'The makeover has offered me the tools necessary to make changes happen!'

-- Estelle Bouras

Salon Today’s Total Salon Makeover contest, now in its second year, is making an impact on the industry. The inaugural winner, Bamboo Salon in Staten Island, NY, made the most of its prizes and is reporting booming business as a result of the changes.

And now the second makeover is underway, as well!

Estelle Bouras, owner of Jon Kailey Salon in Wilmette, IL, learned she had won the second annual contest last fall. The prize package, valued at over $30,000, includes a computer system from STX, new furnishings and design consultation from Takara Belmont, and a business assessment and management plan from Strategies, with Keratin Complex supplying marketing and education training, as well as our full portfolios of keratin-enhanced hair color and styling products.

Announcing the salon makeover winner

Because the headquarters of Salon Today happen to be nearby, the editors were even able to pull a Candid Camera-type surprise while letting Estelle know that she was chosen as the winner. They sent Alison Alhamed of Modern Salon Media to the salon for a supposed video report on the contest finalists.

“As Bouras graciously led Alhamed on the tour, Alhamed handed her a framed certificate and announced that Jon Kailey was the competition’s 2015 winner,” says the Salon Today blog.

Needless to say, Estelle was beyond ecstatic. “I never imagined that my salon would win. … I have never won anything!” she says.

Estelle Bouras with Neil Ducoff, owner of Strategies Salon and Spa Business Training in Connecticut.

First phase of makeover: Management training

Shortly afterward, Estelle was on a plane to Connecticut to attend a four-day management seminar from Strategies through its Incubator program.

“Sitting through four days of workshops with other owners (all of whom were already computerized and much more advanced than us in their systems and operations) was such a huge wake-up call,” says Estelle, who has owned Jon Kailey for almost eight years. “I realized that I was running a salon for many years somewhat blindly!”

She returned from that trip charged up and ready to go. As she reported to Salon Today: I am excited to share Incubator material with my staff. My first meeting … will cover pre-booking, increasing retail sales and client retention. My staff was actually EXCITED when I called for this meeting. I think they sense the excitement that I came back with. Sometimes as owners we need something like Incubator to get us recharged!”

The new reception desk will provide a place to greet guests as well as house the new computer.

Second phase: New salon computer system

The technology package from STX—which included Apple products (iMac, iPad) and software, a scanner, cash drawer and training for the system—was installed next.

“I am happy to say the we have finished inputting all of our inventory, stylist info, company info, etc. and hope to be running STX live in the next week or so!” Estelle reported recently. “All the things I had no handle on before—running reports on salon and stylist activity, tracking clients’ visit history and formulas, new client retention rates, tracking inventory, doing purchase orders, etc.—will now be under control!”

The color area was spiffed up with new paint and furnishings.

Third phase: Salon transformation

Jon Kailey underwent its physical makeover the first week of January. In addition to getting a bright new paint job, several areas of the salon were overhauled. “Takara Belmont supplied us with a beautiful new front desk to accommodate our new computer hardware, a matching coffee bar and five all-new stations for our color area,” Estelle says, adding that she and her team are thrilled with the results.

Fourth phase: Keratin Complex products!

Since Jon Kailey is a Keratin Complex Signature Salon, the team is already using—and loving—our smoothing treatments and Color TherapyTM professional hair color, especially KeraHold®. The salon will be gifted with all remaining in-salon and keratin-enhanced retail products, as well as training sessions to help stylists maximize all of these products and services; the first of these will be held early this month.

“As the exclusive sponsor of product and education prizes for the Total Salon Makeover Contest, we look forward to providing Jon Kailey Salon with our entire product portfolio and education support,” says Lisa Loria, director of communications for Keratin Complex.

“I hope that, like Bamboo Salon, I can say in the future that Keratin Complex is our biggest seller!” Estelle says.

Summing it all up, she says that winning the contest “gave me the opportunity to really evaluate where my business is now and where I want it to be. The makeover has offered me the tools necessary to make changes happen!”

In coming months, we’ll check back in with Estelle as Jon Kailey Salon finishes up its exciting transformation—with the help of Keratin Complex!