Help Us Congratulate Hair Designer Rachelle Rodriguez, 5-STAR Hair Salon Owner at Salon Plaza Sterling VA
Let’s hear from Salon Plaza’s Member of the Month, Rachelle Rodriquez –
My four sisters found out early how much I love to do hair. I used to experiment on them! The good news for them (and me!) is that I was good at it.
At Chantilly High School I studied cosmetology (that was an easy A) and got my license in cosmetology. While going to college with a soccer scholarship, I tore my knee and had to come up with Plan B.
“You’re good, you need to make a career out of this.”
– Mr. White, Chantilly High School
Thank you, Mr. White, for encouraging me to make a career out in the beauty industry. Mr. White, who still teaches at Chantilly High School, is my biggest influence in the cosmetology world. Like a second father to me, he still meets with me for lunch and gives me business tips.
Why Build Someone Else’s Dream?
If it weren’t for him, I don’t think I’d be running my own salon at Salon Plaza. Before making it with my own shop, for 7 years I worked as a stylist and educator at PR at Partners in Tysons Corner. After awhile, I was just stagnating there.
You may know this feeling, too – What I really wanted to do was to branch out on my own. Like my grandfather always said,
“You’re either growing or your dying.”
When I first took a look at Salon Plaza, the though of opening my own salon was really nerve wracking. The Plaza Leader Debby simply said,
“Let me know what you want to do.”
My husband encouraged me, saying…
“You should do it.”
Truth is… he had already given Debby the deposit! He knows I’m indecisive about going into something new. I just needed the push.
My clients all followed me, which made it so exciting…. That was 5 years ago, and I’ve never looked back!
I’ll be honest with you. After opening my studio, there were some adjustments to make. For the first time I had to keep my own books and do my own marketing.
That’s not all.
Life sends you the unexpected sometimes. My one and only son, one and a half years old, has some challenges, like having to go through 3 surgeries. I’m pretty proud of myself that I’m still working.
Project Runway Show
A while back, a friend in NYC invited me and a few other co-workers to do hair for the Project Runway Show where newbie designers compete to make clothes for the big designers.
We saw a lot of big names there – Heidi Klum, Jennifer Hudson, Michael Kors and Tim Gunn to name a few. It was a fantastic week of fashion, creativity and showmanship. I’m so glad we went!
My Secret to Success?
I work very hard, putting 100% into everything I do. Spending time with my clients and developing relationships is essential. Because my clients pay for my time, I serve them one at a time. That way, they never feel forgotten or rushed.
When I first opened my Rock Paper Scissors Hair Salon, to build my clientele I marketed myself through word-of-mouth. The best way to do this is to find someone who is around a lot of people, like a bartender, teacher, or a mom’s group. Then do their hair for free and ask them to pass out your card.
Early on, a blogger raved about me and that was helpful. Also, posting before-and-after photos on Instagram turned out to be crucial.
I’m on Facebook, too – These social media platforms help build my reputation and keep me in touch with clients in-between appointments. You can also see Salon Plaza’s recent post showing you the latest techniques for marketing on Instagram.
Currently, I’m not taking new clients except by referral. My advice to you – if you have any desire at all in your heart to go it alone – check out Salon Plaza. You simply have take a leap sometimes, because, as grandpa says…
“If you’re not growing, you’re dying!”