It's Our 11th Anniversary!! I Mean It's That Time I Got Fired and Opened My Own Salon Month
"The reward for doing great work is more work."-Basically any boss I ever had
"My life is like a movie and I do my own stunts."-Lil' Wayne
"Dude, get over here! Richard threw your $h!X all over the parking lot. Come get it before someone runs over it!" and that's how my Thursday morning/deep depression started. It was funny until it was not. I thought about going into work and running over all of my own shi%* just to prove a point. I might as well cut off my nose to spite my angry, unemployed face. However, I had probably $800 of products, heat tools, and shears strewn across the parking lot like blood spatter from a crime scene.
I picked up my expletives from the expletive parking lot. I was fired. At the tender age of 34, I was let go. Three kids, a mortgage and a husband who probably wasn't going to be excited when I greeted him at the door with a handful of job applications, tears and a prescription for more anti-depressants.
You are probably wondering "why were you fired?" if you'd made it this far in the post. Plain and simple......insubordination. I mean, it would have been cool-being let go because I was embezzling funds, sexually harassing my male co-workers, or doing secret insider trading. Sorry to let all of us down-I wasn't doing anything illegal or immoral.
I was just being insubordinate.....As in I had had enough of being micro-managed and told what to do, even though I did my job and the tasks and responsibilities of 2 others. So, I politely informed my boss that he didn't know what the fresh foraging hell(probably not those exact words-I bet they were more stunning, expletive and informative) he was doing with the business and that I wanted to be doing hair, not spreadsheets, payroll, marketing and bathroom cleaning. Side note-that salon went out of business just a little over a year after I was thrown out. Coincidence? Maybe. Actually, no. Not a coincidence.
I was canned. Now what? I had 4 clients, no nest egg and zero plans. So, instead of going down a really fun 1/3 life crisis and depression, I got on Craigslist. This was in 2011, and facebook, instagram and all the other social media tools were starting to just be a blip on the radar of the future downfall of humanity. I searched for a small office/shop/something for the love of god help me figure out what to do and let's save my soul area to do hair in.
About a week later after my tears dried and I drank all the boxed wine in the house, I found- 1631 Eubank Suite F. In the area of town I wanted, in the price range I was looking for and it had been a salon a few years prior so all the plumbing and electrical was set up exactly as I needed it. The floors needed to be redone, it needed some really cool paint and furniture and I was able to create a really relaxing, comforting vibe that feels more like an opium den than a loud, product pushing, music blaring high energy salon.
Fast forward 11 years. I haven't fired me yet! I'm still open! 8 out of 10 salons close after the first 18 months and 92% of salons are closed before they hit the 10 year mark. I did it. WE did it(that also means YOU-if you're my client, or future client). My dad got very sick 14 months after I opened and I helped take care of him for 6 months before he died. He used to come and get a haircut every 3 months, and it saddens me around every season change, because I should be cutting his hair. September was one of his 4 yearly haircuts. This is a bittersweet time of year for me. He would have been so proud of me.
I'm surprised and happy at the same time. I made the salon work because I literally had zero viable choices that worked for my family at the time. I've had the honor of meeting thousands of people over the years and helping them during good and bad times in their lives. I've also had the crippling responsibility of taxes and expenses and the terror of not knowing if I was going to make the rent for the salon and all of my bills at home. My income was the only income after I got a divorce in 2012 after I found out my husband had been abusing my daughter and we went through 3 criminal trials in 5 years with him. I was taking care of my 3 children alone. It was terrifying. A lot of my clients supported me through my beautiful and challenging times and for that I'm forever grateful.
This is not a rags to riches story. This is the story of how someone who had the idea of working for herself one day was able to do so after being fired.