**By Kristina, Founder of Left Coast Salon**
When I launched the Salon Residency Program in 2022, I had a clear understanding of the challenges that young cosmetologists face as they step into the workforce. It wasn't just about providing employment; it was about fostering personal, professional, and technical growth. Our journey since then has been marked by remarkable progress and maturation.
As of today, two of my team members have been with me for over a year, two have successfully graduated, and one has ventured back to her loving family in Colorado. This journey of personal development has rippled into our professional lives, providing a sense of stability and confidence that has translated into seamless training and interactions with our new Assistant Salon Residents.
At Left Coast Salon, we take no shortcuts. Safeguarding the well-being of our salon, staff, and clients is paramount. I hold a firm stance against negativity within our space, and it's an opportunity for us to educate those who might not be familiar with proper etiquette when interacting with service providers. Our team is trained to listen attentively, as we collectively strive to create a psychologically safe salon environment. We take responsibility for ensuring our space remains secure, and if someone jeopardizes that safety, we don't hesitate to prioritize our staff and clients.
Vulnerability is a two-way street. We encourage our clients to express their preferences, needs, and opinions openly. Our mission is to understand you better so that we can deliver a more tailored experience. While technical perfection isn't guaranteed every time, our commitment to improvement is unwavering. We've learned to put ego aside, enabling us to address any dissatisfaction constructively and without taking it personally. This intricate dance of trust, emotion, and communication is what connects us with clients on a deeper level.
I've transitioned from "I" to "we." Left Coast Salon is now a collective effort, where we tackle our work with purpose, passion, and ever-increasing clarity. During a recent 10-day absence from the salon, I witnessed the incredible capabilities of my team. They garnered five-star reviews, managed sales, covered wages and expenses, and even turned a small profit. Our plan had come to fruition – the salon was thriving independently.
This experience has shown me that my team is more than capable of maintaining our standards and preserving our salon culture in my absence. They've demonstrated their skillfulness, some even surpassing my own abilities. I'm immensely proud of our journey together.
For me, this means a gradual reduction of my chair hours on peak days like Fridays and Saturdays. I'll be present to coach, assist, and maintain the salon's vibrant atmosphere. I've decided to close my Saturday bookings for the rest of the year, though existing appointments will remain unaffected. I'll be available for clients on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, with a gradual phasing out of Fridays too. It's time for me to take the next step in my professional journey. While it's daunting, I'm certain that my energy is best invested here.
As my role evolves, I'll have the privilege of introducing each client to a qualified graduate from my program. But until then, there's much more to accomplish. Our journey continues, and I'm excited to embrace the challenges that lie ahead.
Thank you all for your unwavering support. Your trust has been the cornerstone of our success, and we're eager to hear your thoughts and feedback as we continue to evolve. Together, we're shaping the future of Left Coast Salon.