Owners of Carbon Salon, Amanda and Richard Newcomb, are long-time Longmont residents. Amanda is the third generation in her family to live in Longmont.
Married only three years, this young couple has dreams to change the world together. The first step of that happened a little over a year an a half ago, when they decided it was time to open their own hair salon.
After finishing beauty school, Amanda worked at a local hair salon for eight years. Like many, she felt that her career had hit a plateau and that it was time for a change but had not decided what that change would be.
Her husband, Richard, is a dreamer and encouraged her to dream bigger, and the next thing the couple knew they were the owners of their own business.
Having worked in the hairstyling business for several years, Amanda felt like she wanted more to her salon than just doing hair. Her dream was to have a place where her employees continued to grow and thrive.
Richard’s background in business and the military were the perfect combination to see Amanda’s dream come to life. He has used his leadership skills to help all the stylists at Carbon Salon take an active interest in building their own business within the salon.
One of the ways he has done this is by holding one-on-one consultations with each stylist. In these sessions, he helps them realize the value of professional development and business methods that will not only boost the amount of business they see, but it also helps them realize their own dreams.
Additionally, the Newcombs feel passionate about advancing the hairstyling business as a whole. According to payscale.com, hairstylists make an annual salary ranging from $17,000 to $53,000 with the national average being around $28,000. This is one of the most underpaid professions for graduates of trade schools.
The couple believes that by teaching business and leadership skills to their stylists, even as those stylists move on to fulfill their own aspirations, the knowledge gained at Carbon Salon will help those stylists prosper. In turn, those stylists have the opportunity to share their skills which hopefully results in a boost in the industry as a whole.
In addition to these skills, Carbon Salon encourages its stylists to explore other ways to improve on their trade. When business is slow, Richard and Amanda ask their staff to watch videos, look at magazines and explore other ways of keeping up with the latest trends.
“Our team is what makes us special,” says Richard. “I believe that one visit with any of our stylists, that confidently, that that introduction is just the beginning of that relationship with a client.”
Often the hair styling business is competitive and fosters a negative relationship among stylists in a salon. Amanda and Richard feel that the only way to combat this is to focus on positive relationships with their staff. They work diligently to build trusting and encouraging relationships with each stylist, which, they believe, creates a fun and inviting atmosphere.
The couple believes that this bottom-up tactic is the key to their success. “If the employees are happy, they will make the customers happy, who will then support the salon,” states Amanda.
The salon itself was designed by Amanda with stylists and clients in mind. The wash basins are set away from the walls so that stylists can wash the client’s hair without those clients having to contort their necks and heads in awkward positions to be sure of a good rinse.
The mirrors and stylist’s tables are arranged to promote a lively discussion among clients and staff or a space to work should customers feel that is how they want to spend their time.
Carbon Salon has been open just over a year and so far things seem to be going well for both Amanda and Richard. The couple hopes to expand into other cities in the future but for now they feel it is best to continue to grow their Longmont-based business and expand their clientele.
The salon and everything in it is designed to promote inclusivity not only among the staff, but also among the clientele. In fact the name itself, Carbon Salon, was created around this concept.
“Being a linguist nerd, a salon is a meeting place. We wanted something that tied everything together. We were watching a documentary and it spoke of the carbon that makes us up and that was the spark for both of us. Every living thing, if you are alive and on Planet Earth, you are carbon based. That is the most intimate level that ties everything together,” says Richard.
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