Kelli Rogers, Stylist Extraordinaire,
Mountain Mane Beauty
FJ: What lead you to create your company?
KR: As a hairstylist, I have always been an entrepreneur. Even when I was renting a chair in a salon, I was responsible for covering my overhead, and marketing my services. It made sense to me that owning my own salon meant I would be able to work toward building my own dream rather than working to build someone else’s business. When I moved to the mountains, I began exploring ways of serving my existing clientele in the city while serving the people in my community. It occurred to me I could enjoy the autonomy of owning my own salon without too much more effort. I knew I would have to step it up in order to cover my overhead expenses but I was up to the challenge.
FJ: What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
KR: Along with expressing my creativity, I love being my own boss. I can move my business in any direction I choose and offer my clientele the level of service they deserve without having to be concerned about company guidelines that come with working for someone else. I also have the opportunity to be creative with my own product line.
FJ: What are three of your company’s goals?
KR: My number one goal is to grow as a person through aspects of my business. My 2nd goal is to express myself by earning an income doing something I love. And I would say my 3rd goal is to build a sustainable business here on the mountain, serving people in all of the Frazier Mountain Communities according to their needs. Each of my goals is tied in with the others.
FJ: What challenges have you encountered?
KR: There are challenges, as most entrepreneurs will agree, just in starting a business. Moving through those challenges is part of the thrill of owning a business. I am constantly looking for ways to be successful while taking into account the needs and wants of my clients. Living in the mountains comes with its own set of challenges; one of them being winter weather. It snows up here and the roads get icy when the temperature drops. Since Mountain Mane Beauty is a mobile salon, I must always take that into account. But the good thing is most everyone up here is willing to be flexible. There’s always a way to work around the challenges of mountain living.
FJ: What thoughts would you give to others who have similar aspirations?
KR: I would say to anyone who has a dream of starting their own business, whether it be opening a store or a bakery or a service-oriented business, be willing to risk. You’ll never know unless you try, and you’ll always wonder if you don’t. Starting a business, even if you’re doing something you love, takes hard work and commitment. You have to be willing to sacrifice and practice self-discipline. But there is no greater reward than watching your business grow and as it does, experiencing the success of all of your efforts.
FJ: What are your responsibilities as a business owner?
KR: Since I am a sole proprietor, all of the responsibilities of running my business belong to me. I design, market, and promote my company. As the owner of Mountain Mane Beauty, my most significant responsibility is to operate my business ethically and to provide the highest quality service using quality products. It’s my responsibility to continue to learn and to keep up on fashion and color trends.
FJ: Why will customers stay or do repeat business with you?
KR: I have a long-standing clientele and I believe the reason they continue with me is not only that they are happy with my level of service, but also they know I put them first. I stand by my work and guarantee their satisfaction.
FJ: How do you market your business, and which tactics have been most successful?
KR: I use social media to market my business, mainly Instagram and Facebook, I also believe face-to-face networking is important. I belong to our Mountain Communities Women in Business group. We help each other succeed and grow our businesses.
FJ: What is unique about your business?
KR: Mountain Mane Beauty is a mobile salon. I go to my clients’ homes and venues. There is something to be said about having your hair done in the comfort and privacy of your home.
FJ: Who inspires you?
KR: I find inspiration in a variety of people and things. I would have to say the person who has most greatly inspired me in my life was my Mom. She was kind, she was strong, and she was courageous! She was well respected and always gave more than she received. She was the one who cheered me on and believed in me the most. I try to live like she did, as much as I can.
FJ: If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
KR: Always remember why you went into business in the first place and never lose sight of it. Believe in yourself. You can do anything you choose if you commit fully.
Till next time!
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