MAD LOVE MONDAY | BAILEY BROWN - BELOW HAIR STUDIO
How did you find out you have a passion for being a Hair Stylist?
I would say my passion in hair and make up began at a very young age! I was fortunate enough to be surrounded by hair and make up my entire life! When I was really young I would attend hair and nail conferences with my mom as she was a nail tech. My mom always let me do whatever I wanted to my hair, and which I totally regret some decisions, my creative juices were always flowing! My sister was also in the beauty industry, she was a make up artist. When I wasn’t being used as her guinea pig for makeup, I was sneaking into her bathroom to steal all the cool make up she owned. Needless to say, my mother didn’t raise tomboys, I was destined to be in the beauty industry!
When did you know that you wanted to become a salon owner instead of just being behind the chair?
Let’s just say I was never someone to take direction easily from others haha. My personality definitely conflicted with what the definition of being a good employee was! I’m loud, I love to crack jokes, I love coming up with new ideas, etc. I needed an outlet that I could just be myself and surround myself with people like me. When the decision was made to enter into the world of self-employment, I remember my dad saying to me, “I knew this day would come, I always knew you needed to be your own boss.”
Why did you decided to expand your salon / how did you know it was the right time to expand?
I started Below Hair Studio in my basement with one of my best friends Danielle. We made it our mission to have the salon atmosphere that we always wanted. A fun, friendly, high end vibe that at the end of the day, just had a good time! All of our clients became more like family to us, and we decided we needed an assistant. I hired someone to help us with day to day duties that we were finding to be too much for us to do on our own. Before we knew it, our social media presence was making an uproar and we weren’t able to keep up with the amount of people that wanted to book with us. After 4 very fast years in the basement, the perfect store front location became available and my curiosity led me to look into it. I had always talked about expanding but never took it too seriously. When I went to look at the space, I had the same feeling im sure that a bride would get when she found the perfect wedding dress. Everything just felt right, nothing was rushed, it was time to expand. We knew we had outgrown the basement salon, we needed more people! We had become one of the most followed salon instagrams in Edmonton and we were in a 500 sqft basement! We made an unbelievably smooth transition to the bigger space and flash forward a year and a half later, we have 8 stylists on our amazing team and rent out a room to an awesome eyelash technician.
What makes you happy about being your own boss babe?
I would like to say that if you’re your own boss you can do whatever you want and take as much time off as you’d like, but it’s quite the contrary. My hours have grown longer, vacations have become fewer, and the hours behind the scenes that no one sees are the hardest. There is not a lot of glamour in being the boss, but the incredible feeling I get watching Below Hair Studio grow into what I always dreamed of is priceless. I’m happy that we’ve created a community of amazing stylists, developed so many new relationships with clients, and have a platform to share our passion the way we want it shared. Those are some of the many things that make me happy about being a boss babe.
If you could go back and tell yourself one thing in your first year of business what would it be?
OMG where do I start?! I would say my biggest piece of advice I would give to myself would be to take the time to understand the actual BUSINESS side! Source deductions, gst remittances, budgeting... I didn’t want to believe there would be actual numbers to crunch in owning a business! Thankfully my mom, Shelley, took care of all of that for me so I could put more focus into growing the business, but not everyone has a Shelley in their back pocket like I did! Learn about your business taxes, hold on to ALL of your receipts, know your inventory...they are a very important part of running a successful business. (But for real thank god for Shelley haha)