Salon Spotlight: FHI Educator Bryant Mathis

by FHI Heat March 11, 2022 3 min read

Salon Spotlight: FHI Educator Bryant Mathis

As hair professionals, some of the best advice we can get is from our friends in the industry. How are they scaling their business and what are their tips? We’ve decided to interview some of our FHI stylist educators to talk about their backgrounds and secrets to success. First up, we have the wonderful Bryant Mathis.  

We’re thrilled to work with Bryant. He has worked at several top-tier salons and co-owns Spa 54. He is truly a master of the craft. As both a stylist and salon owner, he knows what it takes to run a thriving and brilliant business model. Check out our in-depth interview with Bryant! 

Q: Bryant, did you always want to be a stylist or own a salon?

Growing up I did not know what I really wanted to do. It was either going to be music or sales. I wanted to attend Juilliard. 

Q: How did you get into the industry?

I got into this industry in 2010. I was working in sales at the time but spoke with [stylist friend] Tod who [suggested I start] doing har. I said yes, and that was that! 

Q: What was your career trajectory like?

I started working for Tod at Studio 54 Hair Designs in Eldon, MO. [I also worked at] Spa 54 at Camden on The Lake. 

In 2019, I got the opportunity to open another Spa 54 location in Camdenton - An Aveda Concept Spa. 

Q: What’s an Aveda Concept Spa?

I have always wanted to own an Aveda Lifestyle Salon. Think of it like a flagship or a salon that’s closest to Aveda’s mission. 

Two years [after Spa 54], I got another opportunity to buyan Aveda Concept salon in Jefferson City, MO. We purchased that April 2021 [and] named it 54 Hair and Spa Co. Around September 2021, we got approved to be an Aveda Lifestyle Salon at the 54 Hair and Spa Co. location.

Q: What is your advice to other stylists?

The biggest thing for selling retail: stop trying to sell retail. Clients notice it when you try to sell. Instead, start recommending products. Your clients come to you for a reason. If you don’t recommend something, then the client will find it somewhere else. Find a line that you really like and can stand by. Find a brand that supports you. Don’t get discouraged when a client says no or does not act interested. If the product is truly meant for the client's hair, make notes and keep using it on them each time. After a while, the client is going to purchase the product. 

Also, do not worry about what the client will and will not spend or if the product is too expensive or not. Hair is an investment. The client will either say yes or no.

Q: Do you have any business success secrets?

I don’t feel like I have any secret. I love to share when people ask [and] I am not going to hide [anything]. I love to share. In this industry, we all need to stick together and share things with each other and help elevate this craft. 

Also, build a team you want around you. Hire people that build each other up and help build you up for when you are feeling overwhelmed. Hire people that you can trust so you don’t have to worry all the time. A great team can make the salon. Owners are there to help build the team they have and help them to grow to what they want to do. I like to ask each one what their long-term goals are and help them get there. [If they want to be] a salon owner, I will show them what it takes and help guide them. 

  1. What are 3 things you need to know for salon success?

Number 1, know your numbers. AKA, metrics for stylists. It’s so important to do one-on-one forecasting and goal-setting every quarter. Also, know what is going out and coming in oneverything. One of the biggest wastes I see in salons is hair color. Find a system that helps like Vish Hair Color Management Software to help lower waste. Every penny can make a difference.

Number 2, if you want to grow the salon - stop doing hair full-time. In the beginning, it’s fine. But as you build a team, start cutting your behind-the-chair hours to 1-2 days per week max.

Number 3, culture.What do you want your culture to look like? Welcome the discomfort. You might need to shift your thinking and make different choices if you feel like your salon is in a rut or doing the same ol’ same ol’. Put Culture First. Lead by example.

FHI Heat
FHI Heat



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