Our local communities are full of businesses with female founders and leaders. TS Bank wants to celebrate some of those women (and their businesses) by featuring them in our Female Founders blog series. Sixth up in the series is Luxe Salon located in Atlantic, which is owned by Chantel Scheffler and Steph Welter. Read our interview with them below and stay tuned for additional inspiration from successful women in our community.
Tell me about your business.
Luxe Salon is a salon in Atlantic, Iowa, located on corner of 7th street (Hwy 6) and Walnut Street. We are a full service salon including haircuts, styling, colors, formal and bridal updos, waxing, spa pedicures, shellac, and massages. Luxe Salon is owned by the two of us, Chantel Scheffler and Steph Welter.
How and when did you get started?
In August 2016, we saw there was a space available for rent, and we decided to branch out from working in a salon for someone else to working for ourselves. We worked together at another salon in town, and when we saw this space, we realized it was a good time to finally commit to owning our own business!
How have your life experiences brought you to where you are today?
Steph: I have always had an interest in cosmetology since I was a little girl. I would go with my friend to her aunt's salon and that's where I fell in love with it. After school and experiencing working in other salons, I soon realized that I wanted to be my own boss.
Chantel: I was living in Exira, and got a job at the same Salon that Steph was working and that is how we met. We became good friends and dreamed about owning our salon some day.
What do you enjoy about owning your own business?
The thing we enjoy most is being able to create a flexible schedule that works for our lives! We both have young families, so being able to schedule around doctor's appointments, dance lessons, etc. is crucial for us. We also love our clients! We have so many loyal clients that make coming to work every day enjoyable, and making them feel their best when they walk out of our salon is our passion.
What do you find is your biggest challenge?
The biggest challenge is the lack of benefits. You don't have the "benefits package" that you might get at a salon or any type of other more corporate job. This means it's harder for us to take days off, as they will not be paid, so we have to really plan ahead and make up for any anticipated days off we might need.
What sets you apart from your competitors?
I think education is the one thing that truly sets us apart from our local competitors. We are constantly staying on top of the current trends and techniques by attending classes or having the educators come to our salon to teach us. Chantel even recently traveled to Los Angeles to attend a school on color! We also have current equipment in our salon and have created a relaxing, stylish vibe through our layout and decor.
We also pride ourselves on a creating a more personal experience in our salon since it is smaller with just the two of us stylists. This really helps up build genuine relationships with our clients so that they always feel welcome and comfortable whenever they come in.
What is your motivation? What drives you?
Our main motivation is to make our clients happy and give them that extra boost of self-confidence when they walk out of our salon looking great! The greatest compliments we can receive are repeat clients and customer referrals. Being able to support our families by doing what we love is also a huge driver of motivation.
What’s your secret to success?
The secret to our success is the right mix of: ongoing education, patience, introducing new techniques and most importantly, making our clients happy!
How do you maintain a healthy work/life balance?
Family is a top priority to both of us, so we try to be very aware of when taking a day or some time off is necessary. We are also able to set our own hours and we only book session when we know we are able to commit the time to them, so that helps us work around anything else going on in our lives. We also have the flexibility of being able to let our kids come to work with us if the need would arise, which has been a huge help in balancing everything.
What was your biggest life lesson?
The biggest life lesson that we have learned is really getting to know yourself and through that process, knowing your self-worth and then sticking to your guns!
What advice would you give other women who are interested in starting their own business?
You just have to commit and go for it - no one can do it for you! It will be scary at first, but it is better to take a chance on yourself than to stay somewhere that you are unhappy. The longer you stay in that type of situation, the less motivated you will be to ever achieve your dreams.
How can someone get in contact with you?
Address: 704 Walnut Street, Suite 5, Atlantic, IA 50022
Salon phone: 712.250.8357
Chantel cell phone: 712.579.2084
Steph cell phone: 712.249.5555
Facebook: Luxe Salon