Salon Sessions is proof that you don’t need to be in the heart of LA or NYC to have a booming salon business. Just ask Tanya Abriol and Neeko Abriol, who co-own Salon Sessions in Pasadena. The destination salon, who carries top notch brands like Bumble and bumble, opened up 18 years ago with Neeko and his then business partner, and still has it’s doors wide open offering every hair service you can imagine.
So what does it take to have a strong and steady salon business for nearly two decades? Besides the fact that Tanya and Neeko both have wildly successful freelance careers and collectively count celebrities Kate Hudson, Gywneth Paltrow, Jennifer Hudson and Nathalie Emmanuel as clients–diversity, education, commitment to change, and outreach are the building blocks to their salon’s success. And yes, that means they’re totally up-to-par with today’s social media driven world, and even have a photo studio in their salon for stylists and clients to get the perfect post-salon shot.
When it comes to continued education, Tanya tells us, “We pride ourselves so much on the fact that the education we offer in salon has crossed everyone over from stereotypes. We’ve broken the mold of, ‘ I only do this kind of hair.’ And we engage with our stylists from a personal growth with an ‘our door is always open approach.'”
And then there’s their extensive giveback program, which really puts Salon Sessions in their own league, “The outreach we do– helping breast cancer survivors, building homes in Africa, and makeovers in preparation for women who were homeless in the past to join the work force. We have stylists going to Jamaica to teach students how to do hair and we work closely with a prison project FTC. Yea….that’s what sets us apart,” Tanya says.
Just a 30 minute drive from just about everywhere, Pasadena is renown for it’s charm, and Salon Sessions is no exception. With just one foot in the door, you’ll instantly take notice to the warm, welcoming vibes. High ceilings, exposed brick walls, elements of wood and beams of natural light beam throughout the 4,500 square foot salon. Below, Tanya gets real with us and tells us the biggest challenge of opening a salon, staying relevant, and the future.
Describe Salon Sessions in a few words.
Where we come together in Harmony As Artists to Create
What has been the biggest challenge as a salon owner?
The biggest challenge in owning a salon is helping everyone understand that behind the chair is their business. How successful they are solely determines how much you they willing to make that happen.
What’s the biggest piece of advice for those looking to open their own salon?
It’s a business not a playground. If you don’t understand how to properly set up and run a business? Take careful time to learn.
How do you manage a salon and take clients?
Delegating! And dedicating one solid day a week solely for business/admin is how we stay sane.
Favorite Bumble products you like to use?
Styling Cream, Invisible leave-in conditioner, and their hairspray.
What is your personal signature style that you’re best known for?
For sure my voluminous sleek blow drys.
How important is celebrity clientele to you?
For me at this point in my career my clientele is really important. It’s what people are interested in LA, and it’s the side of our business that a lot of young hairdressers are wanting to be in, so a lot of mentoring comes from having that card.
How has social media changed your business?
It’s definitely made me feel my age 🙂 I’m learning how people are communicating and how they are receiving their information. We’ve had to reposition ourselves but its been a lot of fun figuring out. Still learning!!
Where do you see your salon and business in five years?
In five years it’s going to be really education driven, we are looking into expanding to the west side, building business models to showcase hairstylists, more motivational speaking, and a bigger outreach in our community.