Sola Stories

40 Episodes

By: Sola Salon Studios

Independent beauty professionals and industry leaders discuss salon suite ownership at Sola Salon Studios.

The Best Investment Beauty Professionals Can Make.
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As a beauty professional, ongoing education is not only an edge, it is essential to growing in your craft and career. In the digital age, we have every resource at our fingertips to learn new skills and techniques virtually from the comfort of our own home or studio. It has never been easier to upgrade your toolkit as a beauty professional and learn from the best of the best. 

The beauty industry and the Sola community offer exciting opportunities for ongoing education as both a beauty professional and small business owner. Whether you are seeking updated c...

Britt Seva’s Tips to Thrive

Britt Seva has made a name for herself as the social media and marketing guru for hairstylists. You may know her as the mastermind behind Thrivers Society, her proprietary coaching program where she has helped over 10,000 stylists and salon owners build wealthy businesses and lives behind the chair. To say we are thrilled to have Britt join us as a keynote speaker at The Sola Sessions Reconnected is an understatement!

We couldn’t wait until Monday, May 17th to learn from Britt, so we invited her to connect with us on The Sola Stories Podcast to sh...

5 Reasons Beauty Professionals Should Join Clubhouse

Have you joined Clubhouse yet? This invite-only, audio-based social media platform has been the hottest new app of 2021.    Clubhouse features discussion rooms with podcast-style moderators, where users can listen to live streaming audio and even join in the conversation “on stage” with the push of a button (and the go-ahead from the room’s moderator). Topics range from beauty and fashion to world events and politics, and everything in between.    Tune in to this audio blog for 5 reasons why should get in on the Clubhouse action to grow your salon business.   

Time Stamps

[0:28] – Five reasons that beauty professionals...

Reconnecting with Sola Sessions MCs Kim Bennett + Steven Wren

After the challenges 2020 brought us, we are desperate to reconnect with our community and have our community reconnect with each other - and that's exactly what The Sola Sessions Reconnected is all about. Sola’s first virtual education event will be co-hosted by Kim Bennett (@kimi_kisses) and Steven Wren (@mrwrencuts), and our dynamic co-hosting duo has teamed up on this episode to share what they are most looking forward to.

While many of us miss traveling and experiencing in-person events with other salon professionals, there are a lot of benefits to a virtual event, like be...

10 Reasons to Experience The Sola Sessions Reconnected

Staying educated, connected and inspired is key to creating a thriving career. That's why we created the Sola Sessions, which features the industry’s top business, marketing, and artistic educators who help independent salon owners live the salon life of their dreams.

On Monday, May 17th we are bringing the Sola Sessions to you for a virtual event! For the first time ever, we are inviting all beauty professionals to experience the Sola Sessions. Tickets are $59 for General Admission, and Sola professionals can receive an exclusive discount of just $29 per ticket.  Sola pros, check your email or your...

It's All About the Journey with Andrew Carruthers

Andrew Carruthers has been a friend to the Sola family for a long time and has had a career that’s truly been a journey. He’s gone from hairdresser to platform artist to salon owner to Director of Education for Sam Villa Brand. After spending many years behind the chair servicing thousands of clients, Andrew was able to connect each role he’s held to one common passion - supporting others on their journeys. This realization brought Andrew to combine his experience and skills from all of his endeavors in his next chapter as a life coach and founde...

Setting Up Your Sola Systems with Ashley White and Steven Wren

As a salon owner, you wear so many hats. Systems help you create more efficiency in your business so you can spend more time doing the things you love most. On this episode (originally recorded as a webinar), Faces of Sola Ashley White and Steven Wren share how they lean into the tools created by Sola to set themselves up for success and, if you're not already leaning into any of these tools, how you can get started. 


One of the Sola tools we cover is Sola Pro - a Sola-exclusive app to help you st...

Rocking Your Retail Systems with Ashley Lantz

Let’s talk retail! We brought Ashley Lantz, 2018 Faces of Sola and the queen of paying her rent in retail, back on the Sola Stories podcast to talk about how she uses retail to positively impact her bottom line.


Listen as Ashley discusses how leaning into the tools provided by Sola, like SolaGenius and BeautyHive, have helped her retail business grow. Ashley says that retail is not only a way to increase your revenue, but is critical to creating a well-rounded, positive experience for your guests.


