6 Things You Should Know About Forbici's Owner, Jackie Lewis
1) What inspired your decision to open a hair salon/spa business?
A wonderful opportunity presented itself! I had been working at a small salon down the street, and the owner (who was retiring) provided the option to purchase the salon. My two brothers had already started their own businesses, and they felt it was very important for me to be in business for myself. I was fortunate to have my family's support and decided to go ahead and purchase the business. I brought in a salon consulting firm and put many systems in place to help further employee growth in our industry. Since then, I have relocated and expanded. We have been in business for 29 years and have grown from 6 employees (2 of them are still working at Forbici) to 40 employees. As an owner, you can never stop building or growing your business. If you do not continue to grow and evolve, the business will fail.
2) How would you describe the culture at Forbici? What type of people tend to really thrive here?
We have a very team oriented environment. The primary focus of our staff is truly to help our guests look and feel the best that they can. That passion translates in the work that they do. I do not advance team members who are not committed to ongoing education along with dedication to our guests and our team, as it is imperative for our success.
3) What are some of the toughest challenges you have faced over the years?
There have been two: 2011 was an incredibly challenging year financially. Many of our busiest employees left to do other things and we lost about 25% of revenue. Looking back on that time taught me a great deal. It is unfortunate that we have to go through things like that in order to grow and learn, but it certainly provides perspective and gratitude for how far we have come. The other challenge has been dealing with the Covid pandemic. Closing the doors on my business for nearly 3 months without knowing how we would survive was incredibly difficult emotionally. We had just achieved our best year in business, and then we were instantly faced with whether we would have staff or guests when we returned to the salon. We have also had to navigate the ongoing challenge that people are not as patient as they used to be, and at times, this has taken the fun out of our job.
4) What do you believe differentiates a good salon from one that is really great?
The simple answer is the colleagues. You can have the nicest, state-of-the-art equipment, but without the commitment from leadership and the team to continue to grow their education and passion for their craft, the guests will not return and the business will not be successful. Everything is tied to the team that works together.
5) What do you like most about working at Forbici?
Growing my team members. The most rewarding thing I get to do is to take a recent graduate from cosmetology school, teach them business acumen and technical skills and within a few years they are able to purchase their own condo. Having the ability to help make these young people independent and financially secure is the most rewarding thing I get to do!
6) How will you measure the success of the salon going forward?
Financial growth is imperative to stay in business, especially in this unpredictable economy. But truly the biggest indicator of business success is the continued growth of employee and guest satisfaction. If a team isn't evolving, happy and fulfilled, there is a ripple effect. The guests will ultimately feel it, and the business will become stagnant.
Forbici has been fortunate and committed to standing the test of time. Our dedicated leadership and team keeps looking to the future while ensuring we do our very best to keep our long standing guests feeling and looking their best. We are in the business of self care and during these crazy times, people are seeking spaces to prioritize and take care of themselves.