For many entrepreneurs and small businesses, social media can be an absolute game-changer! All it takes is one viral post and a business can suddenly take off.
At Like A Voss Social Media, we’re highlighting local businesses and entrepreneurs who are killing the online game. This week’s spotlight is on Sam Hubbard, Owner of Industry Hair & Body Care!
Industry Hair & Body Care is a salon located in Campbell River on Vancouver Island, BC. Perched right beside the ocean it has a fantastic three-sided view of Discovery Passage and houses an fun group of stylists, known for their high energy antics and off the chart client engagement. Since their start 7 years ago they’ve won numerous awards including Vancouver Island Best Small Business, and Campbell River’s Top Salon, and their work has been featured in several publications including Wedding Magazine.
Our CEO Mandi interviewed Sam about her secret to success in business and in life. We also got some awesome insights into what they think makes social media such an effective tool in business.
A Little Bit About Being a Female Entrepreneur
1: How long have you been in business?
I got my start right out of my kitchen in Saskatoon. I worked as a flight attendant for SkyService Airlines for their holiday flying in the winter, and in the summer I did hair at home. That would have been early 2000’s 🙂 From there I started a few different businesses over the years from a high-end Children’s consignment shop to a virtual arcade!
2: What made you decide to open your own salon?
When I was in my kitchen back in Saskatoon, I realized people came to see me not just because of what I was able to do for them. They loved just being there. Just hanging out and being part of the experience. I’d have clients drop by just to watch others get their hair done because they felt welcome and wanted to be part of the show. I introduced clients to each other and strangers became friends. The feeling was pure magic. When I had my child and lived overseas, I focused on being a mom. When I returned to hairdressing as a salon employee part time, I realized that type of experience just wasn’t available at the salon where I worked which had a spa-feel. I realized there was a business in getting a like minded group of woman together and making a place where this fun exciting experience was encouraged as a central part of the business. From that, Industry Hair and Body Care was started from scratch.
3: What do you love most about being a female entrepreneur?
You know, sometimes my husband and I just for fun will dream up the craziest business ideas while on long drives over coffee; It’s fun for us. A lot of companies start to fill a market void, but we think it’s even cooler to fill a void that people don’t even know they have. For example everyone needs a haircut, but they didn’t know the type of fun people where having in my kitchen way back. We picked up on what was missing in the marketplace in terms of service and engagement but we also added our own spirit. Now that spirit has become ‘Industry Standard’ so to speak 😉 Entrepreneurship allows one to break away and create new norms.
4: What is the hardest thing you have had to overcome as a female entrepreneur?
As a woman I find there is a lot of intergenerational pressure. These days there is absolutely nothing standing in the way of a woman who wants to advance in their careers at the same pace of a man, just as long as they didn’t want a family or had their partner be the primary caregiver in the family. As a woman in the middle, I feel the very real pressure of trying to create the most amount of wealth for my family, while at the same time being there for my daughter. Entrepreneurship has allowed me the flexibility to do that more in my terms however there are still sacrifices I make even today. A lot of families rely on my business for their employment and income so I do everything I can to make sure they can a have a proper work life balance too.
5: What is one thing about working in the beauty industry that people would be surprised to learn?
The busiest surprise is that it’s part art and part science. When you meet a client, their idea of what’s beautiful is inside them, and you need to really use all your skill and experience to make sure you understand it. It goes beyond a simple photo. Then you have to create a plan to make that happen with shape and colour. Our measurements are precise, however everyone’s hair reacts differently. What it comes down to is experience and judgement. You need to have seen thousands of different people to see how to turn art into science, and science into art. Sometimes even with the right formula, you need to make that critical decision to reformulate based on your experience. When things work, it adds to the science and improves you as a stylist and mentor. It’s not as easy as it seems! Not if you want it done right 🙂
And Now Onto The Social Media Questions!
6: Do you have a favorite social media platform? Why?
I really like Facebook and Instagram because the majority of my clients use it. It’s quick and easy, and while there are much more modern platforms out there I want to be where my clients are. My clients see my highs and lows, my successes and failures and can experience growth with me as part of my story.
7: What made you decide to start using social media as a way to promote your company?
Hair is highly social. People are always checking out new things on social media so I thought that would need to be the near real-time way to bring what I have to market.
8: How has social media impacted your business? Would you say that it’s an effective marketing tool?
I’d say next to word of mouth it’s my only marketing tool. We have tried many things in the past, but dollar for dollar the best is social media. We don’t have meetings where we go over the engagement numbers as we are a small company. However if we book weeks in advance, we take that as an indication things are working.
9: What advice would you give to other businesses and entrepreneurs who want to use social media as a way to connect with customers?
I’d say you need to have your brand accurately reflect who you are. People can tell when you are being disingenuous when you live your life online in social media. They want nothing to do with the troupes of infinite success, but would rather see you being real. Your clients will really get to know you and will sometimes even get in touch to ask you if you’re doing OK when you seem blue. For me this is being real, and for me it works. However, each person needs to find what works for them 🙂
A Little More About Sam
Sam has had quite the adventures over the years! One of her first jobs was as a professional cheerleader in the CFL! She has traveled the world as a flight attendant for a large airline, and even got a gig as a private flight attendant for the Rush Snakes and Arrows Tour… while a month pregnant with her daughter!!
She’s lived overseas in India while her husband was on a overseas contract, and even drove the family car from the right seat when her husband flat out refused to! Now she enjoys the coast life in her sailboat with her family, as is always dreaming up her next adventure.
Connect with Sam
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Do you know a female entrepreneur who loves social media as much as we do? Contact us today – we’d love to tell her story!