Randy Currie, founder of Currie Hair, Skin & Nails in Pennsylvania and Delaware, wasn’t always a beauty guy. “It was 1974, and I was 22. My brother was killed in a car accident, and I wasn’t going down a good path. My cousin said, ‘Why don’t you become a hairdresser?’ At the time, the movie Shampoo was out, and salons seemed glamorous and like a good place to meet girls,” he says. So, he went to London to study at Sassoon Academy, where he fell in love with the business. By 1978 he was back in the U.S. and opened his first salon, Razzle Dazzle. “That was more about having fun than running a business,” he says. A few years later, Currie had the idea to introduce nail services, which turned out to be a great success. So, he added skincare too.
Come 2004, Currie got a big break when pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca asked him to open a salon and spa in its headquarters in Wilmington, DE, featuring one spa room, four stations and two color stations. Around the same time, he bought a building in a town that wasn’t doing well, and turned it into a salon. “Once people saw me putting time and money into the building, other buildings started to sell,” he says. And in 2009, he opened another location in Wilmington. “Within the first six months, we were profitable,” he says. But he’s not one for resting on his laurels. A few years ago Currie acquired a cosmetics company that uses olive oil in its formulas, called Carrello by Currie, which he expanded to 16 products, and he has plans to open an additional salon in a prestigious hotel in Wilmington.
“Through the years, I realized that what you focus on grows,” he says. “In the beginning, we were a salon that offered additional services, but we focused mainly on the hair part. Now we analyze our numbers—monthly, quarterly, annually—for all of our services. Just because your salon has a department doesn’t mean it’s successful—you have to make it successful and really market every category.” That’s some advice