“I Wish I Had Scheduled One Day A Week To Work On The Business In My Home Office” 5 Startup Tips With Crystal Frehner

“I wish I had scheduled one day a week to work on the business in my home office. As a busy stylist it’s easy to get caught up in doing customers hair. I have found it is so important to work on the business to make fixes and help it grow. I now devote two days a week to work on the business.”
I had the pleasure of interviewing Crystal Frehner, owner of Hottie Hair Salon & Hottie Extensions in Las Vegas.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?

I founded Hottie Hair in Las Vegas with my now husband, Michael Frehner. when we met in 2006. I was a flourishing hair stylist and he was a skilled computer programmer. Mike was really impressed when he got a haircut by me. His whole life he never had a cut he felt confident in until I cut it. With his tech background, we launched Hottie Hair as a website portfolio of my work. Through social media, we were able to explode my clientele which led to them opening Hottie Hair Salon in 2010. A few years into the business we were running into issues with finding quality hair extensions for their clients which led to the launch of Hottie Extensions. We transformed our shop into a salon and hair extensions store where you can buy high quality hair and get same day hair extension services.

Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that happened to you since you started your company

It’s kind of funny but somehow, we got a reputation in the local community among other stylists as Barbie and Ken. Whenever our staff members tell other stylists where they work, and they tell them Hottie Hair. They are like oh yea you work for Barbie and Ken. We have done several presentations at the hair schools around Las Vegas so allot of them know who we are.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

Very few salons stock any type of hair extensions. It is also not common to be able to buy high quality hair extensions from local specialty stores. We provide a unique experience where you can shop a complete selection of extensions from temporaries like Clip Ins and Halos. To a full selection of high quality permanent extensions like Tape In, Weft & I-Tips. This allow customers interested in extensions to come in and try them on or get a same day install. This is virtually unheard of in this industry where it usually requires some sort of shipping process.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

I am really grateful for both of our parents. They really helped give us a solid foundation in decision making. Where Hottie Hair is today is a culmination of very good consistent decision making. I thought she was going to become a politician and go to law school. However my mom saw my skill with hair and encouraged me to go to a high school that had a cosmetology program. This of course was the first step in my hair adventures.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

Having a beauty career really allows me to help empower people to feel good about themselves. There are so many times people leave my chair crying tears of joy because for whatever reason they didn’t feel good about how they looked before they had their hair worked on. Seriously happy tears. A lot of times self-confidence comes from how you visually see yourself.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I launched my Start-Up” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

1. Everyone suggested I hire independent contractors, so they could be responsible for their own taxes. However, we found in working with all independent contractors that we had a very hard time controlling the quality of the customer experience. We also couldn’t legally give them a schedule either, so it would always be a battle to make sure we had coverage at the shop. We now hire mostly hourly and commission employees. I wish I had known and done this from the start.

2. I wish I had scheduled one day a week to work on the business in my home office. As a busy stylist it’s easy to get caught up in doing customers hair. I have found it is so important to work on the business to make fixes and help it grow. I now devote two days a week to work on the business.

3. I wish I would have hired someone to manage front desk and the shop. In the past we would have the staff that was free answer phones and seemed like a good idea because it costs money to hire a front desk manager. We found that the level of organization with one person that is just devoted to the shop running smooth is worth the added cost. Stylists can now focus on what they do best which is take care of customers. Stylists now have a manager they can go to instead of myself to handle any situation all the time. It has also increased customer retention as this one person is dedicated also to the customer experience. They are the main point of contact when the phone rings as well. This allows them to exceed our guests’ customer service expectations and stay knowledgeable about everything going on in the shop.

4. I wish I would have known how to plan out the daily infrastructure and protocols regarding customer service and hiring employees. We had so many customer situations where we didn’t have a standard way of addressing it, so this would cause problems and lead to confusion among the staff and the customer expectations. We are now very proactive in setting proper customer expectations with paperwork and waivers and procedures. The same with employee expectations. If you don’t set and enforce rules for your employees, it causes problems with running the business and taking care of customers.

5. I wish someone had told me to not to take everything so personal when things didn’t go perfectly. I treated this business every step like my baby. When clients or employees appear to be attacking how we do things it would be very stressful and affect me mentally and physically. I had to learn to see it as business and not personal. I also had to learn that as much as I love and care about my employees I still have to do what is best for the business and put personal matters aside if they are not performing well.

Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this. :-)

I am a huge fan of Shark tank. I believe I have watched every single episode ever made. I take notes and pay attention to what every shark has to say and try to apply their advice to my business. I am a fan of them all in no particular order. Mark Cuban, Kevin O’Leary, Barbara Corcoran, Lori Greiner, Robert Herjavec, Daymond John. Would love to meet any and all of them. Who knows you might see us on Shark Tank one day.

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!