We caught up with the brilliant and insightful Krista Guerra a few weeks ago and have shared our conversation below.
Hi Krista , thanks for joining us today. So let’s jump to your mission – what’s the backstory behind how you developed the mission the drives your brand?
I have spent a majority of my life in the beauty industry since I was a teenager. Over the years I have been exposed to the many different salon industry types. This includes the strip mall salons, booth rental salons, home-based salons, mobile salons and spas. The majority of my nail technician career had been spent in a high end spa. Working in a spa had taught me the importance of quality versus quantity. It taught me that the overall satisfaction of a happy client was more important than getting as many in one day as I could. I had always heard the complaints from these customers expressing to me how they felt like cattle in the standard salon. Feeling rushed and unheard so that they could take in another client to gain more profit. In my eyes I don’t believe that is quality. Being exposed to this many customers and hearing from them what they truly want in a salon, has pushed me to further my career into opening my own “ not your typical” nail spa. Our salon has high standards when it comes to our policies. We placed these policies so that each client receives the quality time that they are requesting and paying for. We do not squeeze in services and make clients wait in the lobby after their scheduled appointment. We are always engaging with the client to make sure that they are satisfied throughout the entire service, not just after. We provide all disposable items and high-quality body products from a reputable company called Farmhouse Fresh. This includes the option for them to purchase the products that we use on them to further their experience at home. We thrive for a more relaxed environment with our untraditional custom pedicure chairs. These are just a few of the many standards we hold to provide a more peaceful relaxed environment for each client that walks in our door. Creating this type of environment has brought back many clients throughout the years. Many of them turning into more of like family to us. I would take this scenario with having these wonderful amazing new friends over more profit any day. As long as my client is leaving happily, I have succeeded. I love my job and working by my new team. I wake up so excited to go to work. It never truly feels like work when you are always having fun.
Krista , before we move on to more of these sorts of questions, can you take some time to bring our readers up to speed on you and what you do?
I began doing nails at the age of 16. I originally had the plan to utilize doing nails as a beginning career as I furthered my education with the medical field. I did not have a very supportive family financially or mentally. This is why I felt I needed a more profitable side job to pay for school and my living expenses. I ended up gaining a huge break by getting hired at the Gaylord store at only the age of 17. I fell in love with the atmosphere and the people and ended up staying with this company for nine years. All while slowly attending classes part time. Because of Covid, I and many others unfortunately got furloughed. At the time I had already been slowly setting my own path for my own salon. And just over the last year it has blossomed into a full team staffed salon. I have created a more relaxed and engaging type of nail spa for people to come and unwind rather than get rushed in and out for their services. We are an appointment only salon creating the ability to be sure that every client has their dedicated time for their services. I love providing a unique and untraditional “not your typical” nail spa for everyone!
Do you have any insights you can share related to maintaining high team morale?
My team is probably my favorite thing of my salon. I treat them like my family making sure that they are always happy and comfortable. I am literally always checking if they have eaten today or drank water lol. I give them tips and suggestions every single day and they always take it with the best outcome. Of course there are times where I need to respectfully correct employees with a situation such as them forgetting how to perform a particular service. I never have these conversations in front of another employee which is very important. I also make sure to always encourage them and remind them how great they are doing every day. As well as me always telling them how much I appreciate them. I believe firmly that if your employees are happy then your customers will be as well. In the rare cases when we have a difficult or unhappy customer come in, I never allow my employees to feel uncomfortable with handling the situation. I am usually the one to step in and go over our policies with these customers and suggest ways we can compromise together as a business. I don’t think it’s fair for my employees to be put on the spot with an angry customer. I believe that this has made my employees feel cared for and safe working in our salon. They have expressed to me that they have never been more happier at a job in their lives and that it never feels like work. We all agree that we enjoy being there together and that we make a wonderful team. At the end of the day I feel good that I am providing a successful and comfortable environment for these working moms.
Can you talk to us about how your funded your business?
With the urge to further my career in opening up a full size nail spa, I had to make a very hard decision with the savings that I had accumulated. I had originally accumulated the savings to invest in fertility treatment such as IVF with my husband because we had been trying for three years to conceive and start a family. I kept thinking to myself but if I just wait a little bit longer and put the savings into an overall investment, I could possibly create a more comfortable life for my future children and me. My husband finally encouraged me to just go all in and chase my dreams. He assured me that he had my back through the entire process and would be there if this was unsuccessful. But lo and behold it has been an amazing ride! We have been open for four months now and as of this week my husband and I have now began IVF! So if I could give anyone advice, I know it is so scary to jump in especially with a huge investment but DO IT!
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