Grand Opening and PHYTO Flagship Event
Last month, Janet St. Paul Studio for Hair and Beauty celebrated the grand opening of its downtown hair salon and selection as the PHYTO Paris U.S. flagship salon. News of the salon’s selection and the stellar red carpet event was featured by Modern Salon, Salon Today, Austin Monthly, Tribeza, Austin Way, Community Impact and numerous other local publications. The downtown Austin hair salon’s selection by PHYTO Paris, one of the international beauty industry’s most respected brands, was an accomplishment built on Janet St. Paul’s extraordinary career.
Janet St. Paul first opened her doors at the 680 sq ft hair salon on 3rd street in Austin, Texas in 2011. The hair salon had four stations, two sinks, but not a single client on the books. She hired a fellow New Orleans native and New York-trained senior stylist, Shannon Briggs-Hack, and together they began servicing local Austin clients. It wasn’t long thereafter that news about Janet St. Paul Studio for Hair began to spread as clients would share the source of their new look or talk about the unique experience.
From the start, Janet St. Paul chose to offer PHYTO Paris haircare products exclusively. Janet believed using botanically-based hair products produced the healthiest and most beautiful results. Once clients learned how to pronounce PHYTO (fee-toe), they found these highly concentrated botanical products and treatments to be so different from the paraben and silicone-based products they had been accustomed to and fell in love with the product line. The growth Janet St. Paul’s hair salon experienced reflected in the product sales for the 50 year-old French hair care brand. The salon’s sustained growth continued as clients enjoyed PHYTO’s benefits and results when combined with the impressive Manhattan-in-Austin styling and coloring services they received. It wasn’t long before executives at PHYTO Paris wondered what was happening in Austin, Texas.
Janet St. Paul and her sister and co-owner, Beth St. Paul were invited to New York to meet with PHYTO Paris executives and discuss their “secret”, which had earned the hair salon a position within the company’s top five producers, yet with the smallest salon footprint. Janet explained, “There isn’t any secret. We are simply teaching every client how to use the product for their individual situation and needs. That’s it.”
Janet St. Paul and Beth invited the PHYTO Paris team to Austin to get a better understanding of the market and see her local hair salon. “We knew and recognized that Austin’s commitment to health, wellness and it’s rapid growth made it a perfect fit for the product line. Rather than try to explain it, we knew they had to see it.” When PHYTO Paris traveled to Austin, it was around the time of SXSW. Chief Operating Officer, Francois Hourcastagnou instantly connected with the innovative and physically fit culture in Austin, and conversations began that ultimately resulted in establishing Janet St. Paul Studio for Hair and Beauty as a professional education destination for the brand.
FORMULA FOR SUCCESS
As the PHYTO Paris U.S. Flagship hair salon, Janet St. Paul will share her business and product expertise with stylists who travel to Austin for education and training. One of Janet’s favorites quotes, “A gift that isn’t shared can’t grow,” is evident in the time and energy she devotes to education. She added, “This journey continues to be a fascinating experience. Every day is about creating and being the best you can to help people feel empowered.” Here are a few principles Janet St. Paul lives by that has enabled much of her entrepreneurial success.
1. Knowledge is everything.
Janet St. Paul is fiercely committed to continuous training for herself and her staff to perfect their craft. Staying up on new technologies and techniques in hair care is paramount. She trains her hair salon’s team continuously, including flying them to New York for intensives. In addition, PHYTO’s elite team of product specialists fly in from New York and Paris to train the Janet St. Paul Studio for Hair and Beauty team. “Teach your employees to expect even more than they knew they were personally capable of by training them well.”
2. Service sets you apart.
By creating an environment in her hair salon that is welcoming, luxurious and also expresses sincere appreciation, clients will continue to come back and refer their friends. “I never lose focus that our success relies on providing impeccable service and exceeding client expectations.”
3. Relationships are sacred.
Janet understands that influencing a client’s view of her or himself in a positive manner is powerful, but is also a privilege. The stylist-to-client bonds that form in the chair have known to outlast marriages, travel through life-changing events including weddings, babies, and beyond. At Janet St. Paul Studio for Hair and Beauty, the rapport among the team of stylists and clients is professional, friendly and always sensitive to each client’s personal needs.
4. Give Back.
The gifts that come from success require corporate responsibility and the intent to help. “I believe we have a responsibility as business owners, community members, and human beings to lift up our neighbors when they are most vulnerable.” Janet gives back by promoting charities and causes that are close to her heart in a variety of ways.
Recognizing that the demands of the industry require rest and nurturing, Janet is a big believer in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. She has a commitment to fitness, and often recommends a blend of therapies to support standing and working with your hands all week. Massage, acupuncture, chiropractic and cryotherapy and other self-care practices, along with time off are necessary to stay healthy and passionate about the work.
6. It Takes a Village.
“It’s not so much me, myself and I,” Janet said. “I rely on the talents and strengths of an amazing team.” Beyond her own personnel, Janet’s growth to the new salon required strategic partnership with a banker, real estate broker, business adviser, and other experts. Janet St. Paul recommends you surround yourself with people you trust, respect and can rely on.
Beyond these principles, Janet’s experience as a female entrepreneur has been her best teacher. Now expanded into a 2,600-square-foot downtown hair salon with extended beauty services coming later this year, St. Paul strives to ensure clients can expect a consistent level of service and experience every time they walk through the doors of Janet St. Paul Studio for Hair and Beauty.
September 21’s event “Vibrations Françaises” was a memorable and significant evening for Janet St. Paul, surrounded by clients, friends, family and other French-inspired local Austin businesses. The evening celebrated her entrepreneurial success while raising over $24,000 for organizations that help children less fortunate that they may one day have the support and opportunity to pursue their dreams.