You Must Meet the Millers

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With the rise of the internet and ease of online shopping it can feel like retailers and manufacturers are losing interest in the salon world. But there’s still one thing that these industrial e-commerce businesses simply can’t offer—and that’s the in-store shopping experience.

Salon owners Scott and Helen Miller of Scott Miller Salons aren’t afraid of the internet. They don’t even flinch when you mention any of the major e-commerce giants like Amazon because they know how to leverage that incredibly special in-person experience—something the Amazons of the world will simply never be able to replicate.

In fact, the Scott Miller Flagship Salon in Rochester, New York is one of the most impressive modern brick and mortar retailers across all industries. Their salon spa is spread across 15,000 square feet with an entire section dedicated to retail alone. Their fully-stocked retail store features some big-name brands including Bobbi Brown, NARS, L’Oreal, and MAC. For many of these brands, Scott Miller is the first and only salon retailer selling their products.

Scott and Helen are here to walk you through their incredible business model and hopefully encourage you to get back on your retail game.

Let’s Go Back to the Beginning

Scott and Helen were destined to be together from the beginning. Two of Helen’s best friends moved to Florida where they met Scott and well, the rest is history!

Scott and Helen did the long-distance thing for about a year before he decided to move to Brooklyn. Scott had actually grown up in Rochester, and after working behind the chair in a couple of salons throughout New York City while Helen finished up her economics degree, the pair decided to get married and move back to Rochester to start a family.

A year later, the newlyweds decided it was time to open their own salon and thus, the Scott Miller brand was born.

So, Why the Major Focus on Retail?

Scott and Helen had been chasing major beauty brands since they first opened with the hopes of nailing down the big names like MAC and Estee Lauder. These brands weren’t being sold in the salon environment yet, and the Millers saw this as an opportunity to elevate their in-salon experience.

These reputable brands had such a palpable strength and power behind them and Scott and Helen really wanted to bring that same energy to their salons. Having this amazing retail experience was simply another point of difference for the Scott Miller salons.

How Many Service Providers Does It Take to Run a Scott Miller Salon and Spa?

With both locations combined, the Scott Miller brand is made up of 140 amazing industry professionals, from hairstylists to massage therapists, estheticians, make-up artists and retail sales associates.

Scott and Helen really wanted the retail experience to feel like its own component within their salon and spa. Instead of having their service providers walk their clients through the store with the hopes of adding a lipstick to their shopping cart before check-out, they decided to bring on reputable make-up artists that work exclusively within the retail sector.

The Millers have always been passionate about education and their attention to details doesn’t waver when it comes to their in-salon beauty shop. They’re always hosting educational events with nationally known artists and inviting their brand reps to come and speak about their latest product releases.

Scott believes this level of education is not only important for perfecting their artistry, but it also helps his staff become better salespeople. The more you know about the products that you’re working with, the more you’re going to sell.

You’ve Got to Leverage Your Relationships to Land the Big-Name Brands

Scott and Helen are so humble when it comes to their success in the salon world. They credit their incredible business model to the many wonderful relationships they’ve been able to leverage throughout the years, starting with Michael Gordon of Bumble and Bumble.

Michael was incredibly connected, he introduced Scott and Helen to just about everybody they’re doing business with today. Scott says you really just have to land that one big brand before all of the others grow eager to sit on your shelves.

Of course, persistence is key. It took Scott and Helen ten years to land the MAC account. They were very tenacious with that relationship, and now they’re the only salon with a fully-stocked MAC store. You just have to take it one brand at a time.

What’s Next for the Millers?

Scott and Helen are always looking for ways to take their retail experience to the next level. The next major project they’re bringing to the table is the addition of their very own “glambassadors,” beauty brand ambassadors that work exclusively under the Scott Miller umbrella.

This idea actually came from one of Scott Miller’s senior make-up artists, Corey, who was inspired by the other social media influencers out there with impressively large followings. Although the Millers want to focus more on micro-influencers, for the Scott Miller brand, this is an opportunity to have a foothold in the local beauty community and they couldn’t be more excited for the future of the program.

Scott and Helen admit that it can be intimidating to face an industry that is changing so rapidly, especially with regard to retail and how consumers are choosing to shop. But instead of falling victim to these changing times, the Millers were determined to look toward the future of the industry and not only find a way to fit into the equation but to thrive.

If you’d like to learn more about the Millers and her incredibly impressive business model, listen to the podcast that inspired this blog, episode 183. And if you haven’t already, check out their salon website to get a feel for their powerful branding.

Samantha Georgson