Stylists wishing to take their business to the next level can now get direction and guidance from the new book, “Six Figure Success as a Stylist” by entrepreneur and salon owner Yolanda Keels-Walker.
Keels-Walker was formerly a co-owner of the Weave Bar on 52nd Street in West Philadelphia, but she moved on to launch her own business after her marriage ended. Despite the obstacles and challenges of taking care of two children and running a business, Keels-Walker found success in Sweet Extensions Salon and hopes that other stylists will learn from her experiences.
“‘Six Figure Success as a Stylist’ is a workbook to really help growing and budding stylists to get to that six-figure mark,” she said. “The book is to help salon owners and stylists to be more productive and lucrative in the industry.”
While most salon owners and stylists have been trained to do the actual work of styling hair, Keels-Walker said that far too often they lack the necessary business know-how to find financial success.
“It’s basically a blueprint on how to get to six-figures,” said Keels-Walker about her book.
And she should know. Keels-Walker graduated from Hampton University in Business and has worked with government contractors, including the Central Intelligence Agency, and has experience in creating business models that work.
“I took all of those things that I learned and said, ‘Hey, let me help others to get the blueprint,’” she said.
Keels-Walker said she moved from Virginia to Philadelphia five years ago where she started the Weave Bar, which she operated with her former husband, and said that she found success in the hair care industry.
“I was able to get that to two locations and hire over 25 employees without any hair-school training or knowledge or any of that,” she said. “I can’t braid, I still can’t cut, color or do anything with hair but I was able to build a successful business model.”
Not only did Keels-Walker find success in the hair-care industry but after selling her stake in the Weave Bar, she went on to create Sweet Extensions Hair Salon in the Germantown Section of Philadelphia while helping stylists find success in their craft.
In her book Keels-Walker discusses the importance of networking, pricing strategies, accounting principles, money management and other aspects of the business necessary to get to the six-figure goal.
“My book contains a business tracker which holds you accountable each and every week. I’m a numbers person and so there is a method to help you get to that six-figure mark you are trying to obtain,” she said.
“Salons are one of the few businesses in the African-American community that we still own the majority ownership stake in and it’s not something a robot or machine so there is a bit of job security with that,” she said. “And women always want to look good so it’s recession-proof.
“The reason why a lot of them don’t do well is because they are owned by people who work in the business and when you are working in the business that doesn’t give you a lot of time to work on the business.”
The average salary for stylists in Philadelphia is $25,000 a year said Keels-Walker. In an industry where a significant number of the workers are single-parent households, that’s just not a lot to live on.
For more information or to acquire you copy of Six Figure Success for Stylists, visit yolandakeels-walker.com
“Thankfully I’ve been able to see a lot of my workers purchase homes, buy cars and school season is here and they are buying school supplies and that is what I take pride in,” she said.