Posted on January 19, 2015
Even a veteran stylist like Autumn Morris of GlamLocks Hair Lounge (located in Sola Salons Encinitas, CA)–a guru with decades of industry experience–finds there’s incredible room for growth when salon ownership at Sola makes building your brand as easy as say…dry shampooing your hair.
Back in high school, Autumn entertained dreams of doing hair while taming her own frizzy, curly, and downright unruly locks. Soon enough, those dreams found shape in Los Angeles where she dove headfirst into the fast-paced, whirlwind world of celebrity hair styling. Yes, the limelight was fun; but, as Autumn matured and then became a mother, she says, “I needed something more laid back.”
Facing that reality, Autumn moved with her family to sunny San Diego. Autumn heard about the Sola concept after relocating; she even took a tour of the Encinitas location back when it was still under construction. But at first, she wasn’t convinced. "When I was first considering the move seriously, I feared that my clients would feel like I 'downsized.' I also feared the idea of being one-on-one with my clients. I loved the hustle and bustle and all the interaction of the traditional salon vibe."
Then, something happened: Autumn, who trained under Chaz Dean, creator of Wen, began developing her own dry hair care product line. Four years in the making, GlamLocks is a state-of-the-art line of tinted dry conditioners and shampoos designed to extend color life and hair integrity, both of which can be compromised by frequent washing. As development for this color revitalization system gained forward momentum, Autumn realized she needed a place to grow not just her business, but her brand.
So, she “took a leap of faith” and joined Sola in October of 2012. She’d be lying if she said she wasn’t a little nervous. “I’m very much a people person, so the idea of being one-on-one with my clients kind of scared me,” Autumn admits. She also worried about whether clients would like the new digs. “Some clients,” she explains, “love to go to a salon and hear all the stuff that’s going on.”
Autumn wanted her guests to enjoy a stylish atmosphere, so she gave her studio an Old Hollywood Glam makeover – complete with long drapes and elegant chandeliers. “For the walls,” Autumn says, “A girlfriend came in and layered seven different types of stucco – off-white, silver, gold; there’s even glitter in the walls! Its an extension of me and the artist within me.”
Alongside her assistant, Autumn opted for an extra large studio with double chairs, which allows her to double book appointments so clients still get the semblance of a traditional salon experience while simultaneously wallowing in the kind of one-on-one contact only a Sola stylist can provide. “Clients feel like they’re getting more for their money, and I get even more referrals,” says Autumn. “Even as a veteran,” Autumn adds, “I still grew with Sola.”
The stylist estimates her gross income has increased by over 50 percent since joining Sola Encinitas. “Last year, in retail alone, I brought in over $17,000,” she says, noting that many stylists at traditional salons are missing out on this “huge additional service and extra income.” You see, back when Autumn was at a traditional salon, she was great at up-selling products to clients, and she grew tired of somebody else making the profit on retail she sold.
“My wish for people at Sola is that they really tap into retail because that’s how they can work smarter – not harder,” says a sage Autumn, who is thrilled to be part of such a vibrant community of talented stylists. Autumn’s personal journey, one that lead her to salon ownership at Sola, is a great reminder that there are endless opportunities for growth for those who know where to look – and those who aren’t afraid to try new things!