March 25, 2011

minding my own business

Posted in getting nail'd at 3:19 am by ben

The thought of opening my own salon scared the everlovin’ shit out of me.  I have such a fear of failure and having had my character assassinated atop that fear made me just want to shut down and disappear.  We did talk of leaving town, I couldn’t stand to run into her (unless it was with the front bumper of my car!) and I didn’t want to have to deal with the looks, the questions, the accusations, any of it.  I was afraid to be her competition, I was afraid I’d fall apart and lose everything and I was afraid that I wouldn’t have enough clientele to make it worth it.  I considered quitting completely and going to work at McDonalds.  I am however incredibly grateful for my husband, my family and my clients who all encouraged and coaxed me to carry on.

My husband has always been a stand-up guy but in my time of strife he truly saved me.  I was ready to walk out of my entire life and he brought me back.  He talked to some guys he works with who have rental properties and he found me the perfect location (it’s twice the size of the place I shared with she-who-will-not-be-named and the same price) above a gym and a dance studio.  The space needed work though, it was filthy and the carpet was orangey-yellow, snagged and stained, the walls and ceiling tiles were yellowed and it smelled a little like dusty cat pee.  We cleaned like demons for two days, tore up the old carpet and painted all of the ceiling tiles (twice).

One of my clients and her husband have a flooring shop in town so she offered to trade her husband’s services for mine so he installed new flooring and supplied the paint and I worked the balance off in her hair removal.  Another client is a professional painter so in another exchange she helped me pick a color (blue of course!) and she spent a day helping me paint.  They saved me over $600 that I would otherwise have had to pay up front.

There were a lot of costs I couldn’t defer to trade.  I took everything from the old place that I had bought but there were many other things I needed.  I had to buy some chairs, a mirror, some miscellaneous supplies and my husband bought me a used bar fridge from one of the hotels (there is wine and water in it).  I wanted to find a pedicure chair and I scoured the internet and my suppliers for one I could even remotely afford.  New they cost $3000-$6000 so I was thrilled to find a used one in amazing shape for only $600.  It needed some serious cleaning and disinfecting and I ran enough bleach through that thing to kill a small nation.  We didn’t have the money to spend on the chair and really the hair removal is my moneymaker but it is a service that I am trained for, good at and enjoy and it brings in a few hundred dollars a month just with regulars so my parents offered me the cash and I will work that off doing my mother’s feet, nails and hair removal.  Basically she just prepaid for about a year’s worth of services.

His highness built a wall of shelving down the middle of the room so that I could have a private area for when I am dealing with people’s private areas.  He also built a vanity and hired a plumber to plumb in that and the pedicure chair.  Too bad the plumber wasn’t into trading, it would’ve saved me a small fortune!  Not that I particularly wanted to get near that crack.

I LOVE my space.  It’s big and bright, professional looking and comfortable and in my humble and unbiased opinion it is much nicer than any of the other salons in town.  The new flooring and paint banished the old stench and now it smells clean and fresh.  I am happy to go to work every day, no more ativan, no more work stress, it’s amazing.  I called all of my clients and let them know I had moved and all but two of them followed me (they are loyal to her and I’m quite ok with losing them) plus I pick up new ones all of the time.  I offer people a deal on their services if they send someone to me and it beats the hell out of advertising… plus it’s cheaper!

Last week I was approached by a client who does massage and she wanted to know if I’d be willing to share my space with her.  I told her the only way I would do that is if she wanted to work Fridays. Saturdays and Sundays because those are the days I don’t want to work.  I don’t mind working weekends in winter but come camping season I’m at the lake those three days a week.  There is no point having my own business if I can’t choose which days I take off.  This girl is taking some courses during the week so the she ONLY wants to work weekends.  Eventually she hopes to find a place of her own but for now this is the perfect situation for both of us, she gets a place to work and I get paid for taking off the days I don’t want to work anyway.

A new client today told me that I have an amazing reputation around town.  She was thrilled with her service and said she planned to tell everyone she knows about me, what I do and that I’m awesome.  And the best part is that I can be awesome without having to ask if you want fries with that!