Hi! My name is Tammy Dennis and this is my story …
As I think about my life, all the good, bad and crazy things have happened to get me right here talking to you. I would have never thought in a million years, the girl who did not learn to read until collage would be WRITING a blog in this way. As a kid, the Salon industry, never crossed my mind.
Heck, I never thought about being a nail tech or a salon owner. I never even got a pedicure until beauty school when I was 36 years old! I was supposed to be a physical therapy assistant! Funny how things work out, isn’t it?!
I am here talking as a salon professional just like you. I have been in the beauty business since 2001, when I became partners with my best friend. She owned a 900 sq. ft. beauty shop. Have you ever heard the saying “all things happen for a reason” well, I strongly believe that.
I lost my mother when I was 4 years old. My father passed when I was 6. I grew up with my grandparents who did the best they could, taking in 4 very young children after already raising 9 of their own. My grandpa was an alcoholic and my grandma worked and supported us the best she could. She would take in bums, (as we called them) anyone who needed a place to stay and a hot meal. Unfortunately, she wasn’t always there to protect us. Even during my not so great child hood, I always knew I had an angel watching over me…protecting me.
I’ve always had a strong work ethic. As a young child, I started earning my own way. I started babysitting at the age of 10, that gave me an appreciation for earning my own money. I worked from then on doing numerous jobs, at 15 1/2 I entered a job training program at the local hospital . By my senior year, I had worked in all departments except nursing. My favorite was physical therapy.
I’ve always had a “CAN DO” attitude. A few things come to mind. I was in 7th grade and my Art teacher told me I would NEVER be an artist and to stop trying. However, I went on to get a college scholarship for ART.
At the beginning of my junior year, my grandmother was diagnosed with cancer. I would leave school early to pick up medication for her, I would drop it off before going to work. That made me missing the last class of the day. One day, that teacher said to me…In front of the entire class, “why don’t you just drop out of school and get your GED”. Hmmm, I showed her, I went on to graduate! 🙂
I was told by my salon partner that I would NEVER get someone to sit for a 2 hour pedicure, well I was featured in the NAILS magazine in the October 2015 issue for my 2 hour margarita pedicure!
I was told last year I could not get my program into salons…I needed to just STOP trying! Again, I did not take that advice…here I am here talking to you today. 🙂 Don’t tell me I can’t do something, because I WILL find a way to make it happen! Some call it stubborn, I call it my “CAN DO ATTITUDE”!
What brought me to the Salon Industry? Fortunately, when I was 23 years old going to school to become a physical therapy assistant, I fell and chipped my tooth. God took me on a different path…I met a dentist, went to work for him and soon realized that I LOVED marketing! I helped him turn his practice around and it was one of the most rewarding things I had ever done.
One day after work, I was at my friend’s house. We were in her kitchen and I was telling her about my day and what I had learned at a dental workshop. She was a veteran hairdresser, owned a small shop and was mesmerized by what I was saying.
She asked me if I would talk to her salon staff. I was like…WHAT? I don’t know anything about cutting hair! She said, you are talking about marketing…not hair cuts silly!
Salon Partnership I did go talk to her staff and I became her partner in 2001. I was a at stay home mom for about 3 years in between. Boy did we make a go of it! We turned her 900 sq ft little barber shop into a BEAUTIFUL 3900 sq ft Salon, Spa and Fitness Center! I ran the fitness center and she ran the salon. As time went on in 2005, I became a Nail Technician. We were having trouble keeping salon staff. So, I said I would become a nail tech, I was like, sure…can’t be that hard! Boy, was I wrong! It took me 8 hours to do my first set of Acrylics at school! I could not believe that client came back time after time until I got it right! 🙂
What I realized, she did not come back time after time for my nails, it was for our conversation! You see, she worked at Fred Meyers in merchandising. She LOVED talking with me and getting ideas for her work. I learned as much from her as she did from me. I LOVED IT!
When I started as a nail tech in our salon, my business grew to full time (6 days a week) in 7 months right out of beauty school!
That was unheard of in our little town. I realized pretty quickly WHY we could not keep salon staff. I will keep this part short….after several conversations with my partner, I realized we did not share the same customer service beliefs. Therefore, we did not complement each other as partners and I left the company. However, while we were partners I did most the marketing for the salon, spa and fitness center. The fitness center is what kept the entire business afloat. We were a booth rental salon and you know what that means…not much income for the business.
