Sola Salon Studios Successfully Expands Sola Sessions Education Initiative

Sola Salon Studios attracted more than 200 Sola salon professionals from across the Midwest to its second Sola Sessions event in Minneapolis, which featured talks and demonstrations from well-known salon industry leaders.

In 2016, Sola, the largest, fastest-growing salon suite franchise in the United States, committed to investing in education, networking experiences and providing Sola salon professionals with exclusive access to some of the biggest names in the salon industry.

The Sola Sessions event on Monday, April 25, 2016, hosted at the Radisson Blu Mall of America, was the second of four events scheduled for this year, with subsequent events also planned for Orange County, CA. and Charlotte, NC.

The Minneapolis Sessions kicked-off with Kim Bennett Horvath, Sola’s Director of Education and the first stylist to sign a lease with the company, sharing her personal experience at Sola and encouraging the audience to look toward the future of the salon industry. Sola co-founders Matt Briger and Stratton Smith followed to tell the specifics of the company’s history and to inspire people to never settle, step outside their comfort zone and to always strive to lift others up, not bring them down.

“We are thrilled that the Sola Sessions have elicited such an overwhelmingly positive response from the members of the Sola system,” said Ben Jones, CEO of Sola Salon Studios. “Personal and professional growth is and always will be a recurring theme at Sola, and we are honored to have incredible relationships with the educators and industry leaders who are willing to join us to promote that growth and engage with the Sola community.”

Gordon Miller, the keynote speaker and American Salon’s Publisher and Vice President of Integrated Media, educated the audience on the importance of investing in themselves. An industry veteran himself, Miller emphasized how technology is rapidly transforming the salon industry. His speech concluded with tips on his best practices and the “Three R’s” that he swears by for a successful business: referral, rebook and recommend retail.

Switching gears from inspirational messages to strictly business, Jennie Wolff, Sola’s Vice President of Marketing and Stylist Programs, challenged stylists to attempt their own integrated marketing program and explained the foundation of Sola’s tools that will deliver concrete marketing results for their business.

“It’s incredibly powerful to see connections being made between Sola professionals and their peers from around the country, and also with with industry leaders and educators,” Wolff said. “You can feel the momentum from the Sola Sessions building in a way that’s really exciting for everyone at Sola.”

The Sola Sessions continued with an educational message from SalonCentric’s Michael Cole. He stressed the importance of mindfulness; Being mindful of one’s personal energy and finances will lead to more control in life. Cole also spoke of the fundamentals that Sola professionals should practice to increase their financial revenue earlier in their careers.

Knowing your specialty, being digitally savvy and utilizing social media platforms for referrals are all excellent traits to possess as a stylist, Cole said.

The second half of the Sola Sessions was filled with dramatic and educational presentations by multiple vendors. Hattori Hanzo Shears hosted two artists with varying cutting styles who motivated and inspired the audience with their entertaining personalities while sharing their tips on how to utilize shears to create the perfect look. Justin Thomas presented a long hair model to depict the effect of hard or soft lines and shared his excitement of recently opening a Sola Salon in Sacramento, CA., while Oscar Bond presented a classic bob model and lectured on the importance of when to use certain shears.

Andis educator and men’s grooming specialist Jessica Zeinstra shared her expertise on clipper techniques and showcased her talent by presenting a model with a classic fade, leaving the model’s hair longer on top. Zeinstra also made the announcement that she will be expanding her Minneapolis-area Sola Salon and will now be accepting female clientele in the future.

The Paul Mitchell team closed the show with its educators demonstrating vivid color techniques, textured hairstyles and haircuts inspired by the latest company collection that ranged from salon-friendly to high-fashion on seven models. Colin Caruso, Heather Kaanoi, David Lowry and Mahogany Plautz taught the audience on how to maximize their Sola studio space to maximize their salon revenue with bonus and add-on features.

No Sola Sessions is complete without some Sola swag, and Minneapolis was no exception. Hattori Hanzo Shears offered an exclusive Sola discount along with a shear giveaway. SalonCentric hosted a drawing for two free stylist starter gift sets. Additionally, KLASS Makeup provided all cosmetics for the live models and a 25 percent discount to all Sola stylists.

For more information about the Sola Sessions and upcoming Sola events, please visit

About: Founded in 2004, Sola Salon Studios provides high-quality, individually owned salons to experienced hairdressers, estheticians, nail techs, massage therapists and other like-minded salon professionals who come together under one roof to take their careers to the next level.