How to Capture That Oakland Aesthetic – Opening Your Salon
Posted on August 22, 2017 by Oozle Media
Once you graduate from International College of Cosmetology, you’ll have a world of possibilities for potential careers. You can work as a makeup artist, at a salon, or open your own salon. If you are particularly inclined toward that last option, you’re going to want to create a beautiful and unique business for yourself in order to be successful. People will be more inclined to continue coming to your salon if you create an inviting environment.
In Oakland, we’ve got a very particular style and aesthetic. As Californians, we enjoy a casual and flowy beach style for our clothing, so how does that transfer to our businesses? If you immediately thought of sea blues and greens and seashells, you’ve probably been to a lot of salons in Oakland. So if you’ve got plans for your own salon, we can help you achieve that effortlessly beach-y yet classy salon style that will keep your customers coming back.
The first thing you’re going to want to consider is the location of your future salon. Location is a huge deciding factor because it determines where and how often your customers will come in. Things to consider when choosing a location are:
- Price – make sure this price is in your budget. Consider how much money you’ll need to charge for your services. Do some research on pricing of similar salons and go from there.
- Building quality – don’t purchase or rent an office which doesn’t have what you need. Check things like plumbing (will this space be able to support multiple sinks?), heating and air conditioning, mold growth, and electrical wiring (will this space support extra lighting?).
- Square feet – you’ll need to consider how many chairs and sinks you want, how big your waiting area will be, if it has a bathroom, and other things like a backroom and storage.
- Street name – if it’s a difficult to spell or say, that can affect customer traffic. You should also consider if this street name has any kind of negative reputation (from existing or past businesses).
- District – figure out what kind of people shop in this area. Is that demographic in need of a new salon? Do your research and see what kind of people you need to attract.
The location of your future salon is probably your biggest worry, which is why we listed it first. We want your salon to be beautiful and successful, so take your time choosing, and good luck!
So you’ve got the biggest decision out of the way. Now comes the fun part! For your decorations and furniture, you’ll need to figure out your aesthetic early on. You can’t just purchase things that you like and put them all together. It helps to create a cohesive look which your customers will appreciate and feel comfortable in.
- Naming your salon – name your salon something that is unique, but something that connects to your personality, lifestyle, or even just your name! Keep it short and simple, and choose a legible font!
- Choose the main colors you want to feature – choose relaxing colors like blues, greys, black and white, or soft pastels. Make sure you choose a few different colors and apply them to different parts of your salon like the walls, floors, furniture, and decorations.
- Keep your customers in mind – make sure the chairs, mirrors, and sinks you choose will be comfortable and pleasing. Check out Archi Group for inspiration! We also really like Frenchy Fancy’s style tips for homes and apartments which can easily be transferred to your salon!
- Product placement – the products you use in your salon will determine the quality of your work. Customers need to see trusted and quality brands right when they enter your salon. So choose either a wall shelf or standing shelf near the door or near your receptionist’s desk where you can display the products you and your stylists will be using.
You might be wondering why we included this section. You’d be surprised how much smell can affect a customer’s experience. You probably know that getting that hair dye smell out of a salon is essentially impossible, but that doesn’t mean that has to be the only smell in your salon! Saga Magazine explains that certain smells can even cause people to buy more things.
In Oakland, we love the beach. Who doesn’t love the smell of ocean breeze? However, sometimes smelling the same thing every day can become tiresome. Think about past experiences in a salon and figure out which smells worked best with the chemical smells floating around. Also make sure something you like so you don’t get sick of it! Can’t think of anything? Try using a vanilla or lavender scented candle in your waiting area to help customers feel more comfortable and relaxed (and maybe even spend more money!).
The music you play in your salon is extremely important in creating a good atmosphere. Your particular taste in music might not be what your customers are comfortable listening to. Salon owners have to consider what will be both appropriate, non-overwhelming, and still fitting for their aesthetic. Lucky for you, Oakland has some awesome local bands who can help you with this particular aspect of your salon!
To set yourself apart from every other salon, choose songs which aren’t super well-known. It’s still good to choose songs which are neutral-sounding. By featuring local artists, you can build some rapport with them and their fans. You might even be able to set up a deal with them and gain some new customers like that!
Before you choose your bands or make any special playlists, do research to find out information about those bands and songs, listen to them fully to check for inappropriate content, and then try to make a cohesive playlist or radio station. To help you get started, we’ve compiled a short playlist of songs featuring local bands as well as some beach-vibe songs that would go great in any salon!