For as long as we can remember, women have paid significantly more than men for haircare. From products to haircuts and dye jobs, it hasn’t been cheap for a woman to maintain her look!
Then crown came along as the first salon in Buffalo to not base their price structure on gender. The salon has gained national attention from the hair color community, and their team has been traveling across the country for continuous education and inspiration. But despite all the accolades, they remain endlessly loyal to the WNY community. They’ve hosted fundraisers for local charities and have volunteered at dozens of events over the past couple years.
Learn more about Ignite Buffalo winner crown in today’s Founder Friday – then go check out their salon at 500 Seneca!
Tell us the story of how your business got started.
Crown started out of a passion for our craft and the necessity to create industry change. We’d been together for about a decade in different combinations and settings, and knew we had to end up together. It’s been fun marketing ourselves and brand more as a band than a business.
What do you do? Your business?
We offer hair and makeup services in the shop or on-site. As a founder, I see over 40 hours of guest visits in my own chair per week. And I do everything behind the scenes from web design to educational planning. Now with this Ignite opportunity, I attend more frequent education and am learning the smartest ways to grow my business.
What has been the biggest accomplishment for your business to-date?
I’d say the biggest accomplishment to-date is just the fact we are all together. Being the first studio in Buffalo to not base price structure on gender (we need to change the industry)! If I had to talk numbers, we’re up from year one and got to travel all over this year. Life/work balance is necessary for survival.
Goals for the next year? Three years?
Goals for the next year include offering another evening of available appointment times, growing the team, and traveling for inspirational education. In the next 3 years, aside from financial goals, I’d love to see team members becoming brand ambassadors or educators themselves, and I’d also like to be able to contribute to their healthcare.
Buffalo is our home. My sister Grace is part of crown too, and it’s where our parents raised us. Mom did hair under an infamous hairdresser who had trained under Sassoon himself, and Dad has been in music promotion for decades (no wonder where we get our company culture, huh?!). Music + hair + dogs = company culture. We also had the opportunity to build our dream in the historical site that is 500 Seneca Street.
Share some ways that you give back to the local community – and how others can get involved.
Keep an eye on our social media, as we’re always planning something. These plans have been super interactive. We’ve thrown two huge themed dance parties in partnership with Lockhouse Distillery since February 2018, and donated over $3,500 to our local Pride Center. We’ve marched in parades. Before those, we had our Grand Opening and First Anniversary parties, where we collected donations for both Roswell Park and Sunnybrook Hospital.
In total since opening, we’ve volunteered time, skills, and donated to at least a dozen causes other than the above.
Who has been your biggest motivator through the ups and downs of owning a small business?
Honestly, our guests’ enthusiasm for seeing our evolution is always #1! Our families are there to see all the good and difficult times. Also having amazing brand support from one of our faves, GoodDYEYoung, has been huge. They’ve had us out on the road as part of their Artistry Team twice this year, and the excitement in the hair color community is contagious.
What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?
Take every opportunity given. Seek it out. Make that coffee meeting. Don’t say, DO. Get involved with your local SCORE chapter. Be the person you needed when you were new in your field. All of that may be cheesy, but it’s 100% true.