We caught up with the brilliant and insightful Amanda Weeklund a few weeks ago and have shared our conversation below.
Amanda, thanks for taking the time to share your stories with us today. One of the most important things we can do as business owners is ensure that our customers feel appreciated. What’s something you’ve done or seen a business owner do to help a customer feel valued?
As an event hair and make-up stylist I am meeting new people almost daily. First impressions are a lot for these customers. I want to put them at ease when they are in my presence. I am in their personal space the whole appointment. This makes them feel comfortable being personal with me. I am a support system for each of my clients. I am there for them through all of life’s moments. Whether that is babies, weddings, divorces, illnesses, and so on. I am there to not judge them, but support them. In turn they feel love, respect, and loyalty from me as well. My clients loyalty to me is the greatest compliment. I had a bride come in for her hair and makeup trial, she was stuck in her routine that she has had for many years. She brought her girlfriends with to the appointment. The bride was explaining to me how her dream wedding look looked like…purple eyeshadow, blue mascara, frosty pale pink lips. I asked her, “How would you feel if I did your hair and makeup the way I envision you to look your best? If you agree your service will be on me today,” She agreed, I softened her makeup and hair to make her look her best. She immediately started crying. At this point I wasn’t sure what that meant. She left and said she needed time to adjust to her new look. A week later I received flowers and a bottle of wine at my salon. The note attached read.. “Thank you from the bottom of my heart! I never knew I could look like this. I just thought it was easy to stick to my routine of the heavy back combing and eye makeup. You made me realize that isn’t easy. It took way more time than I thought. Thanks again for making me look and feel my best! My finance LOVES it!! Cant wait to see you on the big day!”
Amanda, love having you share your insights with us. Before we ask you more questions, maybe you can take a moment to introduce yourself to our readers who might have missed our earlier conversations?
Growing up I was always a lover of all things artsy and being creative. I originally wanted to go to art school, but felt that there wasn’t enough demand for the art world at that time. I loved interior design and any and all things relating to the color wheel. This was before HGTV and the interior design craze. I decided that I wanted to go to beauty school once I graduated from high school. I decided to work 3 jobs for 3 years to pay for it all on my own. My first day I walked into Aveda Institute Minneapolis and knew that this was where I needed to be! It was so much fun and I loved the atmosphere. After beauty school I went to advanced training for TV, film, and bridal makeup. I got my first job behind the chair and started my wedding business. Back then everyone went to a salon to get ready for the big day. I decided I needed to be different, I knew that I needed to travel to them. This way it was much more personal to the bride. I would also offer makeup applications as an added service. I wanted to make sure they looked and felt their best on such a big day in their lives. 20 years later I am doing over 40 weddings a year! That equals out to approximately 320 event styles and makeup per year. I have been voted Best of Weddings 3 years and am nominated again. This award is solely based on reviews from my brides. I am humbled by these awards and the amazingly nice words my clients say about me.
Can you tell us about a time you’ve had to pivot?
I have always loved to be busy! I would work in the salon 5 days a week working 7-8 hour days. As a stylist that is a lot, mainly it’s hard on our bodies. Sore feet, back, shoulders, and so on! Once I had kids I cut back to 4 days behind the chair and doing weddings on the weekends. I recently changed my schedule to two 7 hour days behind the chair and weddings on the weekends. This has brought more balance to my life. Trying to juggle, mom life, housekeeper life, wife life, stylist life, etc. This was a hard decision for me. I thought I was going to lose some of my clients. Nope! It all is working out great!
Any stories or insights that might help us understand how you’ve built such a strong reputation?
Over time my wedding business has just increased every year by 10+ weddings. This has been manageable so far to do solely on my own. I am also picky about who my assistants are. I want them to have the same end result as me, They also need to look professional and put together. Yes we are there to make sure everyone is ready on time, but we need to make sure everyone is happy with their look. As a stylist we can tell when someone isn’t happy. We take the extra time to adjust the lashes, shadow, lipstick shade, or that one hair that is out of place. I also stay to help zip everyone into their dresses so they have their desired final look.
Also I want to share that I won Best of Weddings on The Knot.
- Website: https://www.theknot.com/marketplace/amanda-weeklund-at-salon-concepts-chanhassen-mn-1031350
- Instagram: @atweeklund
- Facebook: Amanda Rutledge Weeklund