I was in New York recently for the grand opening of the Arrojo Color Studio in Soho. Nick Arrojo, as you may know, stars in the hit TV series What Not to Wear. He's also the special creative artist for Wella, so it's no surprise that his new 1,500-square-foot space is on the cutting edge of style. And it also offers a glimpse into some extraordinary technology that's available to salon owners today.
Dominic Antiszko, Arrojo's IT wizard, walked me through the setup at Arrojo Studio. According to Dominic, the business started out with five staff members and one laptop PC. It has since grown to over 50 staff members and 13 Apple computers networked on an Apple Xserve. "We're in the image business, so we wanted our hardware to be stylish and fit in with the image of the salon," he says of the all-Mac system.
Dominic started by designing the network infrastructure and figuring out the data usage needs before choosing to put the salon database on the Apple Xserve. Next, he conferred with the front desk staff to determine how many workstations were necessary. Finally, the Macs were installed and networked together so that all the users could collaborate with each other.
FROM LEFT: Nick Arrojo; Dominic Antiszko and his wife, Jenny Acheson; and American Salon's Brett Vinovich and Kelley Donahue
And that's just the beginning. Arrojo Color Studio is now in the process of bringing their e-mail system and Web site in-house. They're also creating an internal Web site for staff only, which will accommodate forms, salon information and training materials on streaming video so the staff can watch from any Mac in the company.
For those of you whose businesses use PCs, there's other exciting news on the technology front. Shortcuts, one of the largest software companies in the world that works exclusively in the salon and spa market, is also making inroads into technology. Founded in Brisbane, Australia, just 13 years ago, Shortcuts now has over 6,000 sites installed in some 25-plus countries. Jason Seed, group CEO, tells me that all of their software packages are built to operate on the Windows operating system, backed by the largest development team in the market. These systems can run any size business, from a small barbershop to a medical day spa.
For more information, visit Shortcuts at www.shortcuts.net, or call (866) 678-7324.
Publisher, American Salon
E-mail Brett at firstname.lastname@example.org