Salon Sanctuary

The Dreaded Break Room

Salon owners talk about the dreaded break room all the time. They constantly say their people just sit there on their phones, avoid the front and hide. Why do we even have a break room!

One of the things I’ve learned is; you teach people how to treat you. I say this can be applied to many things, including a break room. You teach people how to use the break room.

The break room is an important space for your Tribe, it is the most underrated resource for health and wellbeing.  We have to stop using it the way we’ve been using it! Here are some great ways to make better use of that dreaded break room.

Don’t call it the Break or Lunch room!


Call it the Creative Alcove, the Imagination Station, the Idea Vault, the Brilliance Parlor, the Culture Chamber, the Tribal Den, you get the idea. It’s time to change the thought of this room, changing thought changes behavior.

Make it an Educational Space


Have a bookshelf with books your Tribe can borrow, have mannequin heads and stands for them to practice on, have a TV or tablet for them to watch TED talks, hair videos and You Tube on. Have head sheets, their notes from previous classes and product and color knowledge. Have binders with their goals and numbers. Give them things to do in this beautiful space you have created for them.

Make it Inspirational!

break room design Beautiful Break Time 25 of the Best Employee Break Rooms in the US

This is a perfect place to have everyone’s goals and dream boards! You can display them on a wall and this will help the Tribe know each other better and keep them focused. Paint a wall with Blackboard chalk, write quotes, messages, celebrations and your mission on it! Chalkboards are a fun and exciting element for your room.

Keep it Comfy



Have comfy couches, chairs, hammocks, bean bag chairs; places to relax. Have a table that is round so when they sit they are looking at each other which will encourage conversations, discussions and brainstorming. You want them to feel welcome and relaxed.

Perfect Meeting Space

roundtable discussion

This is a great space for education, one-on-ones, Tribe meetings and Tribe building! It’s a great place to let them have time to work on themselves. You shouldn’t mind seeing your Tribe members reading a book or watching a hair video or posting to social media. Any type of growth is awesome and this is the perfect space to do it in.

Let them know what the Room is for


If you now feel inspired to change your break room into your new improved Tribe Room – surprise them with the new look and tell them what the room is now used for! You can put the list up on your new Blackboard wall and remind them that those things are what should be taking place in there, make it fun! Do a checklist and when they use the room to the fullest; reward them!  Your old break room now serves as a social, inspirational, educational, cultural and emotional space.

When they walk into this space they will feel valued. Seeing this room created just for them gives a feeling of self-worth. This room will now boost morale, making your tribe feel like they belong and are supported which will reflect on to your guests as well, improving results all around!




Becoming Unstoppable;A Culture Checklist

I know you have heard of Salon Culture before. When you think about your salon do you wonder if your culture is apparent or if it exists at all? If you are asking those questions, it most likely means your culture needs attention. That’s perfectly okay! Now that you’re aware of it you can start to improve your culture and become unstoppable!

Let’s talk for a moment about what a culture is, it seems a very vague term. Culture is unique to every salon. It’s alive, it has movement and a personality, therefore cannot be duplicated! It makes decisions easy, it attracts the right people and guests, it gives you an edge, and it leaves your competitors behind.

Building your culture may not be easy but it will make all the difference in your salon and everything, in turn, becomes easier.  Are you asking yourself about your culture? First you need a few things in place to create your own culture. Here is your culture checklist!


□  Values


This should be easy to figure out and if you’re not sure check out  how to find your values. Values are the most important thing when building your culture. I talked about your culture being the personality of your salon, so ask yourself what traits/values does your culture carry? What do they look like, feel like, sounds like? Values make your culture transparent and everyone who enters your salon will instantly feel it.

□  Mission


Remember, your mission is a passionate statement about why you do what you do. It should be recited at meetings and it is your salon slogan. Every Tribe member should know the mission and feel proud when reciting it, either as a group or to your guests. Remember your mission statement is truly for your Tribe, it will allow them to know why they are apart of your salon.

□  Structure/Etiquette/Procedures


A culture makes every decision easy. Your structure will help your Tribe know how to treat each other and your guests. It gives expectations, both in work and in behavior, but also freedom to be who they are at the same time. It makes the culture uniform and becomes a way of life.

