July 10, 2015

Salon Plaza Sterling Hair Designer Kathy Rowley – Color Genie & More!


Hair Designer Kathy_Rowley_Salon_Plaza_Sterling“The first time I see them, they are my client… next time my friend. And when they keep coming back, they are family.”

Congratulations to Hair Designer Kathy Rowley, owner of Salon GoldnLOX at Salon Plaza Sterling VA

Salon Plaza’s July Member of the Month, Hair Designer Kathy Rowley has been seeing clients for 37 years… some are 3rd generation! That’s because her clients become family. In fact, she’s booked out more than a year in advance.

Let’s hear from Kathy about her day-by-day, moment-to-moment PASSION:

If YOU want to enjoy salon owner success, you must first begin with your WHY. What I’m all about is the joy of enhancing somebody’s life. My friends call me the Color Genie – but to me, it’s about more than enhancing hair. When a client comes in for an appointment, we create a bond. I call it…


I find out what’s going on in their lives. We chat, nurture each other – and they walk away feeling more beautiful and emotionally enhanced. That’s the Secret Sauce to keeping customers for life!

Here’s the true story of how I knew I would be a hair designer:

hair designer Kathy Rowley Salon Plaza SterlingOne day way back in the 1st grade, my friend Theresa decided her bangs were too long – she couldn’t see the blackboard. When the teacher stepped out of the room Theresa came over to me and said,

“Hey, will you cut my bangs so I can see?” 

Next thing I knew I was taking out my scissors and cutting her bangs, just like she asked. Boy, did I get into big trouble with her Mom and the school principal. He told me,

“You will never cut hair again.”

I said that wasn’t true because I was going to be a hairstylist. He said,

“I mean in school.”

Then I pointed out, I have to go to school to learn how to cut hair. So he gave up and said,

“Well, I guess you are pretty determined. One day I hope you cut my hair.”

Sure enough, I graduated with both my high school diploma and cosmetology license. I haven’t found my 1st-grade principal yet; otherwise, I would cut his hair!

Are we doing something new or staying with it?

Just like they teach in beauty school, each service begins with a 5-minute chat. If someone has an issue on her mind – such as an illness in the family – I can read it while shampooing. That’s when I can hug her without hugging her. Or maybe she asks about me… it’s mutual. We each have different strengths to offer each other.

Let me tell you my secret about shampooing. Beulah Bain, my first shampoo girl (she was 76 years old!) taught me the right way to give a shampoo. She said,

“Come here you, I’ll show you how to do a proper shampoo. They might not like the way you cut or the way you style, but they will always like the way you do a shampoo. And they’ll keep coming back.”

I passed her test. Now people ask me,

“Oh my gosh, can I stay here for an hour?”

Some clients don’t have time to talk but they do have time for the 8-minute shampoo and massage. I am so ethereal, I might say, ‘This looks like a tough day, would you rather be with your loved one rather than here?’

Based on how they respond to my questions I go from there. It’s way more than hair for me and way more than hair from them. Sometimes I run long with my talking before I do hair. I give them the feeling,

“She really cares how beautiful I am… I want to go back for the talks, not just for hair.”

A Salon Plaza Member since February 2013

How I Found Salon Plaza:

Working out of a converted garage at my townhome, I started my own salon in 2001. When I got married in 2011, I told my husband Roger, I’ve been doing this in my home for so long I want to go back to working with other stylists. That way we can see each other and tap into each other’s work – and give each other helpful feedback.

The other consideration was that both our parents were getting older – his Mom is 88 now and lives in Colonial Beach two hours away. Mine lives in Sterling. So we bought a second home in Colonial Beach across the street from his mom.

Hair Designer Kathy Rowley Salon Plaza Sterling

Whenever Roger and I say something out loud, karma makes it happen. Within a month I got a Salon Plaza postcard in the mail. It read… “Team members wanted, call me, Julie.” I spoke with her and she said…

“Come to this one in Sterling.”

They have a Salon Plaza in Sterling?!

I checked it out and in no time was signing a contract. I sold my home and ran my business out of my Salon Plaza Studio. I work 3 days in Sterling and 2 days near Colonial Beach at Mollie’s Small Town Salon.

As an independent hair designer, I am in total command of my days, my time and what I do with my clients…

And now my mom and I have a brand new relationship. She takes great care of herself, her kids and grandkids. It’s wonderful to have an adult relationship with her. She’s the best Mom on the planet!

A lot of good things happened because of choosing to keep my salon at Salon Plaza Sterling. If you want to ask me any questions about running a successful salon, email me at kathygoldnlox@aol.com. Or wait for my next “How To” blog post…

Are you ready for Salon Plaza’s MAGIC go to work on YOU? Take our Salon Owner Success Quiz and Find Out Now…

Hair Designer Take The Quiz Now! See if you have the skills of America's most successful salon owners...


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