Stacey bought a salon location that had just gone out of business, and decided to open up her own Aveda Concept Salon. She did the bare minimum, painted the walls and bought new chairs, in order to open herself up to new clients. Stacey was very successful in her first location, and Aveda noticed her rapid growth and quickly made her a Lifestyle Salon, meaning 20 Volume became co-branded with Aveda, a national salon brand with greater recognition.
Fast forward to 2017, Stacey and her husband purchase their second location and Stacey decides they need to do something different. She envisioned a desk-less salon in which clients could simply walk through the front doors and be greeted right away.
Stacey wanted her guests to feel connected from the moment they walked in, which is something many salons are struggling to perfect right now. She was inspired by the Apple Store’s open concept and wanted to imbue her salon with a similar exposed and welcoming aesthetic.
With the common salon layout guests are required to make the first move—they don’t know where to go and there’s no one there to greet them, so they make their way to the desk to seek help or check-in. Stacey wanted to take the guessing game out of the equation, and the easiest way to do it? Go desk-less!
No Desk. No Problem.
In Stacey’s salon, her clients are always in good hands. Upon arrival, her guests are greeted by the stylists, invited for a tour of the space, offered a beverage of their choice—and if their stylist still needs a little more time—guests are then escorted to a small waiting area.
Stacey believes that it’s more about the retail connection, and like all salon owners, she wants to keep her clients, so she aims to keep them engaged throughout the entirety of their visit. Even her waiting area is an engaging space— a communal table where her guests can sit down with one another and be treated to hand rituals, aroma therapy sessions, anything to keep them from feeling ignored.
More Receptive Without A Receptionist.
No desk means no desktop computer, which is often the biggest hurdle salon owners have to overcome when attempting to go desk-less. Stacey has found her way around having a receptionist by keeping things portable. Her stylists are always on the move, so the technology must mesh accordingly.
Stacey says the secret to her success is stashing tablets at each station. She does admit to providing one PC, which has a more permanent home at the community table, but she tries to use it as little as possible. While technology is great, there will always be hiccups, but at 20 Volume Stacey focuses on trying to make the salon experience as seamless as she can.
Quick Tip: Doing away with the receptionist doesn’t mean you can operate without phones! If you’re considering going desk-less you’ll need to create another space for receiving phone calls, and even more importantly, you’ll have to get the whole team on board because everyone will share in the responsibility of answering the salon’s incoming calls. It’s all about teamwork!
Stacey proudly makes note of just how receptive her clients have truly been to all of the changes she’s made to the salon. Her guests are loving the team-oriented atmosphere and they’re excited by her many innovative ideas for improving the overall salon experience. She prides herself on her new desk-less model and it’s evident that she has made her mark in the industry.
At 20 Volume, Stacey and her team live by their mission to create an extraordinary experience for every guest, every time. Whether that means completely abolishing your front desk, or simply focusing more energy on greeting and engaging your clients, Stacey says that as long as you treat each guest like it’s their first time in your salon, you’ll keep them coming back.
To learn more about Stacey Coronado and her many salon innovations, listen to the podcast that inspired this blog, episode 131, or subscribe to podcast! And be sure to check out her salon website to view her desk-less space and get a feel for this new-age open concept idea.