Why Tracey Cunningham Opened Another LA Salon and What It Takes to Work There
You can’t deny the power of Tracey Cunningham. With A-list clients like Gwyneth Paltrow, Lana Del Rey and Chrissy Teigen, a booming salon business, and sought after brand deals with REDKEN and Olaplex–Tracey knows a thing or two about the hustle. But somehow between her jet set client schedule, Tracey found the time to open yet another salon in Los Angeles, this time that boasts her name–Tracey Cunningham Salon. Tucked away in the new Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills’ mezzanine floor, Tracey’s new VIP salon has five chairs and offers cutting, styling, extensions and of course, Tracey’s sought after color.
Below, our interview with Tracey on what motivated her to open an eponymously named salon in LA, what she’s learned being a salon partner, and how to snag a chair at one of her places!
Why did you want to open a second salon space in LA?
It was perfect timing for my business partner, Neil Weisberg, and me to add on to our Meche Salon family, and when the Waldorf Astoria called, we jumped at the chance.
Why did you choose to put the Tracey Cunningham salon at a hotel (Waldorf Astoria) instead of doing another free-standing salon like Meche?
The salon space inside the Waldorf Astoria offered a sense of intimacy you cannot achieve at a larger salon like Meche. It was also an opportunity to expand our reach and offering to clients without taking on another salon of Meche’s caliber.
Why did you decide to put your name on this salon?
In the past five years since we have opened Meche and with the growth of social media, the launch of my website and global educational classes, and of course all my amazing clients, the new salon was an opportunity to expand upon my personal brand I have worked so hard to achieve.
How will you be splitting your salon time in LA between Meche and the Tracey Cunningham salon?
Watch me on Instagram – I may have to be cloned! I like to think of Meche as the larger manor home and the Tracey Cunningham salon as my pied-à-terre, so while a good portion of my time will still be spent at Meche, it’s only a seven minute drive from salon to salon. The Tracey Cunningham salon is also the perfect space to host VIP clients or special events and projects, where the hustle and bustle of Meche is too much.
What is the biggest thing you’ve learned in being a salon owner?
Well I am salon partner, which I love. I couldn’t do all of this without having a steady business partner like Neil. I’ve learned to rely on that relationship and I have the best assistants in the salon who help keep me organized and on track – we’re a big family!
What did you learn from your first go around with Meche that you were able to implement this round?
It takes a team! Opening a new salon isn’t something that happens overnight, so make sure you have a business partner or strong team to help divide and conquer everything that needs to get done. And expect delays. You can set a timeframe but don’t stress when dates and deadlines seem like moving targets. It will all be worth it in the end.
How many people work at the Tracey Cunningham salon? What is the interview / selection process like for colorists and stylists to get a chair at your salon?
There are three full-time colorists/stylists at the Tracey Cunningham salon, who all started out at Meche so they are accustomed to our way of working. You don’t have to be from LA or “know someone who knows someone” to get a foot in the door – I look for talent behind the chair and a personality that blends well with the rest of the team. My assistants have come from all over the country to work for me!