As Told By: Keri Davis and Karla Lopez-Martinez from Beauty Backbone

Last updated on: 2018

As Told By

Karla Lopez-Martinez and Keri Davis are the two masterminds behind Beauty Backbone, a program designed to turn stylists into educators. After 25 years of salon ownership, these women have figured out what works and what doesn’t when it comes to the systems that create your culture. Here, learn how they got started in the beauty world, what advice they have for those who are interested in working in the industry, and how they’re making it easier for salon owners to create culture and succeed.

1. What were the biggest challenges that you faced when you first started your business?

Keri: Only a 27-year-old at the time, I had challenges with knowing how to talk to my staff to keep them motivated and focused on the right things. It has taken a lot of work to put on a leadership hat that fits right for me and works for the company…now its my favorite thing to do.

Karla: I went from being a successful, confident, busy stylist behind the chair to a business owner from literally one day to the next. Without training on managing a team or knowing much about the inner workings of a business, I felt overwhelmed and tired working 7 days a week. It made me doubt myself and my abilities but I decided to turn that overwhelming feeling into a challenge. Soon I began to work on getting tools to connect and manage my team, becoming a better leader and learning how to read my business financials. It’s been an amazing ride and I’m excited for what is yet to come!

2. Can you tell us a little more about Beauty Backbone and how it came to be?

Keri: Beauty Backbone bridges the gap between struggling businesses and thriving companies. I have been a business educator in the industry for the past 30 years. This was just the next thing to help salon owners build successful systems for sustainability. Beauty Backbone brought structure in helping us work with salons. We broke down the fundamental five areas that need to be managed and thriving for success: Culture, Education, Operations, Finance and Leadership. What comes natural to most salon owners is how to do hair or skin or whatever their technical gift is. Running the business, when it comes to managing staff or  understanding the financial side, does not always come as naturally.

Karla: Beauty Backbone was born out of inspiration to help our industry align beauty and business. We have been so blessed over the years to be able to implement many systems creating growth and sustainability with our teams in our own salons. Through this process we have discovered rewarding formulas, leading to our continued success. Our mission is to elevate our industry by bridging the gap between struggling businesses and thriving companies. We bridge that gap by offering educational programs, cultural systems, financial practices and customized coaching that strengthen business success. We are thrilled to share what we have learned as well as help with implementation.

3. What does a typical day in your life look like?

Keri: At 5 a.m., I wake up and start my day with meditation, coffee and connecting with my wife. Afterwards, we get lunches and breakfasts in motion for ourselves and our son. I’m off to work about 8 a.m. Depending on the day, I visit different salon locations. While in the salons, I love working with the teams and managers and chatting with our guests. It’s always a fun time!

Karla: I have an untraditional work schedule that constantly changes. I actually LOVE that because it keeps my days full of challenge and excitement. Having said that, I also need consistency, which I implement through my morning rituals. Immediately after I wake up (before any outside thought invades my brain), I initiate my day with my gratitude ritual and set my intention for the day. This daily practice keeps me grounded and focused, no matter what part of the world I wake up on.

4. What were the biggest challenges that you faced when you first started your business?

Keri: Only a 27-year-old at the time, I had challenges with knowing how to talk to my staff to keep them motivated and focused on the right things. It has taken a lot of work to put on a leadership hat that fits right for me and works for the company…now its my favorite thing to do.

Karla: I went from being a successful, confident, busy stylist behind the chair to a business owner from literally one day to the next. Without training on managing a team or knowing much about the inner workings of a business, I felt overwhelmed and tired working 7 days a week. It made me doubt myself and my abilities but I decided to turn that overwhelming feeling into a challenge. Soon I began to work on getting tools to connect and manage my team, becoming a better leader and learning how to read my business financials. It’s been an amazing ride and I’m excited for what is yet to come!

5. What advice do you have for those looking to get involved in the beauty industry?

Keri: Do your homework. Find out what is working and what is not working. Research is the best way to have a small window into what you can expect.

Karla: Don’t hesitate, jump in! The beauty industry is a thriving industry; it is fun, it is dynamic, it is ever changing. My absolute favorite thing about it is the many roads you could follow, it is full of endless possibilities and it’s waiting for you! Come play!

Keri Davis quote

6. What beauty product could you not live without?

Keri: Aveda Tulasara Firm Concentrate! Did I say firm 😉

Karla: ONE!? I’m a product junkie, I can’t choose just ONE! But if I have to choose just one, I guess it would have to be my AVEDA mineral tinted moisture with SPF a three in one performer! Moisturizer, light foundation coverage and SPF.

Beauty Backbone

This interview has been edited and condensed.

Interested in learning more from professionals in the digital marketing and beauty industries? Check out the rest of our As Told By series.

 

 

 

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Ciera is a content creator, social media strategist and world traveler currently exploring Southern California. With more than six years of experience developing content, Ciera combined her love for writing, traveling, photography and creativity into her lifestyle and travel blog, Life with Ciera. In her free time, she loves going to the beach, cooking new vegetarian recipes and playing with puppies. To see more of Ciera, visit her blog at www.lifewithciera.com.