Let me share a brief story that I know you’ll understand. As a licensed master barber-stylist for 25 years and a salon and barbershop owner for 2 decades, I know all too well the ups and downs of being in this industry and definitely when it comes to working with, employing, and empowering licensed professionals. Now as CEO & cofounder of tech startup ShearShare, I’m determined to make this part of the community building better: our mobile app is the first to connect salon and barbershop owners to licensed beauty professionals to rent empty salon space temporarily by the day.
The uniqueness of the beauty and barbering industry when it comes to salon owners and to the licensed professionals is simple. We’re different, but we share some of the same views, values and creative thoughts. The overall goal of ownership is creating a great culture, employing and/or working with an awesome staff, building a large clientele base, and lastly making money to live your best life. The licensed professional’s overall goal is to identify a professional and pleasant salon to work out of, build an enormous book of business, and hopefully become an owner one day.
If we're all essentially striving and wanting the same thing, what sets the owner and professional apart? The answer: communication and change. Long gone are the days of graduating from beauty school and barber college and going to the hottest salon or best barbershop in the city and working at that establishment for 2-15+ years.
The commission-base model is transitioning to almost extinct; booth rental is on the rise, and salon suites are the new real estate play. Add to that fact that the laws are changing—states like California and Washington are in the forefront of passing regulation that guarantees protections for the independent stylist.
But why the change and communication debacle?
In a word: individuality. Social media has given individualism to licensed professionals and has truly leveled the playing field so that freelancers are now a business unto themselves. How? For more than 100 years (and up until 8 years ago), the beauty industry shifted and no one cared to pay attention. Why? Change is hard and addictive when money is involved. The salon and barbershops are no longer the staple where you go to grow and build one's clientele and reputation. Instead, the brick n’ mortar has become a necessary sanctuary asset for the licensed professional and their client.
Back to my personal story for a bit: After expanding and rebranding my award-winning salon in Plano, Texas, and finding it hard to fill my own suites and stations with long-term renters, the moment of truth happened and I stepped to the plate. I allowed several stylists to work out of my salon on a daily basis and then helped those same stylists work in other salons on a daily basis, filling other salon owners’ chairs who were having the same problem as myself.
Before building the technology of what is now ShearShare—our tag line being, "Work Whenever Wherever”—we were matching licensed stylists to empty salon space manually for over three years.
Today, ShearShare is setting those unwilling to change apart from the crowd.
I've seen so many salon and barbershops close down, due to not having staff—and that equates to zero dollars, all because they can't fill those empty chairs. Long-term contracts, spending a year as a shampoo tech, having to sign on for 20% commission, etc., are not attractive to the average industry professional anymore. Moreover, loyalty is reciprocal between the licensed stylist and their client, not the client and the salon or barbershop’s brand.
Take a look at ShearShare. We have developed a wn-win for our industry by creating flexibility for salon and barbershop owners and the licensed beauty and barbering professionals to maximize their earnings potential. Rent a salon suite near you by the day. Make money on that empty barbershop chair.