Leaving the Salon
I'm continuing my series on sharing my journey into full time bridal work-thanks for joing me!
So, after I graduated from Aveda, I started working at a quirky salon in Minneapolis, MN. It was okay...but the the owner wasn't the best at running a salon and it soon shut down. I moved to another salon downtown, and the great thing about this salon was that it was open only Monday-Friday since it served the downtown Minneapolis clientele during and after their workday. The perk of that was it freed me up to do weddings on the weekends-the downside was that there wasn't a lot of creativity happening in these client's hairstyles.
As I worked there, I decided to officially start my bridal business-that meant picking an actual business name, registering it with the secretary of state, and starting to advertise outside of friends and family...meaning....craigslist. (Hey, it was free!) I was excited to have officially launched my business, but I still was only getting about 12-15 weddings during the year, and I had a lot of questions.
How should I price?
What should be on my website?
Do I need a contract? If so, how do I get one?
How can I get more weddings?
There were a lot of things I was wondering about, but not a lot of places to turn. I began to look extensively for answers on websites of all the people in my area who were doing bridal hair outside of a salon, but it was hard to find what I needed. I also didn't know who to turn too-whenever I tried to ask questions of other freelance stylists, no one seemed to want to share their knowledge.
Fast forward a few years and the salon was moving away from having employees and only having renters. I had to make a choice-go all in with chair rental (meaning putting many more hours into the salon and making that my primary gig) or going in another direction. I had recently become certified as a doula (that's another story!) so after thinking long and hard I decided to quit the salon and work full time as a doula and continue investing into my bridal business. Eek!!
Sooooo.....I loved being a doula and I loved doing wedding hair, but I couldn't figure out how to grow my bridal business. I just kept advertising on craigslist, trying to get referrals, tried out a few bridal fairs, and kept on working in the doula world. Meanwhile, I met the man of my dreams, planned my own wedding, and got married! Yay! One day my new husband said "what would you do if you only had one job?" (At this point, I was doing the doula work, working as an office assistant to bring in some extra income, and doing wedding hair.) I answered him without any hesitation: wedding hair! After all, it was the only thing I had been consistently doing without getting tired of and continued to love and be excited about. He said, okay Heidi, what would it take to do that full time?
That was a big question. I felt like I needed advanced training in updos (which I couldn't find in Minnesota) and that I need to invest in actual marketing to get more weddings. That is what I told him...and he said "let's make it happen."
Ahh!! Exciting and terrifying all at the same time! I can't wait to share with you what the next year looked like...and so much I learned along the way!
See you next week!