How One Hairdresser Turned the Shutdown into an Opportunity for Profit & Growth

Oct 1, 2021

Many salon owners look at 2020 as the year of survival, a year that tested their mental toughness, their commitment to their salon, and even to the industry as a whole.

Many salon owners look at 2020 as the year of survival, a year that tested their mental toughness, their commitment to their salon, and even to the industry as a whole.

For Crown Extension Studio , that year was not 2020; it was 2019. Crown had suffered its second round of staff turnover in as many years. Sales were sluggish and productivity was low, contributing to lower staff morale. After implementing needed changes to become a more luxurious salon environment they began attracting their ideal guest, and still many of Crown’s staff chose to leave the salon. For the second time, Crown’s owner, Jenna Bowden, questioned why she even wanted to own a salon, and if she was even qualified to do so. Jenna had already picked herself up and dusted herself off once, after going through a staff turnover, but she wasn’t sure if she had the strength to do it again.

However, Crown did have one employee left, and she was looking to Jenna to lead and keep the company alive. The vision? To be Colorado Springs’ leading extension-focused salon. Jenna opened Crown Extension Studio after she realized that women in their city were looking for solutions for their thinning hair. They wanted the hair they used to have but lost due to hormonal imbalances, medical conditions, or simply aging. Jenna heard woman, after woman in her chair tell her they researched for hours online trying to find a salon they could trust to provide quality extension services. They were looking, but not finding.

The women of Colorado Springs didn’t need another regular salon. They needed an extension haven, with hair loss and volume solutions that would allow them to feel confident and beautiful. Jenna decided in 2017 that she was going to create that special place.

Jenna assessed the situation with one remaining employee and her beautiful but failing salon. A salon that she had built from nothing except her and her husband’s savings, a small credit card line, and the helping hands of family and friends. It was now “decision time.” She could give up, and no one could fault her for it or she could start over and rebuild, but better this time. She could re-focus her vision and create the beautiful and profitable salon she dreamed of.

Then Covid-19 hit and once again Jenna wondered, “What else could salon ownership throw at me?” But she was committed, and she decided the next morning, despite not having a salon to go to, that she was still going to go to work. But this time she would work on her business, not in it. Jenna decided to look at her situation as a “sabbatical” of sorts. Covid shutting down the salon was not something being done to her, but something being done for her. She called her employee, and they got to work. By implementing profit-saving techniques since 2019, Jenna was able to keep herself and her employee on full payroll and continue taking owner’s draws throughout the entirety of the mandatory shut down.

First, Jenna and her employee, took the opportunity to time- and price-audit every single one of their services in order to maximize profitability. They found that there was a serious revenue gap being generated while performing color services versus extension services. They began to close the gap and found their niche as an extension-focused salon.

Next, they planned, scripted and filmed a hair extension tutorial series for their guests. They focused on the main challenges facing their guests and created tutorials for each one: brushing, sleeping, and washing their hair with extensions. All of their extension guests would now have a free video series to teach them every aspect of caring for their extensions, increasing extension longevity, and ensuring client satisfaction.

To reach out to the local, struggling business community and network more with their ideal guest, Jenna recorded several episodes of her new podcast, “Inspiring Women of the 719”. Here she interviewed local women of influence in the city. As Jenna looked around and saw the devastation of shutdowns on other local businesses, she decided to start a “Gift Card Giveaway” where Crown purchased online gift cards from local restaurants and coffee shops and raffled them off to salon guests. This was an excellent opportunity to stay in touch with their clientele and show them that they cared about the local community. As a bonus, Crown was also able to raise $500 in proceeds for a local food bank in the city.

In addition to local marketing efforts, Crown’s website received a makeover, increasing SEO and leading to a significant increase in website traffic. This led to the exciting result of over forty extension consultations during their first month of re-opening and an over 80% conversion rate of those consultations into extension guests.

All of these positive changes during the shutdown gave Jenna great clarity about her business and her place in it. Since then, she has made the decision to step back from behind the chair and to hire a coach to assist her in the transition process. In addition she hired a virtual assistant, marketing assistant, and bookkeeper. This support team allows Jenna to focus on leading her team, which has grown by 4 new stylists since re-opening.

While 2020 has been anything but easy, Jenna says she will be forever grateful for this year, not only for her personal growth, but also for the growth of her business and her team. The challenges Jenna faced yesterday will prepare her for tomorrow, and she will be ready to keep moving forward despite the setbacks.

Crown Extension Studio can be found at

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