□  Tribe Status


As I’ve said before your Tribe will up hold your salon and they will hold up your culture. The right Tribe members will bring your culture to life, they will maintain it and make salon life easier. Every decision you and your Tribe make become based on your culture and will help make hard times easier, hiring easier and growing easier.

□  Allow for Innovation

Crystal Globe - Europe and Africa

Allow your culture to be alive, know that it will change, grow and become more influential and that your Tribe will help accomplish this. Whether you are improving your culture or implementing a culture it is important to let your Tribe have a voice. Do the ‘Find your values’ exercise with them, talk about your mission and improvements to your structures. This will help your culture grow into the most powerful organism. Your culture will become more than you ever thought possible!


How many things have you checked off? After checking off each of these things you should have a clear vision of your culture. Now it’s time to execute it!

When your culture is a living breathing part of your salon, you will be unstoppable.




Goals or Whatever You’re Calling It

I feel like this word has become apart of our every day language. It’s a word we use often but rarely put into action. Many have changed the word to a different name like target or intention, some have even tried to make it sound better by spiffing up the name like smart goals. Whatever you want to call it, when you get right down to it, a goal is something you want to accomplish in a specific amount of time.

We talk about goals all the time at the salon and I think stylists think “yes I have goals”.  And that’s really great, but, tell me,  what are you going to do about it? How are you going to accomplish your goals?

I want to share some strategies on how to execute your goals, so they don’t just remain floating around your head for years to come. Let’s start achieving these goals!


#1. First and most importantly, write them down! I know that you’ve heard this a million times; but it’s true, writing them down makes a goal more tangible.


#2. You need to sort your goals. Maybe you have two goals, maybe you have ten goals or maybe twenty-five? You need to put them in order! Sort them by importance or by time of execution or perhaps some of your goals will help accomplish a greater goal? Maybe you want to order them from easy to hard! Easier goals that you know you can accomplish can create a momentum; so that when you get to the harder goals you will have less fear and you will love that feeling of accomplishment you’ve become accustomed to. Whatever it is, sort your goals in an order that makes sense to you.


#3. Once you’ve written them down and decided on an order you want to complete them in, decide on a specific time you want to execute your goals by. This gives you a time limit and helps you put action into your goals.


#4. You should assess where you are currently with your goal. You cannot know how to achieve your goal if you don’t know where you’re starting from!


#5. Look at each goal and think about how you are going to accomplish it. Write your strategy down of how you can reach your goal.


#6. Write down the things that will be better in your life because you’ve obtained your goals. It is just as important to know why you are working towards the goal and what it will do for you and your work, life ect.

Now you have a path to complete your goal! Follow your steps and you will find yourself full of accomplishment, pride, happiness and perhaps addicted to obtaining goals!


To all the leaders of the salon, it is your job to help blueprint goals with your tribe!  Do not write them down for them but rather talk about what goals they want to reach, how they are going to reach them and what it will do for them as a stylist. Check up on them, ask them how things are going and if they need any help. (A great place to do this is in One on Ones and Follow Ups)

Most importantly, it is your job to remain positive, cheer them on and remind them of why they are achieving their goal! (And don’t forget to goal for yourself as well!)



Let’s stop talking about goals, setting goals and saying goals, let’s start accomplishing them!


Here is an Example Goal:

Goal: Average Retail Per Guest:  $15

By:  June 2018

Where I am : $9.68 per guest

Average Guests Per Day: 10

Average product cost $22

I already sell 4.4 products a day. To get to $15 per guest I must sell 3 more products a day. ( equaling 7 products)

7 x $22 = $154 ÷ 10 = $15.40

This goal will help me get more money in education dollars and will help my guests with their hair at home. I will feel more connected to my guests and more professional and confident.


Let’s Succeed at Many Goals, Resolutions, Intentions, Targets or Whatever you want to Call It!






Finding Your Vision

Finding Your Vision is one of the most important things for you as a salon owner.  Your Vision is your compass,  the thing you can look back on and know you are heading in the right direction. It’s where you’re always headed and it makes decisions at the salon very easy!

