Money Matters

One Step at a Time to Open Your Own Salon

  “I wasn’t happy in the salon I worked in so every day I put $20 away and my step-sister Andrea Conde — a cosmetologist — also started to put $20 a day away,” says Christina Litster. “

Christina Litster  (right) and Andrea Conde knocked down a wall to expand their new salon.
<p class="NoParagraphStyle">Christina Litster&nbsp; (right) and Andrea Conde knocked down a wall to expand their new salon.</p>

Nail tech Christina Litster was fighting depression when she enrolled in beauty school in 2008. Her mother had been killed months earlier at the hands of a drunk driver and this was her way of moving forward. “I got my license in October 2008,” says Litster. “I wasn’t happy in the salon I worked in so every day I put $20 away and my step-sister Andrea Conde — a cosmetologist — also started to put $20 a day away.” The two saved until they had $1,600. “We found a location for our own salon eight months into saving but it needed a lot of work. I negotiated until I got the lease on the building and auctioned off my services on Facebook starting at $40 (women would bid for me to do their nails).”

Litster gradually raised the money to buy furnishings — one nail desk and hydraulic chair at a time.  “We redid the floors of the salon, painted, and even knocked down walls all on our own,” she says. “We had volunteers and received donations to help. We had a barbecue, a craft sale, bake sale — everything and anything we could to raise money to open the salon. It became our new passion.”

The salon, Effess Salon in Clovis, Calif.,  has been open for more than a year. “I couldn’t be happier or prouder. Most importantly I am no longer depressed,” she says. “The salon has been successful from day one and it has never cost me one penny out of my personal pocket. My step-sister and I are going to continue to make this salon our passion.”

Keywords:   opening a new salon     salon finances  

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