Carolann Joy Salon is a boutique hair salon in Redmond, WA and the small business of a true artist. Named after its owner Carolann Joy Schmidt, Carolann Joy Salon is almost impossible to get into—almost. Why the high demand? Joy says she owes her success, in part, to her clients.
“[Carolann Joy Salon] clients are people I truly care about. I never have to fake a smile.” Schmidt is passionate about making people feel beautiful. Her genuine warmth and artful eye go far in making people feel at ease. Plus, Schmidt’s 10 plus years in the industry doesn’t hurt either.
Carol Ann Joy Salon also has a referral program to incentivize word of mouth referrals. They ask that if someone gives a compliment on your haircut that you pass along the salon’s card. If you send a friend over to Carolann Joy Salon, you receive $25 toward your next appointment. A lot of the salon clients have taken advantage of the program and the influx of new clients has meant two new stylists and another successful Redmond startup.
Like any small business, Carolann Joy Salon faced challenges in the beginning. The week they started construction on the salon’s space, Schmidt’s husband lost his job. Like any entrepreneur, Schmidt continued moving forward.
She turned the layoff into a stepping stone and Schmidt’s husband became her business partner, building out her studio and designing her amazing website (check out his web design company Lava Lounge Creative). Everything went into the business, including their life’s savings. It may have been a leap of faith, but Schmidt was not afraid to fail.
To any entrepreneur, Schmidt says failure is part of the game. Be okay with failing and know that it can help with growth. Learn from failure and move forward. And move forward is exactly what she did.
Carolann Joy Salon now boasts three stylists and a virtual receptionist. Thinkspace handles the phones and booking for the salon and Schmidt says the extra help has been a lifesaver. “Before, I was answering the phones. I just had all the calls go to my cell phone. It was a nightmare. My cell would ring, I’d run to the back of the house, shut the door and answer the phone, ‘Carolann Joy Salon, how may I help you?’ You’d hear my husband in the background telling the kids, ‘Shhh! Mommy’s on the phone. She’s talking to a client.’” She laughs while recounting the story.
By partnering with thinkspace, the salon doesn’t have to pay someone to be a receptionist and sit at the studio all day, and clients get the service they deserve. Schmidt says it’s been amazing—a true godsend. “I feel like they’re always looking out for our business,” Schmidt says. “ A lot of people get here and ask, ‘Where’s your receptionist?’ We joke that we keep her in the closet.”