CS: Cetana is an eco-friendly, contemporary salon/spa. The clientele is very diverse – it ranges from avant garde art school students who go for wild colors and asymmetric styling to more conservative working professionals.
[Salon side-bar. Remember, this is San Francisco. Calling this fair city diverse is like saying Lady Gaga is a little out there. So, some of the topics discussed in this interview may not apply to other places in the land of the free and the home of the brave. But, with past as prologue, what happens on the left coast today hits Anytown, USA tomorrow. Or maybe next week, anyway….]
MP: What are your most popular services?
CS: Over 90% of our business is cutting, styling and coloring hair. Waxing and facials are also available, and we're seeing an increase in men requesting those services as well. It’s interesting to note that almost every haircut – man or woman, short or long – takes about the same amount of time to complete. However, the range of what our clients want is very wide. Also, we’ve seen an absolute megatrend toward individualism and freedom of choice over the last 5-10 years. In the old days, clients were likely to come in requesting a hair style worn by a popular actor or other celebrity. There was a dominant, identifiable trend at any given time. But now, it’s all over the map – which makes it more fun for us, by the way. Variety is the spice of life, and who wants to do 5 of the same cuts in a row?
Men especially are more likely to experiment with their hair today than at any time in the past. Our male clients may come in for a clean, close cut – or they may be sporting long hair. Some go for what we call the “polished lumberjack” look. Also, more men come in for coloring services than people might think. In some cases that means blending to minimize the impact of greying; in others, it’s based on a desire to stand out from the crowd. Some of our male clients request a flash of color in preparation for Burning Man. It’s all about self-expression, and the range of what’s deemed acceptable – even for, say, a financial services professional – is wider than ever.
MP: How do you get your business – i.e., word of mouth vs. advertising or promotions?
CS: Word of mouth accounts for most of our business. Yelp and Facebook bring some first-time clients into the salon, and local hotels occasionally refer their guests to us. Cetana does no marketing itself – although we do benefit from being an Aveda-affiliated salon.
MP: What percentage of your business is from repeat or regular clients?
CS: Over 75% of our business is with returning clients.
Thanks for reading, ManPossible Nation – and tune in soon for the next part in this series!