by Kristen Parks (IG: @kristenparx)
on April 1st, June and I were invited to the ELLE Magazine & Wella Professionals Salon Soiree at Salon Joli. I think this event might have been an April Fools Day joke...
In my book, first impressions and presentation are everything. From the outside, the salon looks pretty nice, in a quiet little plaza. We walked into a packed seating area with an awkwardly placed step&repeat, a large event poster, retail shelves, styles for the evening displays and the front desk. Somehwere there is a DJ (push play) BLASTING music from last summer. We squished our way to the front desk, to sign in with the young lady. It was hard to hear, and the sign in felt more like a junk mail sign up list, but the girl was super inviting and sweet. We informed the front desk that we were bloggers and asked if we needed to let them know which blog we were representing... "it doesn't really matter..." So the ladies at the sign-in had no clue that bloggers were even coming and if they did, they did not understand the significance. Oh. At this point, I'm already overwhelmed and not really sure what is going on.
We followed the crowd into the actual salon, where we passed some makeup applications, the ridiculously loud music set up, and a super cute little dessert table. I will say that the catering service was great! All of the servers were friendly, attentive, and easily identifiable. The appetizers and desserts were delicious too!
At this point, we are the station area of the salon. Salon Joli IS a beautiful salon; the stations, chairs and layout are all super nice looking. I really appreciate nice looking salons. However, I have NO IDEA who the owner is or who the stylists are. I feel like any business owner and their employees should take so much ownership and pride in their business or place of work! As an industry professional, a potential new client or a blogger I should have been greeted by both an owner or a stylist if they really wanted my business. How do they know what I was looking for with this event... a new place to get my hair done? a new place of employment? or just to learn about the salon and event for this blog?
Well, the answer was to learn about the salon, the event, the brands, and so on. And I'm not impressed. I wasn't exactly sure what to expect, however I assumed there would be style presentations and I also assumed they would follow trend with these styles. We are in the middle of the going all over blonde, "granny hair", springy braids, vivid colors, and balyage trends right now... I saw a large group tag teaming a pony tail on what I can only assume was a model, but other than that I only noticed one other model.
I was really happy to see at least one stylist take such pride and ownership of her hair color and style on her model. The stylist included texture and silver hair in her beautiful style. She walked around with her model the entire time I was there, answering questions about the color and style, as well stopping for pictures. Now, that is a stylist who's presented herself and her model amazingly well.
We stood at a table with AK Brown and Diamond Hudson of Mind of a Fashionista for about an hour. At this point, I really cannot tell you how loud this music was. It was hard to have a conversation without yelling and even harder to think. Like I mentioned before, since all of were invited bloggers, I really thought someone would have greeted us at some point. I always try to meet as many people as I can, give out business cards, talk about the blog and what I do and make as many connections as I can at an event. I had no idea where to start at this Salon Soiree. I mentioned before being a little overwhelmed at the sign-in... now I'm completely overwhelmed and frustrated. I have no idea who to talk to, what I'm supposed to be looking at or doing, if something was going to happen at some point, or what.
Had this been my own event, I would have been in constant motion, greeting every individual I possibly could. My stylists would have been at their stations with their models, in the process of styling or on a pedestal showing off their already done work, each answering questions and giving consultations to the potential new clients. I would have asked my bloggers to sign-in and include what blog they were from, and have them in their own general section... not nessesarily a marked off section, but something I could keep an eye on at all times for new people to introduce myself to. I think a small media kit about the salon, event, and the event schedule would have been a good idea too. I would have used more current music, as well as keep it at a good volume people could still talk over, but keep the vibe upbeat and moving. I would have made sure that my stylists make an effort to introduce themselves to everyone they passed by rather than stay by who they already knew.
We ended the event with some cute selfies in front of the step and repeat... we had to do something fun to show for the event. We were headed out the door when a woman handed us goody bags. She didnt introduce herself as an owner or stylist, so I'm not sure what her role was... but at least someone acknowledged us on our way out.
Overall, I was unhappy. I think the event had the potential to be a great experience to reel in new clientele, new employees if needed, and overall just general support and good reviews. But, sadly, I cannot report any of that.
Definitely will not make it #tothemoon...