Fast, Focused, GROWTH!
First year stylist income: $35,000
Four years later: $130,000, +271%
Being a hairdresser has long been viewed as a career that lacks stability and earning potential. Summit Salon Business Center is dedicated to putting the “professional” back into the professional beauty industry, one stylist at a time. Brae Lea Erickson, a level 4A stylist at Hedkandi in Calgary, Alberta in Canada is one such stylist. In five short years, twenty-four-year-old Brae has been able to grow her income from $35,000 to $130,000. Here’s the story of how having the right mindset can help you achieve seemingly impossible career heights!
“I was always interested in the hair and makeup industry.” Brae explains, “My Aunt was a very talented and successful hairstylist and I looked up to her a lot. I tried out cosmetology in high school and after my first day I truly knew it was what I was meant to do. I started working in a salon as an assistant when I was fifteen years old. I heard about the Summit Salon Systems when I started at Hedkandi a few years later. My previous salon had nothing like it—no tracking, no goals—and you were promoted when the owner felt like it. As a junior stylist entering onto the floor I was so lucky to start my career building good habits with the Summit Salon Systems and having goals from the get go.”
Building these good habits is a skill that takes a lot of awareness and dedication. “The challenge is allowing yourself to break out of your comfort zone,” Brae explains. “Don’t be afraid to ask guests to rebook and for referrals in a way that feels authentic to you. This means not just repeating a script or feeling like you are trying to sell them something,” Brae says. “It is also a challenge to avoid common pitfalls.”
One of the tools that helps Brae organize her days is the Summit Salon Stylist Planner, which she can’t recommend highly enough. “The Planner works. When you plan your day you are most likely going to get the additional services. If you ask for referrals you will get them, if you ask your guests to rebook six weeks out, you will be busy,” Brae explains.
Brae also credits the Summit Salon Systems for providing her with a professional framework for thinking about her business. “I never thought of myself as someone who was good at math or numbers, but the Summit Salon Systems have taught me how to understand my business and my numbers. I now feel like I’m not just a great hairstylist but also a great businesswoman. I am in control of my own income. The more I commit and the more effort I put in, the bigger the opportunity I have to make more money, faster.”
“I wake up every day and make the choice to stay committed to the process, even with my social media content.” Brae says, “I love posting before and afters of my work on Instagram (@hairbybrae) and hashtagging it so people in my community can access it and feel inspired. I often get new guests in my chair who have found me this way. It is free advertising and is just another way that I stay committed to growing my business.”
Setting goals and taking classes has also helped Brae achieve her career goals. “Monthly professional development meetings with my salon owner and Summit Salon consultant are vital,” Brae explains, “There is always something that I can be working on and the feedback keeps me feeling motivated and inspired. Having the opportunity to sit down and go over my numbers and look at what I can work on for the next month sets me up for even greater success.”
“As a salon we are always doing education and bettering ourselves,” Brae says, “We do monthly classes for our junior staff, take courses within our city, and sometimes we get to travel to places like New York or LA for courses. Invest in yourself and in building your knowledge is definitely worth it and you will always get your money’s worth. We are so fortunate to have all the tools of success figured out and given to us! Use them and trust in the process!! Look at those around you who are successful and follow in their footsteps. You can learn so much from their success.”
All of her focus and dedication has definitely paid off. In the future Brae would like to jump to a Level 4AA and continue to take classes often (you can never know too much). In her personal life, she’s striving for a greater work-life balance. And, most importantly, she’d like to start a family.