Tune in to hear Jennie and...

Understanding Your Sola Business

On this audio blog, we're reading Understanding Your Sola Business. 


Are you trying to set new goals to help your business grow? Knowing and understanding your numbers are the fastest way to make positive changes that impact your bottom line. To see significant growth in your business, you need to understand the parts of your business that show whether you are meeting or exceeding your guests' expectations, improving guests' loyalty, and increasing your overall revenue.


What are KPIs and what do they do? KPIs, or “Key Performance Indicators,” take the guesswork out of...

Leaning Into Sola Systems with Tahesa Nelson

Today we are talking about setting up your systems. Whether you are on the fence about going independent, a Sola newbie, or been at it for years, it’s always a good idea to pause and take a look at your systems to ensure they are set up for you to work smarter, not harder. Systems are the vehicles that are going to take you to your goals.


Our guest on this episode is a master at setting up systems to run an efficient business, and when it comes to using the tools and resources Sol...

Setting Up Salon Sanitation Systems with Barbicide’s Leslie Roste

When salons first shut down at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we immediately turned to our friends at Barbicide to educate our community on how to safely return to their salon as soon as governments allowed. Barbicide’s National Director of Education, Leslie Roste, and Sola’s Kim Bennett co-hosted a webinar on sanitation best practices, and we worked alongside the Barbicide team to create a customized Back-to-Work Plan to help our independent salon owners reopen #SolaStrong. We are grateful for our ongoing partnership with Barbicide and are thrilled to welcome Leslie back to the Sola community on the...

Quick Tip: Advice for Sola Newbies

Listen up, Sola newbies! On this audio blog, we’re reading So you signed your lease, now what? 

Since becoming a #SolaBoss comes with both triumphs and challenges, it's not uncommon to take a step back from being on cloud nine and ask, “What next?” Tune in for a list of to-dos and priorities you should focus on in the first few weeks of your new life as a Sola salon owner. 

Start by leaning into the tools and resources Sola has created to help you set up and streamline your systems. Download the Sola Pro app...

From Recovery to Thriving with Michael Cole and Steven Wren

Financial guru Michael Cole and 2020 Faces of Sola Steven Wren teamed up to teach us four steps to embody the "Millionaire Mindset" and create a thriving, long-lasting business. Steven, owner of Steven Brandon Hair Studio in Chicago, IL, shares his journey to becoming an independent salon owner and how he makes it work in this COVID whirlwind we call. He also talks about his dreams and goal of opening his own barber school to give back and inspire the next generation of barbers.


Listen, as Michael shares strategies to create good financial habits and walks u...

Quick Tips to Increase Client Loyalty

Customer loyalty is arguably the most important ingredient to a long-lasting successful business. On this Quick Tip, we are reading 9 Tips For Increasing Client Loyalty from the Sola Blog. 


Creating client loyalty starts by going back to the basics. You want to create a strong, trusting relationship with each client off the bat. Do this by showing gratitude, being punctual, always listening to your client’s needs and having fun. When you enjoy what you do, you give off an irresistible vibe that keeps them coming back.


Making each client feel value...

#SolaStrong Since The Early Days With Austin Campbell

We often talk about how Sola is home to over 16,000 independent salon owners. In addition to our incredible group of beauty professionals, as a franchise brand, Sola is also made up of 160+ franchise groups who own and operate our 550+ locations across the United States, Canada and Brazil. On this episode, we dive into Sola's business model and give you a behind-the-scenes look into what makes our group of franchisees and managers so integral to the success of our community. 


To introduce you to our group of franchisees and managers, we are joined by Austin Campbell, on...

Quick Tip: How To Be A Goal-Getter

It’s one thing to dream about all the goals you want to accomplish, and it’s another to actually get there. On this Quick Tip, we are reading How to Be a Goal-Getter This Year from the Sola Blog. 

Tune in to hear Sola’s 5 steps to not only be a goal-setter but a goal-getter this year.

Start with your “why,” be SMART, hold yourself accountable, and last but not least, remember Sola has your back. 

Here's to goal getting in 2021.


In This Episode

[01:10] Sola's five tips for bein...

