Entrepreneur Showcase 2015:
Chet & Becca Wilson of City Salon Suites & Spa
WHAT APPROACH TO YOUR SALON DO YOU FEEL IS UNIQUE?
Many salon owners are business people ﬁrst and stylists second — or they aren’t stylists at all. Chet is an active hair stylist who’s still behind his chair ﬁve days a week. He has built City Salon based on what he wants as a stylist, not on what would make the most money. Chet cares deeply about the people he works with. He’s personally invested in every stylist and will do anything he can to help them succeed. When they’re successful, we’re successful.
SO YOU SAID, AS A BUSINESS OWNER, CHET HAS CREATED A SALON HE WOULD WANT TO WORK IN. WHAT DOES THAT LOOK LIKE?
The environment Chet has created at City Salon is incredible. It’s highly professional and state-of-the-art, but it’s also very calm and serene. He’s hands-on in every aspect of the salon. For instance, he designed it so that each stylist has his or her own A/C controls, which they can set the way they and their clients like. He recently ﬂew out of state just to purchase shampoo bowls designed to be more comfortable to our clients’ necks. He built in sound batting in the walls to control noise and installed a hospital-grade air ﬁltration system to reduce chemical smells. These are things that most salon owners wouldn’t know to do or want to invest in. He cares about every little detail of the salon and every person who works here. He’s created such a community feel, where each person knows that they matter.
We are happiest when we see a client get up from a stylist’s chair and give them a great big hug. It just conﬁrms that more important than making money is making successful stylists, happy clients and that feeling of community.
HAVE YOU FOUND WAYS TO BE AN INSPIRATION TO OTHERS?
For us it’s all about relationships. Taking the time to get to know the people we work with and what’s going on in their lives lets them know we’re invested in their success and happiness. That happens in small ways, like once a month Chet buys lunch for everyone who works here. It a little thing, but it gives them the chance to just sit and cultivate relationships with each other. We’re also very involved in our community and particularly in the Children’s Advocacy Center, where each year we set up a hair salon to give free back-to-school haircuts to hundreds of children in the foster care system. We’re also involved in Blake’s House, which is an incredible organization that assists young girls who’ve aged out of the foster care system transition into adult life. It’s a wonderful ministry that’s helping change the future for young women.
IF YOU HAD TO CHOOSE ONE THING TO WHICH YOU’D ATTRIBUTE YOUR SUCCESS, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
It’s Chet’s genuine concern for each and every stylist and his attention to detail. At our Plano location, we’ve had a waiting list since six months after we opened, and still have a waiting list of stylists who’d like to join us. In an industry with a historically high turnover rate, stylists rarely leave City Salon because of the atmosphere Chet’s created here.
SO YOU HAVE A LOCATION IN PLANO. WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO NOW BUILD IN ROCKWALL?
When we opened in Lakeside Market in January 2013, people thought we were crazy. The center was struggling with high vacancy, and we were building in a back corner of the center where no other business had ever succeeded. But we believed in what we were doing. Since opening, our salon brings 200-250 people a day into the center and every retailer around us has felt the impact. People come to the salon then stay to shop or have lunch, etc. The management company of that center also manages The Harbor, and they actually approached us about coming out to The Harbor. It didn’t take long to convince us that Rockwall was a community worth investing in, and The Harbor was the ideal location to build a destination salon like no other. We are incredibly excited about growing in Rockwall, the future of The Harbor and meeting our new neighbors.
IF YOU NEVER HAD TO WORK ANOTHER DAY IN YOUR LIFE, WOULD YOU? AND IF NOT, WHAT WOULD YOU DO WITH YOUR TIME?
I don’t think Chet will ever retire because he truly loves what he does and the people he does it with. He could have slowed down or taken a strictly business approach to the salon years ago, but he loves the interaction with the clients and the other stylists. It’s a good thing because he’s really the soul of this business, the reason people love to work here and the reason clients have happy stylists who enjoy the work they do.
City Salon Suites & Spa – The Harbor
2109 Summer Lee Drive, #103 · Rockwall, Texas
5813 Preston Road, #554 · Plano, Texas
(Coming January 2016 to Frisco)