In Nov of 2013 we officially opened our doors and we can’t believe 5 years have flown by! Let me take you on the journey from when we started to the brand we are today.
Like with any business, it all started with an idea of I can do better. I was working as an independent contractor (booth rent) on the side I designed clothes under the label Let Em Have It and produced an annual fashion show called Forever Darling. I had been doing hair for 10 years at that point, and wanted something I could be proud to be a part of. All the salons I had worked at either cut corners or had fallen out of love with the industry and it reflected in their business.
After looking at a handful of salons and being unsatisfied, I decided the next time I move to a salon it will be my own. At the time I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. I have a reputation for jumping off a cliff and then figuring out how to land later.
One night Kyle, and I were having drinks at our favorite bar in Uptown, The Horseshoe. As we were walking there we walked by a vacant space, and I thought this is it. I became madly obsessed with the idea of opening a salon in that space. I took a photo of the location saved it to my phone wallpaper, parked out front and visualized how great it would be. I called the realtor non-stop for 3 months and I finally hired a broker to show me the space. We were able to finally secure a loan, the space and start working. It was a total bootstrap operation, blood, sweat and tears went into our space, I never thought I would know how to hang wallpaper, tile, build shelves or would drink so many beers in the afternoon after all our frustrations with construction.
It was a true labor of love. On top of that we hired what turned out to be a con artist construction company, that had it’s own challenges once we opened the doors!
When we first started we hired booth renters that I worked with at previous salons, because it was less of an unknown and I liked working with them. A year had passed, I was working more behind the chair then I ever had to support our business, and I realized that I opened an expensive place to work, instead of building an empire.
After reading countless books on culture (I listed a few of my favorites), I started to self reflect on what’s important to me, and developed interview questions based on those values. With the help of our team we have narrowed it down to these 5 memorable values that we strive to live everyday. LEHIS (Short for Let Em Have It Salon)
Leadership: Lead by example. Empower yourself to become the leader of your life, hold yourself accountable and live each day with intention.
Education: Never stop learning. Have a beginners mind, stay curious and hungry for knowledge.
Honorable: Do the right thing when nobody's looking. Having integrity in your work and in your life is essential to being a better person. We believe in building a long lasting business and team built on trust and having respect for one another. Always doing what’s right as opposed to what’s easy.
Innovation: Color outside the lines. Learning allows you to create new improved ways of doing things. Set trends, don’t follow them. We embrace individuality, creativity and understand mistakes are there to help us grow.
Sustainability: Keep our planet as beautiful as the hair we create. Having respect for the world that gives us life is vital to our existence.
It was a 3 year journey to develop the type of culture we wanted to have. In 2016 I was faced with a hard decision, if we wanted to grow Let Em Have It to the potential I knew we were capable of we had to have a major shift in culture. This meant we had to hire and coach for our values, I had to grow and challenge myself as a leader aka boss lady, and we had to change our structure from independent contractors to employees.
It’s now 2018 and we have an incredible team that we are continuing to grow, that’s passionate about working as a team to make our customers feel important and pampered. They believe in our values and strive to live them every day. Be patient with yourself, self discovery may take a minute or 5 years, but when you live your truth and inspire others to do the same great things can happen. Thanks to everyone that came out to make our party memorable and to our customers that have supported us and continue to along this journey. -Fallene Wells