Modern Salon April 2014 : Page 72

HEALTHY HAIRDRESSER Photography: Kira Jarmer, Ell Photography, Albuquerque, NM The Balance of Life and Work Hairdressers face unique challenges and benefits when juggling a career with a growing family. By Rosanne Ullman “ was the kind of hairdresser who was putting in 65 hours a week,” says Graciela Nowik , owner of Hair Base in Chicago. “Then I had kids, and I scaled back to 30 hours. That’s almost a normal work week, but it felt like I was hardly working!” Young, energetic new stylists put in the time it takes to build their book un-til they can raise their rates, and then they work even longer hours to main-tain their clientele and generate higher tickets. But sooner or later, life begins to happen. “In my 20s, I was the one always staying late or coming in early to ac-I commodate clients’ schedules,” says Jenny Strebe , 32, who has two toddlers and works 25 hours a week in six-or seven-hour shifts at Salon Stylush in Scottsdale, Arizona. “Now, I’m the one who can’t come in because I’m with my children. But over the five or 10 years my clients have been coming to me, we’ve built a trust. They understand. Sometimes you do lose a client in the process, but happiness and your family are more important. And who wants a client who can’t be understanding?” When a client has a true hair emer-gency, Strebe doesn’t disappoint. “I’m a big-time softie,” she admits. Jenny Strebe Graciela Nowik Join the Conversation! Email your health goals, tips and personal stories to rullman@vancepublishing.com, or post them using #healthyhairdresser on Facebook and Instagram. “I’m lucky to have a strong support sys-tem, so if I have to tend to a client I can call a relative to watch my children. I live close to the salon, so that helps.” Hair Base clients are encouraged to use more than one stylist, partly just for this reason. Nowik explains, “We tell clients, ‘You need backup. If your stylist isn’t available for you, you’ll want to feel comfortable letting someone else care for you.’ This approach has worked very well for us.” Some members of Nowik’s team have been together for as long as 25 years. As with clients, that built-up trust ensures team members also understand one an-other’s individual family situations. “Everyone in our salon is going through a different stage,” Nowik says, adding that one of her own children had a life-threatening disease, giving her a highly empathetic vantage point. “We have stylists with little kids and stylists with parents who have end-of-life issues. It all comes down to toler-ance. The owner has to be tolerant of these needs, and the team member can’t abuse that tolerance.” Strebe mentions a stylist who is a single mom and must get her teen-aged son to football practice. “She does a lot of running around in between appointments,” Strebe says. “Hairdressers can do that.” One of Nowik’s stylists has contin-ued to work even though financially she only breaks even after paying for childcare. She does it as an invest-ment in the future—so there will be no gap in rebuilding a clientele when her children start school and she goes back to work. Continued >> 72 April 2014 modernsalon.com

Healthy Hairdresser

Rosanne Ullman

The Balance of Life and Work

Hairdressers face unique challenges and benefits when juggling a career with a growing family.

I was the kind of hairdresser who was putting in 65 hours a week,” says Graciela Nowik, owner of Hair Base in Chicago. “Then I had kids, and I scaled back to 30 hours. That’s almost a normal work week, but it felt like I was hardly working!”

Young, energetic new stylists put in the time it takes to build their book until they can raise their rates, and then they work even longer hours to maintain their clientele and generate higher tickets. But sooner or later, life begins to happen.

“In my 20s, I was the one always staying late or coming in early to accommodate clients’ schedules,” says Jenny Strebe, 32, who has two toddlers and works 25 hours a week in six- or seven-hour shifts at Salon Stylush in Scottsdale, Arizona. “Now, I’m the one who can’t come in because I’m with my children. But over the five or 10 years my clients have been coming to me, we’ve built a trust. They understand. Sometimes you do lose a client in the process, but happiness and your family are more important. And who wants a client who can’t be understanding?”

When a client has a true hair emergency, Strebe doesn’t disappoint.

“I’m a big-time softie,” she admits. “I’m lucky to have a strong support system, so if I have to tend to a client I can call a relative to watch my children. I live close to the salon, so that helps.”

Hair Base clients are encouraged to use more than one stylist, partly just for this reason.

Nowik explains, “We tell clients, ‘You need backup. If your stylist isn’t available for you, you’ll want to feel comfortable letting someone else care for you.’ This approach has worked very well for us.”