How Sola Helped Her Dream Again with Annie Hayes

As we turn the page to a new year, there's one thing we know for sure, this past year threw us all some curveballs, and yet it also provided many people the opportunity to pause, pivot and proceed forward on a new path. At Sola, we want to provide a fresh start for those searching for a new salon home.


Our guest on this episode, Annie Hayes from Jacksonville, Florida, opened her own Sola studio in May 2020 after being furloughed by her previous salon. Since then, Sola has helped her get back on her feet a...

All Things Sola Education with Melissa Bennett + Jennie Wolff

At Sola, education and support is at the heart of our brand promise. With the start of the new year, we want to shine a light on some of the amazing education available for independent beauty professionals through Sola education. 


Our guest on this episode, Melissa Bennett, truly puts the “Pro” in Sola Pro. She has led the charge with our Sola-exclusive Sola Pro app and worked with hundreds of brand partners to curate video content, webinars, Facebook Lives, Instagram takeovers, and much more virtual education for the Sola community. She is also the executional master...

What 2020 Taught Us

It’s been a year of unexpected challenges, but also a year of tremendous opportunity for those who have taken the time to learn and grow through it all. For our last episode of 2020, the team behind the Sola Stories Podcast wanted to connect to reflect on the lessons this monumental, transformative year has taught us. 


Listen as Jennie, Kim and Angela share how they pivoted during 2020, both professionally and personally, the lessons they learned about relinquishing control, and how they’ve overcome the hardest moments of this pandemic. They talk about the changes they have g...

The Best Art Starts with Heart with Terri Cowan

Terri Cowan, inspirational speaker and owner of Professional Salon Concepts, believes success starts with excellent customer service. In this episode of Sola Stories, Terri and Kim chat about the systems you need to set up to create an A+ customer experience that will bring your salon and customer retention to the next level. 


Terri also talks about the importance of eye contact when it comes to customer service.  “Customer service is creating that absolute connection,” and you can’t do that if you are focused on your screen or thinking of your next client instead of giving...

How To Pivot with Purpose with Alexa Carlin

At Sola, it’s our mission to inspire you to not only be successful beauty professionals but successful entrepreneurs. And while we love connecting with inspiring leaders within the beauty industry, many of the most successful people know the best way to stay on the cutting edge is to learn from leaders outside of your industry and apply their successful habits and learnings to your world. Our guest on this episode, Alexa Rose Carlin, is an entrepreneur extraordinaire and has not only built her own personal brand, with an online following of over 200k, but through her company, Women Em...

Focusing Your Lens on Success with Joey Figueriedo

Our guest on this episode of Sola Stories, Joey Figueriedo, comes to us from Prairie Village, Kansas. Before he was a hairdresser, he was a professional photographer, and while growing his career behind the camera, he fell in love with the world of hairdressing. After obtaining his license through an apprenticeship in Kansas City, he continued to explore his passions outside the salon, landing gigs and working behind the scenes at Fashion Week, and so much more. Joey is a successful salon owner of a double-sized studio, an educator,one of our 2019 Faces of Sola.



Quick Tip: Hashing out Hashtags with Angela Ribbler + Jennie Wolff

On this marketing Quick Tip, Angela and Jennie teamed up to chat all about hashtags and how this powerful, often under-utilized tool can take your social media marketing to a whole new level. 


A hashtag is a word or phrase followed by a hash sign (#) on social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter to discover content on a specific topic. Angela says hashtags are like mini “filing cabinets” for your content. When you click on a linked hashtag in a caption, it allows you to see all sorts of content that's related to that topic. When u...

The Magic of Gratitude with Amanda Fagan & Steven Wren

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough and more.” Even though it has been a challenging year on so many levels, we want to spend some time to focus on gratitude and silver linings. 2020 Faces of Sola Steven Wren and 2018 Faces of Sola Amanda Fagan are two of the most positive people we know, so we wanted to bring them back onto the Sola Stories Podcast to share how they have been able to stay grounded in gratitude throughout this pandemic. 


Amanda believes that practicing gratitude not only makes her fe...