We discovered our Values and our Mission and I hope you have had a chance to reflect on yourselves and your tribe. Do you feel good about yourself as a leader?

Now that you know what your tribe looks like you can again look back to yourself and ask the ultimate question; Why did I open a salon? Really think about your answer, write it down on paper and read it out loud a few times. Are you remembering your dream? Maybe it was twenty years, ten years, or 30 days ago?  However long ago it was; you had a dream of opening your own salon and that is your Vision!

One salon said they want a salon to help educate new stylists, one salon said they want to be an owner that was understanding and giving because their last owner treated them like she was a drill sergeant. Another salon said they want to own the top grossing salon in their City.  What ever your Vision is; know that this is why you own your salon!


Congratulations! You have now discovered a lot about yourself and your salon, but as always, there is more work to do when building your salon culture.

We must consider a few things after we find our Vision:

1. Do your values coinside with your Vision?

2. Does your tribe of people by your side believe in your Vision?

3. How will you make your Vision a reality?

Without your Vision your salon will not be as successful as it could be and your Mission will likely not exist.   Your Mission will help you execute your Vision, your Values will help you determine all of this!




How to find your Values!

Do you have a vision? A mission? Do you know your values?

If you do Congratulations! That is the first step to a happy healthy culture in your salon. If you do not or think that you do some where in the back of your mind I challenge you to sit down and write out these three things. It is so important to your business and your tribe that you have a clear view of what you want for your business.

Start with the easiest part – your values.  To find your values you must first understand what that actually means, lets take a look at the official dictionary definition.

plural noun: values
  1. 1.
    the regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something.         “your support is of great value”
    synonyms:  worthusefulnessadvantagebenefitgainprofitgoodhelpmerit,
    helpfulness, avail;
  2. 2.
    a person’s principles or standards of behavior; one’s judgment of what is important in life.        “they internalize their parents’ rules and values”

    synonyms: principles, ethics, moral code, morals, standards, code of behavior

    “society’s values are passed on to us as children”
3rd person present: values
  1. 1.
    estimate the monetary worth of (something).     “his estate was valued at $45,000″

    synonyms: evaluateassessestimateappraiseprice, put/set a price on

    “his estate was valued at $345,000”
  2. 2.
    consider (someone or something) to be important or beneficial; have a high opinion of.       “she had come to value her privacy and independence”
    synonyms: think highly of, have a high opinion of, hold in high regard, rate highly, esteem, set (great) store by, put stock in, appreciaterespect;

Truly all of these definitions can be applied to the salon, but lets focus on the noun 2.2 and the verb 2.2. The noun is what we want to have for our business, your principals and standards will set the bar of what you want for your salon. The verb applies to the tribe you hire to work with you.

So how do you go about finding your beliefs and values?


Vishen Lakhiani, creator of Mindvalley, one of the top places in the world to work offered an exercise that will help you figure out what values you deem important.

Make a list of as many qualities as you can of a hard working person, a person that you want working with you in the salon. What does your list say? Punctual? Honest? Trustworthy? Leadership skills? Happy? Helpful? Did any of these appear on your list? I bet they do! Those and many more. These are your values, it’s really that simple.

After you discover your values comes the hardest part.

When you look at this list can you honestly say you are all of these things? If you want a tribe with the same values as you, you must first make sure that you are everything you value too. It is okay if you are not all of these things, because guess what? Now that you know what you want you can change to become that yourself!

Look at the list again, do any of your tribe members possess these values? Maybe they only have some of these qualities? But could they have all of these if they knew what you valued? Try doing this exercise at your next tribe meeting, you might be surprised that your tribe has similar values to you.                                                              Now that your values are a part of your business your tribe will feel united and happier.


Author/Speaker Simon Sinek, in his book Start With Why says people do not buy what you do, they buy why you do it. In a salon this should be the start of every decision you make, your tribe should know why, they should know your values. That is the start of a happy culture. Then what will happen is, guests will feel it from you and your tribe; which will produce productivity which equals profit.

Once you find your values it is easier to start your next steps; finding your vision and your mission.

So tell me, what are your values?