Some members of Nowik’s team have been together for as long as 25 years. As with clients, that built-up trust ensures team members also understand one another’s individual family situations.

“Everyone in our salon is going through a different stage,” Nowik says, adding that one of her own children had a life-threatening disease, giving her a highly empathetic vantage point. “We have stylists with little kids and stylists with parents who have end-oflife issues. It all comes down to tolerance. The owner has to be tolerant of these needs, and the team member can’t abuse that tolerance.”

Strebe mentions a stylist who is a single mom and must get her teenaged son to football practice.

“She does a lot of running around in between appointments,” Strebe says. “Hairdressers can do that.”

One of Nowik’s stylists has continued to work even though financially she only breaks even after paying for childcare. She does it as an investment in the future—so there will be no gap in rebuilding a clientele when her children start school and she goes back to work.

Creative Void

Strebe’s work life changed with pregnancy. At the salon, a “belly band” supported her abdomen, and an ergonomic, backless chair aided her physical comfort as she cut hair. She began keeping healthy snacks like fruit and granola in her purse—a habit she’s retained ever since.

“When I was working 60 hours a week, I had time to block out a lunch,” Strebe says. “Now I make every minute at the salon count. I cut one client’s hair while another client’s color is processing. When you’re a mom, you know how to multitask— but I’m strict about coming home in time to eat dinner as a family. ”

A self-described free spirit, Strebe says she’s had to become super organized to keep both sides of her life in order. Most mornings, after dropping off her 3-year-old at preschool, she takes her son to her gym, where he goes to a childcare room while she completes 30 minutes of cardio and 10 minutes of strength training.

“I do all of my own booking on my iPad, so while I’m doing cardio, I’m also texting clients,” she says. “About 80 percent of my clients prebook, which is key. But those standing appointments make it necessary for me to inquire about my children’s schedules—like a ballet recital—months ahead.”

All that planning has helped her cope, but it doesn’t address the creative needs of someone like Strebe, who spent six years as artistic director for Toni & Guy’s Scottsdale locations and has done editorial work as well. To fill that void, during her first child’s infancy Strebe launched her blog, The Confessions of a Hairstylist. Her YouTube video-blog of how-tos has 10,000 subscribers. This side job, which generates a bit of extra income, takes about an hour a day. Strebe says it’s worth it.

“I’ve always looked for challenges,” she says. “I like to share the photoshoots I do, and I miss being an educator. Through my blog, I educate the everyday woman.”

Join the Conversation!

Email your health goals, tips and personal stories to rullman@vancepublishing.com, or post them using #healthyhairdresser on Facebook and Instagram.

MODERN SALON’s Healthy Hairdresser supports City of Hope (cityofhope.org), a salon industry partner and innovator transforming the future of health.

Caring for the Elderly

If it takes a village to raise children, it will also take a village to care for the grandparents. The percentage of elderly people will be increasing throughout the lifetime of Baby Boomers, now in their 50s and 60s.

“We know the volume is going to be higher than what the supply is,” says Arti Hurria, M.D., director of the Cancer and Aging Research Program at City of Hope and recipient of the B.J. Kennedy Award for her contributions to the research, diagnosis and treatment of cancer in the elderly. “Hence, there is going to be the need for partnerships.” Hurria says that, along with professionals in related fields like social work and pharmacy, those partnerships will rely heavily on family caregivers.

If you’re one of the estimated 65 million people in the U.S. caring for an elderly, chronically ill or disabled loved one, and you’re among the 75 percent who are employed at the same time, you’re probably feeling some stress. Balance that by limiting the stress you experience at the salon:

• Craft a schedule. A salon career has the advantage of being endlessly flexible. Figure out how many hours you can work, and book those hours into a realistic schedule. Depending on your arrangements with other caregivers, you might choose to work fewer full days or more half-days.

• Let your team know your situation. Whether you’re the salon owner or a stylist, you’ll need support from the people around you to cover for you in a crisis and accommodate you if your schedule changes.

• Develop systems. Meal-planning and grocery shopping once for the entire week, for example, will save you time and headaches.

• Remember YOU. When someone is counting on you, your health is more important than ever. Make time to see friends, exercise and get a relaxing facial or massage. Don’t forget that laughing has been shown to be good for you!

Read the full article at http://mydigimag.rrd.com/article/Healthy+Hairdresser/1672196/203039/article.html.

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