Getting your hair done is a great feeling. While you might arrive looking less-than-perfect, by the end of your appointment, your new ‘do will have you feeling like a changed person.
However, the salon experience does not always go so smoothly for everyone. Anyone with textured or curly hair can understand the struggle of finding a hair salon that caters to you. Fortunately, entrepreneur Jenn Ghaney saw this hole in the market and decided to do something about it. She started The Seahorse Salon with the goal of it being a “safe haven for clients with wavy, curly and textured hair.”
Jenn was born and raised in Newfoundland and Labrador and starting her career as a hairstylist in St John’s. While she was passionate about her work, she always knew there was something more in store for her. “I moved around the world only to return home again with ideas for starting a business,” she said. “Newfoundland and Labrador hold a great deal of potential for entrepreneurs; locals are very eager to support small businesses and I wanted to start a business that would support and connect others like me.”
The idea for Seahorse Salon stemmed from Jenn working with clients with curly, kinky and wavy hair. “Listening to each curly client in my chair, I sensed the frustration with a lifetime of having unmanageable hair,” she said. “By establishing my own safe haven for curly clients, they could feel comfortable in an environment that catered just to them.”
In addition to their vision of inclusivity, Seahorse only works with natural hair products and prides itself on providing “top education to every client on how to care for their hair.”
Jenn is also a very community-oriented entrepreneur. Her salon sells local goods and displays local art to support her community’s economy. Jenn is also connected to Green Circle Salons, an organization dedicated to reducing salon waste, and the Dresscode Project, which is dedicated to creating a safe salon space for the LGBT+ community. In the future, Jenn plans to collaborate and engage with other local businesses.
Jenn has had great success in building Seahorse Salon’s team and customer base and is looking to hire a new stylist in the future as their client list continues to grow.
When Jenn was starting out, she turned to Futurpreneur Canada for financing and mentoring support. “Without this amazing initiative, my company could not exist,” she says. “From providing me with the blueprint for writing a business plan to having my mentor, Kevin Pomroy, and the local Business Development Manager, Scott Andrews, answer any business questions I may have, Futurpreneur has proved invaluable to my success, both in financing and in mentorship.”
Whether you’re just starting out or have been in business for a few years, having a mentor is incredibly valuable for an entrepreneur. “I knew my industry and my trade inside and out; however, I was lacking in the skills needed to apply to the business side. My mentor has assisted me with these concerns and has directed me to the people that I should seek additional help from,” she said.
Her advice to service-based entrepreneurs looking to launch their first business? “Know your craft and follow your gut. Be the absolute best you can be at your craft and deliver that to each and every client. Stay true to your passion and open to learning as you go. If your clients feel connected to the company, they will help grow the business with you.”
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Written by: Sara Pivato, Social Media & Content Coordinator, Futurpreneur Canada