Setting Boundaries to Avoid Burnout with Dawn Bradley

Our guest on this episode of Sola Stories is Canadian business coach, Dawn Bradley. Dawn has been in the beauty industry for nearly two decades and spent the last ten years as a business owner. Through her coaching business, Dawn hosts tons of classes and online courses, including “Become a 6-Figure Hairstylist Stress-Free” and “Raise Your Prices Like a Pro.” She also hosts her own podcast called The Anxious Creative. We’ve previously had the honor to partner with Dawn for some Sola-exclusive education on How To Set Back to Work Boundaries, and we are thrilled to bring her on to the...

How To Be a Content Queen with Angela Ribbler

On this episode of Sola Stories, we are talking about all things social media, and who better to have on the show than Sola’s Social Media and Content Strategist, or as we like to call her our Content Queen, Angela Ribbler. Angela joined the Sola team in August 2018 after working 5 years in the music industry. It was her thirst for more creativity in her job that led her to Sola and today, she is the creative brain behind Sola’s blog, social media content, email newsletters, and so much more. It was also her passion that led to the...

Yelp Quick Tips with Lindsey Couch

Today we are excited to have Lindsey Couch, one of our 2020 Faces of Sola, on the show to share some quick tips about marketing your salon on Yelp. Lindsey is a big Yelp advocate and believes many salon owners are missing opportunities if you aren’t leaning into the powerful, free marketing from Yelp. 


Tune in to hear Lindsey talk about how she got started with Yelp, how her salon made it to the number 3 position in her city, and how many new clients she gets each week from Yelp while spending $0 on Yelp advertising. She...

From Thirsty to Thriving with Morgan Abernathy

Full-spectrum colorist and 2020 Faces of Sola, Morgan Abernathy, has truly created a career that spans the spectrum of the beauty industry. She has gone from being told she wasn’t good enough to ever be a “great hairdresser,” to owning her own salon, educating for brands like Pulp Riot, Brazilian Bond Builder and Colortrak, and has grown an Instagram following of nearly 50K followers. But beyond all of her aspirational accomplishments, what we love most about Morgan is the fact that she is always authentic, wholehearted and unapologetically herself. 

Tune in to this inspirational episode of Sola Stories...

Learning Through Love with Geno Stampora

To fully span the extent of Geno Stampora’s impressive career in the beauty industry, we’d need a much longer podcast. Before becoming the successful owner of multiple salons and beauty academies, as well as one of the most celebrated and sought-after motivational speakers in the industry, Geno learned first-hand what it meant to be successful working behind the chair. Geno will tell you himself, he’s not the best hairdresser in the industry, but his inept ability to understand people is what has kept his career thriving for decades. We are thrilled to bring this vivacious industry expert...

Holiday Marketing Quick Tips with A 2020 Twist

On this Sola Stories Quick Tip, we're helping you get a jumpstart on your holiday marketing. Tune in to get all of our best holiday marketing tips and tricks for salon owners, because no matter what 2020 brought, you can still cross this year's finish line with a bang. 

Before you begin your marketing, and especially before the holidays are here, make sure to jot down all the important dates during the holiday season so you don’t miss a valuable holiday marketing opportunity. You can find a list of all the important holiday dates here. 


Healing Through Hair with Breast Cancer Thriver, Barbara Violo

We are thrilled to bring our special guest and Breast Cancer Thriver, Barbara Violo, onto the Sola Stories podcast. Barbara owns a hair and wig studio in Sola in Long Island, New York. Barbara’s studio is a safe haven for women experiencing hair loss, primarily due to cancer as well as other causes. In her studio, she takes her clients on a journey - from shaving their heads to hair recovery and beyond. Barbara’s client experience is all about the peaceful, healing energy she is able to create for her clients, whether it’s the  fresh flowers she bri...

How To Run Your Sola Like A Boss with Ashley Lantz

Our guest on this episode is one of our 2018 Faces of Sola, educator, SolaGenius ambassador, and, most importantly, a new mom. Ashley Lantz has made her mark on the Sola community as a true trailblazer. She was the first person to sign a lease at her Sola location in AZ, even before there were even walls and was also one of the first to lean into Sola’s technology to supercharge her business. 


Listen as Ashley shares her journey to Sola and how she’s used technology to run a more efficient business and spend more t...

