Owner, Scottfree Salon
726 N. Milwaukee St., Milwaukee and 11649 N. Port Washington Road, Mequon
Industry: Hair and Beauty
Family: Two children, Seth (20) and Aden (11)
What was the smartest thing your company did in the past year?
“From a business perspective, definitely hiring an in-house accountant/controller. That has taken a big load off my shoulders and is paving the way for smarter, better financial decisions and an even brighter future for our two salons.
“I don’t know if this was the ‘smartest’ thing we have done in 2016, but our August Cut-A-Thon, a full-day event where all haircuts were $10 and we donated more than $500 and more than 400 inches of hair to Children With Hair Loss was definitely the most personally satisfying. A smart decision is one that also feels good, and giving back in that way was the most amazing and fulfilling feeling.”
What’s new at your company?
“Earlier this summer, we opened a second location on Port Washington Road in Mequon. My partner in that venture, B.J. Rademann-Schultheis, is a longtime friend and colleague who I am thrilled to be working with in this capacity. The salon has a very similar vibe to our downtown location – and our clients love having a North Shore option.”
Do you plan to hire any additional staff or make any significant capital investments in your company in the next year?
“With the addition of our North Shore salon – and the fact that our team works split shifts and each stylist shares a chair with a ‘buddy,’ allowing for very little down time and for chairs to be occupied from open to close, six days a week – I anticipate we will continue to grow our staff and see potential for additional Scottfree Salon locations.”
What will be your company’s main challenges in the next year?
“The challenge is always the same for us: Growing our customer base. With a growing arsenal of incredibly talented stylists and now two locations, it’s more important than ever to make sure our chairs are full. We are working on an advertising campaign for the fall and winter, and have shifted our promotional efforts to local TV appearances and a strong social media presence. “
What’s the hottest trend in your industry?
“Our industry is based on hair trends, so it changes from day-to-day. In hair color, we are seeing fashion colors and bayalage (hair painting) constantly requested by our clients. Women’s haircuts are shorter at the moment; men’s cuts are ’40s inspired with a modern twist. That said, the overall trend right now is haircuts and colors that are created uniquely for each individual client. It’s not about fitting in or following one particular trend, it’s about being yourself – your best self – and feeling beautiful because of that.”
Do you have a business mantra?
“‘Do what’s right, not what’s easy.’ That’s how I gauge all my business decisions and live my life. It’s also the best advice I’ve ever received.”
From a business standpoint, who do you look up to?
“There are a few local businessmen who have mentored me and still continue to inspire me; Rick Leto, Moshe Katz and Warren Blumenthal, to name a few. I consider each of them friends and aspire to mirror their careers. They didn’t compromise or sell out. They always do everything with integrity. I want people to understand that first and foremost I’m an artist and hair is my art. As a businessman, when making business decisions, I always take into consideration the wellbeing of my staff, our clients and our community. If it isn’t good for all three, it is simply no good. I have no problem taking a little less profit in order to spread the wealth and do what is right, not what is easy. “
What’s the funniest thing that ever happened to you in your career?
“Where do I start? I could literally write a coffee table book. Early in my career, I worked for Vidal Sassoon in Los Angeles. Vidal’s ex-wife was in the salon. She went in the changing room and somehow locked herself in. Instead of waiting for someone to let her out, she simply climbed over the top. Clearly, she was a very athletic woman.”
What do you like to do in your free time?
“What is this ‘free time’ you speak of? Just kidding. Honestly, it’s the simplest of things. Chilling with family and my dogs. Doing yoga. Watching my kids play soccer or hockey. Drinking a bold red wine. It’s as simple as that.”