As Editor in Chief of American Salon, Kelley Donahue reports on all aspects of the professional beauty industry, including salon business-building strategies, seasonal hair and fashion trends, salon services and techniques, and timely issues impacting manufacturers, schools, salons and distributor principals. In addition to conducting photo shoots--one of which was the recipient of an ABBIES Award for Best Magazine Cover--Donahue also travels extensively throughout the U.S. and abroad, sourcing out new trends and representing American Salon at major industry functions and educational events.
Forty salon owners proved to be quick studies when they attended the first-ever UCLA Anderson Executive Salon Management Program, which was held last June at UCLA's Anderson School of Management and produced in collaboration with the Business Education for Salons Today (B.E.S.T.) Foundation. This non-profit organization is dedicated to the global growth and advancement of the professional salon industry. The program marked the first formal joining of forces between the professional salon industry and an internationally acclaimed business school.
CLOCKWISE, FROM TOP: The graduating class strikes a pose; interactive classes were part of the curriculum; FROM LEFT: B.E.S.T. Foundations Kristin Firrell, Redkens Ann Mincey, student/salon owner Rob Peetoom and professor Alfred E. Osborne, Jr.
The five-day session provided salon owner-attendees with the resources, skills and knowledge necessary to maximize their business success through strategy, organizational alignment, financial management and leadership. To ensure immediate implementation of the business concepts and skills learned during the week, students spent time developing their own personal Salon Improvement Projects (SIPS), identifying a strategic area for instant improvement within their salon and developing a plan for implementation. The SIP process showed students how to use an advisory process to assist in resolving complex problems, challenges and opportunities unique to each business. On the final day, participants presented their SIPS to the entire class, sharing improvement projects from each team that included a specific strategy and plan for a salon merger, a unique program for improving staff compensation and benefit programs, an innovative client retention action plan, a new business action plan and a unique renovation project for a solid business ready to move to the next level.
Osborne congratulates Gretchen Dral (top); Hats off to the happy grads
According to professor Alfred E. Osborne, Jr., senior associate dean of the UCLA Anderson School of Management, "The first session, sponsored by Redken 5th Avenue, NYC, was more successful than we dreamed it would be. These extraordinary salon owners were immersed for 10 to 12 hours a day in advanced classes dedicated to providing the framework and foundation for change—change that will help their businesses progress, grow and succeed. [They] had an outstanding opportunity to learn from some of the best UCLA Anderson professors and are returning to their salons prepared and motivated to take their businesses to entirely new levels of success."