As owner of Perfect 10 Nails, a licensed in-home salon, Lori Ribar has the best of both worlds — a lucrative career and a family all under one roof. Seven years ago, after four years of owning her own salon away from home and after the birth of her second child, Ribar saw her priorities shifting and decided she needed to put more energy into her home and family life.
“A major advantage of being a nail technician is that you take your talent with you wherever you go, unlike many jobs that are restricted to a certain location or hour.”
Ribar applied the same professional business standards to her in-home salon that she learned when she had a traditional salon. Ribar remodeled her Mendota Heights, Minn., home, converting a 12- by 15-foot room into a salon, complete with waiting area and retail product displays. Perfect 10 Nails is kept separate and professional, she says.
Ribar says that one of the advantages of an in-home salon is that clients enjoy the privacy and quiet.
“A lot of clients don’t care for the gossip and petty things they overhear at a salon filled with people,” she says.
During work hours, Ribar’s three children are supervised by an in-home child care provider. “It’s reassuring for them to know that mom’s in the next room, even if she’s working,” says Ribar.
Her clients and family have developed a nice working relationship, she says. “My clients understand that because I have a family, I must stick to my set work hours, and they are flexible if I need to rearrange my schedule to take one of my kids to the doctor or if I have to attend a school function.”
As her children get older, Ribar wants to become more involved with nail competitions, continuing education, and professional organizations. Since she works alone, competing is one of what she calls her “reality checks” — a way to stay connected with other professionals as well as measure and get feedback on her performance and skills.
“My goal as I pursue competition more actively in the future is to make the NAILS Magazine Top 25 Competitors list.”
In the meantime, Ribar is very content with her working situation, and adds, “Someday, after the kids have grown, I may open my own salon again, away from home.” But until then, its business as usual and family within reach at the Ribar home.
Lori Ribar’s “Absolutes” For A Successful Home-Based Salon
- Have a separate business phone line.
- Keep a professional identity; for example, choose a professional salon name and have professional business cares, stationery and gift certificates made.
- Have a designated space for the salon with clear boundaries between your working and living areas.
- Have designated hours.
- Arrange for child care during salon hours if you have children.
- Develop close relationships with other nail technicians in the area so you can refer clients if you’re ill, going out of town, overbooked, or in case of an emergency.
- Have an adequate ventilation system.
- Check with your state board to see if in-home salons are legal and know the rules and regulations.
- Get your neighbors to approve of the extra traffic flow, and make sure that you have enough parking available.
- Continue your education! This is especially important since you’re alone in the salon and not as accessible to new ideas and techniques.
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