Today spotlight article is on Kellie Diana Johnson, who is inspirational in many ways. I got to know Kellie during her personal branding photoshoot and was very impressed with her success story.  Starting at a young age doing her friends' hair & makeup she knew she belonged in beauty business.  Not long after completing beauty school she opened her own salon and built a very successful business. As many small business owners know, it is not easy to build a company from scratch, which is why she now shares her knowledge and wisdom with new entrepreneurs. 

In this interview she shares not only her story but a few tips and advice for anyone who is thinking of starting their business.

Q: How & why did you decide to go into beauty business?

A: After High school I decided I wanted to go to beauty school before college. I was always the one that did all of my friends hair and makeup and it seemed like a natural transition into the beauty industry! 

Q: You have grown a very successful business and your Élan hair studio is a Top 200 salon in the category of growth for seven consecutive years. Elan has also been named a Top 50 Salon by American Salon Magazine and is recipient of the American Salon Pinnacle Award. When you were first starting out did you have a mentor, business degree or were you naturally business savvy?

A:  I fell into owning my first salon and it was the hardest 3 years of my life! I went from being a top producer behind the chair into business ownership overnight. I had innate abilities in growing the business in those first 3 years, ended up selling the business and starting Elan Hair Studio in 2005. My first business I learned a lot of what not to do.  So when I started Elan I had a very clear vision.

Q: What is the best business advice you ever received?

A: Do not compromise your own values

Q: Once your salon became successful you started a new coaching business. Can you share why you decided to take this path?

A: I pursued a certification in coaching first and foremost to be a better coach and leader for my own team and business.  Over the years my passion turned into helping people grow behind the chair not just in the chair.  I am a life Learner always pursuing the best version of myself to be a good coach and leader.  Coaching entrepreneurs outside of my own business was a natural progression that happened through referrals. 

Q: Can you tell us more about your coaching company and how you help others build their businesses? 

A: My coaching company (working on new website with your pics now!) Naturally, I work with mainly salon owners looking to grow their businesses.  The consulting comes in with building systems and creating structure, the coaching comes into play with unlocking energy blocks and limited beliefs they may have.  It all starts with them. I'm passionate about helping someone grow as an individual and leader to their company.

Q: What are 5 mistakes you see business owners commonly make? 

A: Assumptions, Interpretations, working too hard "in" their business and not "on" their business especially in the salon business. Compromising their own values. Worrying about being liked.

Q: If you could go back in time when you started your salon what would advice would you give yourself? 

A: Know what you are getting into before you leap! 

Q: What is your number 1 advice to someone who is planning to open a beauty business? 

A: Have a clear vision of what you want. Know your purpose, your why. 

Q: What changes do you think will be happening in the beauty industry in the next few years?

A: The industry has been changing rapidly - I think we will continue to see segregation in services in business such as Salons use to offer all beauty service now there are nail salons, waxing studios, lash studios, etc. Really specializing in your craft will grow. 

Q: Does social medial play a roll in growing a successful beauty business?

A: Instagram is perfect for hair and make-up artists. It's the window to let the world see what you do.  Everyone on my team has their own professional page and we highlight  everyone on our salon Instagram and Facebook.  Its our visual marketing tool! Our business has grown through our online presence.

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