I lost my shirt in the partnership, she owned 51% and I did not get much out of it. So, when I went to the other salon in town, I went a with mission! I was going to make that salon successful whether they wanted to be or not. Losing my best friend and partner after all we had created, was devastating for me. I had so much anger and disappointment inside me, I felt like a failure.
I did help (the competition) salon and we grew that business exponentially! I did her marketing for 5 years FREE! With the owner thinking she would retire soon, she offered to sell me the business in the near future. While working at her salon I was introduced to a salon marketing company. An amazing team of brother’s out of New York. It was blending their system with mine, that catapulted her salon business!
UNFORTUNATELY…the owner decided she was not ready to sell. She said the business was now too big to let go of. Moving forward, I was at a salon marketing event in N.Y with the brothers. One asked me to get up and tell my story to the group of salon owners. I was shocked, and mentioned “but I am not an owner”. He chuckled and said…”I know, but these people need to hear your story”. So, I got up and proceeded to tell the group that I was a Nail tech doing my owners marketing for FREE and so on….” Well, you guessed it, the crowd of 50 owners raised their hands and said they would PAY ME…just come work for them! 🙂
That was an eye opener and that afternoon life changed for me! An owner walked up, looked me in the eye and shook her finger in my face. She said “when you realize just how valuable you really are, you will be unstoppable!” and she walked away.
That same day one of the brothers said to me…”well, are you going to go help other businesses with their marketing OR are you going to just continue doing it FREE for your boss?” WOW, that was harsh! I loved my boss and respected her. I kidded with him and said…Auh, why don’t I just work for you?” I could be your rep on the West coast! And that lead to the next step…
I worked for 11 months with that salon marketing company. I was the first person salon owners talked too. Everything from the hook, the sales pages, the emails etc. was all done via the web. I was the very first “real” person they talked to and that was AFTER they signed up for their program. I got to walk them through the program to share how it worked. 99% of the salon owners were desperate! They just needed an extra $500 a month to keep their doors open. My heart went out to them. I knew the program worked! I had been a member myself and put it to work successfully in my boss’s salon. I was excited to HELP!
HOW I BECAME A SALON OWNER…After 11 months working with the brothers and my boss’s unwillingness to sell me her salon, I was determined to do it on my own. The other salon (only 3 major players in our town) was up for sale. So I bought it! And off we went! Unfortunately, the stress of the job change, purchasing the salon and leaving the marketing company, took a toll on me. But that pushed me to the next step and brought me here.
I bought a booth rent salon with 3 existing stylists. Let me ask…Have you ever purchased a business with existing staff/stylists?? As a new owner I had a vision and wanted to be the best in the area. My first few months were crazy! I was busy making organizational changes while trying to be sensitive to the existing staffs routines. However, one after another they quit! At the same time, I hired and fired another stylist….that was a first for me!
I put my marketing knowledge to work immediately!
While at the preveous salon, I met an amazing lady and mentor through the marketing company…Kimberly Acworth, who became a dear friend! Kimberly coaches salons for team base pay structures. I was mesmerized by her business knowledge and hired her as my salon coach. And…were off to the races! She told me, I grew faster than any salon she had worked with. It was great!
BUT…as I mentioned above, all the changes took a toll on me. I was pretty sick and did not know what was wrong. I did not have medical insurance, so I went to the local health fair to get my blood drawn and sign up for a mammogram. I seriously thought I had cancer! After several tests and doctor visits, my doctor said to me… “You need a hysterectomy and also need to start a weight loss program.” I put my head down and said…”Okay, which one?” She said “pick one, there are 1000’s.” Well, I had already tied a ton of different diets unsuccesfully and had no idea where to start.
The very next day a friend of mine walked in my salon that I had not seen in 3 years. She is a nurse and said she had something I might be interested in. It was a wellness/ wieght loss program! I could not believe it and asked….DO YOU WORK AT MY DOCTORS OFFICE?? She said NO…So, I took it as a GOD thing!
It was a Network Marketing product line and when she mentioned that I could “Sell” it, I said, NO WAY!
