In 2005 hurricane Rita struck Signatures Salon in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Then in 2020, the salon was hit by hurricane Laura, the strongest hurricane to hit Louisiana in 150 years. The salon picked up the pieces and powered through.
In 2015 a vehicle drove into Signatures Salon leaving the business wrecked. In 2018 yet another vehicle drove into the salon. No staff were hurt in either incident and the business rebuilt.
When COVID-19 spread chaos across the salon industry, Signatures Salon moved forward with hands held tight and heads held high. They ended 2020 above their 2019 revenue despite months of being closed.
Like any hardship that is overcome, there is always a positive force behind the pain that keeps pushing all things forward. For Signatures Salon that force is Wendy McCown.
Here Wendy shares some of her personal perspectives on resilience.
This post is part of a series titled – The Six Fix. Semi-frequently we at SalonBiz interview salon and beauty industry professionals around timely topics, industry trends, and …… Each interview is captured in six questions and answers which we share. We aim for these posts to deliver education, entertainment, and foster community between aspiring salon professionals, our customers, and the industry at large. We hope you find value here.
Let’s start off with the hardest question and the one everyone reading wants to know, how do you do it? How do you keep going setback after setback?
That answer is simple, I can’t and don’t do it alone. I have an amazing family, a strong team and a great business partner. But mainly, my strength comes from my faith. We have learned that each time we get back up, we get up stronger. Each time isn’t necessarily easier. We just get better. And my goal has always been to focus least on the negative. Instead, we try to focus on solving all the things that need improving! We aim to always keep our momentum going That is something I have been trying to do even before our first struggle. Because when we are positive and have high energy across the team then we can get through it. We have and we will continue to do so. We never go back to ho-hum after it all.
You’ve had life throw Signatures Salon quite a few punches. Many more than most. With that, we know that COVID-19 wouldn’t keep you down. However, we’re sure you had challenges. What were they and how did you move through them?
Like so many salons, we had to navigate the unknown and for an unknown amount of time. That unknown was really the greatest challenge. From an emotional standpoint we have continued to stay positive through this. Just like all the challenges before this. From a tactical standpoint, we prioritized guest communication. We really did everything we could to keep our guests up to date with everything happening.
You’ve led us to our next question. The “All Is Well” movement that you started during COVID-19 gave hope to not only your guests, but to your entire community. Tell us how you feel about the impact you’ve made.
We are humbled by it and so proud of the response from our community. I’m proud of our team and I’m humbled by the people of Lake Charles for joining us. Without our faith, it is just a phrase. We were honored to make and give away thousands of crosses with the phrase ALL IS WELL stenciled on them. There is good that comes out of bad and we’ve always found that at Signatures Salon. Just like the bad color jobs we get to correct and give a guest the most beautiful look. This pandemic is no different. When we come together to get through it, we do!
What is your biggest takeaway from having led your team and community through a so many setbacks?
Always hold positive momentum as a leader. To be a good leader, you have to model the behavior you want to see in others. You cannot control people; you can only empower them through your actions. The more you can do this, the better for the team and overall mission. Also, we should’ve invested in a mobile hotspot much sooner. It’s funny now, but after not having any internet connection from the first hurricane for far too long, we could’ve learned sooner.
What was the greatest learning you took away from navigating COVID-19 during 2020?
We can win despite all odds when our guest stays at the center of our work. Even with our doors closed, we were able to keep our guests looking great by getting creative. We sold so many custom color kits in our drive–through pick-up line. Our customers were so thankful and felt extremely taken care of. As for our employees, we were able to retain them and keep their income consistent. With only 8 months being open, we beat last year’s revenue goals during a gobal pandemic and that is really something.
What SalonBiz product features do you rely on most at Signatures Salon? Have you recently adopted any new ones to adjust to current social distancing precautions?
We absolutely love the Stylist app. Our team uses it for everything. They can manage their schedule, send appointment reminders and confirmations, and view their goal tracking. All from the palm of their hand which helps to free up our front desk so much. We’ve also found the updated SalonBiz Central to be very beneficial. We’ve learned how to handle payroll within the solution which has improved our operations. Reporting has also been a great feature we’ve adopted. We now find ourselves turning to SalonBiz even more frequently to gain a 360-degree view of daily, weekly, and monthly financials. It’s wonderful.
Signatures Salon uses SalonBiz to manage appointments, inventory management, payments, and more. In January of 2021 Wendy shared the journey she and her team have been on; demonstrating resilience amidst hardship. Listen to Wendy’s entire, unforgettable story in the 2020 PowerUp video below.