Creating Confidence + a Stunning Social Media Feed with Cuyler Engram

We are thrilled to bring Houston-based hairstylist and one of our 2020 Faces of Sola, Cuyler Engram (@cuylerdidit), on the Sola Stories Podcast. Before owning his Sola salon, Cuyler honed his craft as a makeup artist for Mac Cosmetics. After facing doubters and discrimination along his path, Cuyler is now a business owner with an Instagram following of over 16K. After years of feeling like he didn’t fit in, Cuyler has created a space he can call his own, as well as a jaw-dropping Instagram feed that helps keep his salon business booming.


Listen, as Cuy...

Popular Nobody’s Tips for Staying Hungry & Humble with John Mosley

Kim is honored to have John Mosley on the show today. John is a well-known barber whose Instagram handle @popularnobody catches a lot of attention. John is one of the most in-demand educators in the industry, and his celebrity clients range from people like Kendrick Lamar to sports icons.


John talks about what inspired him to become a barber, what to look for in a brand that you would like to be an educator for, and why he uses popular nobody. John speaks about his nonprofit called Nobody Way Foundation that helps people get into t...

Back to School Panel

Kim Bennett is moderating a panel of amazing past and present Faces of Sola winners. They are together to discuss balancing the bag to school struggles and the reopening of their respective salons. Since no two school districts are bringing kids back, in the same way, some online, some in person, some a combination of both, they are here to share what is working for them as these different scenarios play out.


Kim was the first-ever Sola stylist with her studio in Denver. She has her eleven-year-old daughter Evie on the show today. Evie started s...

Staying Balanced In + Out of the Salon with Roxanne Muir, Canada’s First Sola Stylist

On this episode of the Sola Stories Podcast, Jennie chats with the first beauty professional in Canada to take the leap of faith and join the Sola family. Roxanne has always been go-getter, starting her career with an apprenticeship at age 15. Tune in to hear this feisty firecracker’s journey behind the chair and what's currently happening in Canada and her studio.

Roxanne shares how she got started in hairdressing, her journey of getting licensed, landing her first job, and the lessons she learned in the early stages in her career. Roxanne speaks about her various salon ex...

Your Mental Health Matters with Dr. Allan Ribbler

As the majority of our community has returned to work in the salon, with some still in forced closure in California, we’ve begun to hear from our community that the weight of these new, unforeseen challenges have become harder to bear. To support you through this time, we wanted to bring a mental health professional onto the podcast to help you sort through the fear, anxiety and overwhelming emotion you may be feeling, and help you take care of yourself, in addition to all the clients you serve behind the chair. 

Dr. Allan Ribbler is a neu...

Staying #SolaStrong in California with Jodi Snowden

On this episode, we talk with Jodi Snowden, one of our 2020 Faces of Sola and owner of Jodi Snowden & Co., a bridal hair and makeup salon in Southern California. While COVID-19 has affected our entire community of beauty professionals, Jodi and our other Sola pros in California have been hit especially hard with not one but two shutdowns, as well as the sudden halt of this year’s wedding season which is Jodi’s salon’s primary source of business. We brought Jodi on the podcast to chat with us about how the current closures in California are affecting her bo...

Passion with a Purpose with Kenya Kirk

On this episode of Sola Stories, Jennie is joined by 2017 Faces of Sola Kenya Kirk i from Austin, who truly stole our hearts because of the way she selflessly and regularly gives back. As a foster parent, she started a program called Mommy and Me, which has evolved into an organization called The Texture Lab, to teach parents and foster parents how to work with their child’s textured hair. Kenya also started a nonprofit called Dreams for Diamonds that makes wigs for kids with cancer. When she is not running these two wonderful organizations, she shares her passion fo...

Reopening Safer At Sola with Kim Bennett

On this episode of Sola Stories, Jennie is joined by Sola’s Culture Ambassador, Kim Bennett, also known as Kimi Kisses. Kim owns her salon in Denver, Colorado and was the first-ever Sola stylist.

After being closed nearly 9 weeks, Kim knew she was not going to let this disease take down her business. So when she was able to reopen her salon on May 9th, she even shocked herself by generating $10,000 in sales in her first week! Kim credits the education and resources she received from Sola to help her make her #SolaStrong comeback and the sanitation tr...