This year's business-building, networking and learning conference took place at the Ritz Carlton, Grande Lakes Orlando. The theme revolved around Building The Ultimate Experience" for our clients, the third pillar to building a successful multi-unit salon and spa company, (the first two foundational steps —Humanology and The Multi-Generational Workplace—were established over the past two conferences). The content dove deeply into the “how” behind creating the experiences that will link salon and spa guests, team members and the community—both locally and the broader salon industry community—with strong and long-lasting bonds.
The keynotes were informative, the panels thought-provoking, and the breakouts were eye opening. The parts I initially thought would be droll, the networking sessions and social events, were nothing short of amazing. The people with whom I met, chatted and traded ideas were inspiring. I had a blast and gained a multitude of perspectives. For the first time in quite a while, I was able to lean into my role as Creative Director and in doing so, a world of possibilities began to open. Salon and spa owners, chain salons, product manufacturers, vendors... the conversations were incredible. Hearing their stories offered me new perspectives and insights, to learn what I did not yet know I was missing. I formed new friendships and connected to opportunities not as yet imagined.
Those who know me know I'm not much for a happy hour. This group certainly knew how to make the most of a creative cocktail party. During the first night's scavenger hunt, I meandered with my crew through several properties before finding my way back to the main meet up, and along the way I enjoyed the company of amazingly accomplished individuals. Hearing others tell their stories of struggle and success has helped me to find perspective on what I am attempting to acheive. Multi-unit (and multi-generational) salon owners schooled me in the finer points of trusting and letting go, of embracing all aspects of these last two years getting my newest ventures up and running. On the very first day I found myself paddling down a lazy river past alligators and snakes in peels of laughter with my canoe mate. The uncanny ability I possess for running aground and hitting other enthusiasts must have been unsettling, and though I was looking to land a more dignified impression, I soon caught on to the realness of these folks. Sure, every group has their qualifiers, the people who list their accomplishments and their sales numbers. But the people who impressed me the most, who had the most to teach, who were the most generous with their time and talent didn't give a flip about that stuff. They gave me something greater to shoot for as an entrepreneur. As my role as Creative Director for Joe Grooming continues to take shape, I am keenly aware that all of life is a series of relationships. The ability to meet one another where we are at any given moment. The opportunities that arrive when we least expect them. And at he heart of the matter there is only so much we can do. Suit up, show up, and simply be yourself.