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A View From the Shop

A View From the Shop

Beauty pros paint the praises of open color dispensaries.

It’s common knowledge that having a public color dispensary is an industry- wide phenomenon. But now, with a few years of history under its belt, this tell-all marvel is morphing into a marketing tool that goes far beyond just spotlighting the mixology prowess of colorists. “Thanks to the advent of flat panel TVs, we’re now encouraging salons to install this type of media in the color area to promote their services and activities, rotate the latest hairstyles and color designs, and runfashion shows to create an inspirational and educational experience for clients while their colors are processing,” says David Osgood, director of sales and marketing for Interiors by R.G. Shakour.

“Our color-mixing station is in full view,” says Jeff South, owner of Intrigue Salon in Marietta, Georgia. “Clients receive a passive education on what it really takes to create a custom-mixed, professional color formula. I believe this is partly why 80% of our salon’s clientele receives some form of color service.”

Osgood also shares that, with the economy in chaos, a color dispensary might be a wiser use of income-generating space as opposed to operating multiple skincare rooms. “Converting one skincare room into an open dispensary alleviates the problems associated with keeping multiple skincare rooms staffed and busy, while helping owners to dedicate more energy and space to their salons’ core business-hair services,” opines Osgood.

Feeling cautious about spending money on even a small redesign? No worries. When it comes to creating open dispensaries, there’s a budget for every owner. A case in point: Four years ago when owner Jim Root opened Root Salon in St. Paul, Minnesota, he decided to keep things “clean and inexpensive,” while still strongly focusing on what would bring his salon the most income—color. “A lot of owners think that they can’t afford the investment.

This concern, at least in most cases, isn’t true,” notes Root. “Our space used to be an apartment with
a small furnished kitchen. I knocked out the kitchen walls, tossed the refrigerator and stove, kept the dishwasher and sink, and bought cabinets and countertops at IKEA [affordable furnishings store]. I then purchased a $125 stainless steel table at another discount store. The end result: a $500, 9’ x 6’ color area that’s much smaller than what we would have needed for a walled dispensary, yet plenty big enough for one that’s in full view of clients.”

You can view a pdf of this complete article as it appeared in the magazine (see attachment below).

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