The Daily recently checked in with Blake McCall, partner at Joseph Cozza salon and the owner of Blake Charles Salon & Spa in Granite Bay, CA to find out how he and his business’ adjusted to life during the pandemic and what brought him into the industry. Plus! A Kerastase educator fills us in on his favorite products.
When did you realize you wanted to work in the hair/salon industry? Is this something you always wanted to do or did you figure it out later in life?
It really just happened and quickly. My in-laws (who are owners in the salon) at the time did the insurance for the salon and heard it was closing. I remember meeting with Joe & Dan in Benicia at a coffee shop days later. It was less than a week later we were in the salon introducing ourselves to the staff. I would have never guessed that I would be in this industry but I absolutely love it!
What made you decide to open your own salon?
I grew up with parents who were entrepreneurs. I remember my mom and I living in an apartment after her and my dad got a divorce when I was 5. Her only goal was to be able to go to the grocery store and not stress about spending too much. I watched her grow a small business at home while raising my brother and I. I believe that made me want to do something similar to her and also do something that would impact people’s lives in a positive way. Thanks to my in-laws it happens to be in hair salons now!
What do you think sets your salon apart?
The experience from the time you walk in to when you leave. It’s hard to explain but it’s just different. It’s like walking into a room or sports arena and the energy is just different. The energy in our salon is unbelievable and the customers constantly talk about it. I believe it’s due to creating a culture that people enjoy being a part of. They look forward to working and being a part of the team. The positive attitudes and team environment create a culture that people love. From management to our guest services team the customer service is as good as you’ll find anywhere. It also helps that our location is unbelievable!
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What is your favorite thing to do in the salon?
By far, professional development meetings with the staff. It’s the thing I look forward to most. We get to look at numbers, set goals, create action items for them to reach their goals, and really give people a sense of direction and purpose.
How are you coping with the current coronavirus crisis? Both personally and as a business?
Personally it’s given me time to reflect, spend more time with my kids, and spend more time with my quarantine friends and family too. It’s been nice to have a break from commuting back and forth from San Francisco and Sacramento, too. Business wise it can be tough. Figuring out how we’re going to operate at less capacity but still pay our bills is a question a lot of salon owners have. So we’re having to adapt and figure it out. A lot of options are on the table.
Has the current crisis changed how you see this industry or your business? Or changed how you see yourself operating your business moving forward?
It’s made me like the industry even more. I just had a Zoom call with San Francisco salon owners. We shared ideas and will continue to do so. I used a hashtag #inittogether because it’s really cool to see what most people would consider competitors coming together. The salon owner I’m closest to is a block away from us and we share what’s working and what’s not all the time. Being a part of something with good people supporting each other through this is uplifting and it will help us all.
How are you filling your time these days if you’re not in the salon all the time?
Zoom calls with staff, being a home school teacher to my daughters, spending time with them, and golfing. My golf game is finally improving but that’s about to change the second the salons open up again!
What are you most looking forward to once all this is over?
I miss being in the salon. It’s an environment I miss being in each day. The staff is really like family and our clients are amazing. So I can’t wait to get back to seeing everyone again.
Any at-home haircare dos and don’ts you’d like to share?
Don’t use box color. Wait for us to reopen or if you’re desperate contact us for an at home color kit! I think it’s a great time for people to think about getting their hair healthy, too. I personally haven’t used a styling product in a month or so. You can contact your stylist or salon for products to nourish your hair.
Plus! Kérastase Recommendations