Feb 07, 2012 Jason Emerson Uncategorized
Bijou Salon, the five-year-old business on Jordan Street in the village of Skaneateles, has been named one of the top 200 salons in the United States by Salon Today magazine, the most prestigious publication for salon and spa owners in the country.
Out of thousands of entrants and 11 different award categories, Bijou Salon was recognized for excellence in business growth, philanthropy and technology.
The recognition comes with a profile of Bijou Salon in the Salon Today 200 issue and future mentions about the salon in upcoming articles in the magazine. Bijou owner Kimberly Baker also recently traveled to New Orleans for the award ceremony.
“This was so exciting, it was almost surreal because it was something I have followed for so long in the magazine,” said Baker, who has been in the salon industry for nearly 20 years. “I see how proud the girls are [who work here], it makes everyone feel good and the customers also are super happy. We’ve always had good morale, but this kind of solidifies our standing in the industry.”
The annual Salon Today 200 honors recognize selected salons around the country for their best management and business practices that contribute to overall success. The 11 judging categories included compensation and benefits, retention and referral programs, customer service, recruitment and training, advanced education, marketing, environmental sustainability, philanthropy, retail and merchandizing, technology and sales growth.
Applicants were required to answer questions and write essays explaining their successes in each category.
“Our editors recognize that strong business leadership requires the mastery of a number of different best business practices,” said Stacey Soble, editor-in-chief of Salon Today. “The salons named to the Salon Today 200 for 2012 not only proved they excel in one or more of these areas, they also have created rewarding environments for their staff members and standout experiences for their clients. Their willingness to share their success offers our readers important business benchmarks and fresh, sales-building ideas.”
Bijou Salon opened in 2007, and has been making steady strides forward as a business since then. In 2009, Baker doubled the size of the 650-square-foot salon and the size of her staff. In 2010, Bijou was named a “salon of distinction” by Salon Today magazine.
For the 2012 Salon Today 200 awards, Bijou was one of only 100 salons recognized for business growth, one of only 27 recognized for philanthropy and one of 28 recognized for use of technology.
During the difficult economic times the past few years, Bijou actually grew by 24 percent during 2009-10, which was the year measured for the award, Baker said. For 2011, the salon had an 8 percent growth.
Philanthropically, Bijou has been giving back to the community since it first opened with benefits, fundraisers and community events. For example, the stylists volunteer to do hair and makeup for every middle school and high school play. Last summer the salon hosted a cut-a-thon to benefit the PARCS project to upgrade the Austin Park playground, and just last week Bijou raised more than $1,000 for the Winterfest Polar Bear Plunge, which goes to various community organizations.
“We always try to do at least one community thing a month,” Baker said.
As for use of technology, “Most of the girls here are very tech savvy; I try to be,” Baker said with a laugh. “We just try to keep up with those things.”
Bijou in fact has a constantly updated website, online appointment booking and Baker’s own blog. In the salon they have iPads that can be used to show uncertain clients how certain hairstyles look, and also can play movies for kids. Baker also offers online training courses to her stylists, and the salon often makes YouTube videos of its work.
Baker’s four-day trip to New Orleans included not only the Salon Today award ceremony, but also attendance at the Serious Business Conference, a styling at the award-winning salon Paris Parker, and the chance to meet Salon Today editor-in-chief Stacey Soble, whom Baker has long admired.
“Honestly the main fuel in why I wanted and needed to go to [New Orleans], was to meet her,” Baker wrote in her Bijou blog. “The conference, Serious Business, was a great way to learn better business practices so that we can keep growing our little business! We joined PBA [Professional Beauticians Association], something I have been wanting to do for quite some time. We are looking into new systems to try in the field of marketing and computer programs. Anything to make things better for clients and more options is what we are looking for!”
To read about Bijou Salon in the Salon Today 200 issue, visit salontoday.com and click on the Salon Today 200 tab.
For more information on Bijou Salon, visit Bijousalon.net.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Skaneateles Press. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.