I sold Amway 15 years ago, made $57 bucks and a lot of FREE soap and I was NOT going to do that again! However, the products had a money back guarantee and free weight loss had to be better than free soap, so I gave it a shot!
I was not going to tell anyone! I was embarrassed that my doctor told me I HAD to start a weight loss program. But what happened by day 3 changed my mind…my clients started noticing. They asked “what are you doing, you are radiant?” I put my head down and said I HAD to start a wieght loss program. By day 8 ALL my medical symptoms went away and I had a lot of them! To make a long story short, 8 people joined me by day 9! By the end of the month I had $450 in Thank you checks sitting around my house. You see, I did not want to do the business, so I did not let my sponsor tell me what it ment to “share” the program. When my clients asked, I just sent them to her.
$450 bucks…I could not believe it!! BUT, I still did not want to do the business. It was not UNTIL MY CLIENTS HEALTH STARTED CHANGING that I woke up and took notice. Off insulin, no more migraines, fibromyalgia and arthritis gone…it was CRAZY…all with in the first 8 to 15 days! After, 6 weeks on the program, I was down 30 pounds, my clients were off medications and losing weight…it was THEN that it came to me…
99% OF THE SALON OWNERS JUST NEEDED AN EXTRA $500 A MONTH TO KEEP THEIR DOORS OPEN!
SUDDENLY, I knew everything that had happened in my life, the good, the bad and the crazy lead me to the realization that I WAS PUT ON THIS EARTH TO HELP SALONS!
From dental office marketing, to fitness center partnership, to salon marketing, to owning my own salon to YOU!
SO THANK YOU, I AM HONORED AND HUMBLED TO BE HERE TODAY!!
You see, not only did my clients change, but so did my salon! 168 NEW CLIENTS came in for the program, then I crossed marketed them into the chairs of my salon. My health and wellenss business grew into 7 different states because my clients had friends and relatives in other states, towns and cities that they shared with. I created a $2500 residual monthly income, made $8000 in thank you checks (commissions), earned 3 all expenses paid trips AND created additional income from cross marketing…ALL IN 90 DAYS!!!
It was incredible! HOW COULD I KEEP THIS TO MYSELF?! I realized that there are at least a few pretty amazing Network marketing companies out there these days! I became the hero not the pushy saleswoman! I have known people who put MLM products in their salon and pushed their clients away. When using my marketing techniques with my health and wellness program, it became just another amazing service I offered and I became the hero!
It’s a pretty amazing feeling when you give back someone’s HEALTH! Because we shared, they can get down on the floor and play with their grandchildren and get back up without fear of calling 911! It’s the most amazing thing ever. I love when I do a pedicure and my clients feel amazing…however, its nothing like giving them their health back! Off medications, depression gone …you name it. LOVE LOVE LOVE it!
Thank you for reading my story! Thank you for looking over my tips and I hope you find value in what I shared. It’s been a long road to get here talking to you today. I have been told to STOP trying to reach salons. To STOP trying to do things different then everyone else and told it will NEVER WORK! JUST STOP, JUST STOP! And to be honest, I did! I would stop trying to reach salons and then the Lord would put it back on my heart! I was told by a dear friend…
“Tammy, God would not continue to put this on your heart if it was not something he wanted you to do.”
I know there are salons out there struggling. I know that I have a gift to share that helps salon professionals help their clients.
I know that IF A SMALL TOWN GIRL CAN DO IT, SO YOU CAN YOU!! Never ever give up on your “GOD DREAM”!
When in the history of the salon industry could we ever grow our salon into 7 different states and help our clients from the inside as well as the outside? This is a gift and I am here to share. It may or may not be for you and that is okay. I hope you find value in the marketing tips and stories I will share. If even just ONE thing from me helps you move forward to a better life, then I have succeeded.
As of July 2016, look for my salon marketing tips in the NAILS magazine. In the fall 2016, my “Healthy Nail tech” story will be featured. It was a pretty awesome feeling when I was approached to share. I LOVED IT! Thank you NAILS Magaizine for making me feel that I truly do have something of VALUE to share with YOU.
Have an amazingly blessed day!
Salon Owner ~ Nail Tech ~ Entrepreneur
PS. THANK YOU to my amazing husband Peter and son’s Tyler and Todd for putting up with me, as I fulfill my GOD DREAM.
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