Live from Music Row Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed Julie White, Owner of Refined Men’s Salon in Cool Springs to the studio to outlines her customer base and salon services that differ from the competition.
Leahy: Right now in studio, my good friend, my hairstylist Julie White with Refined Men’s Salon in Franklin. Julie, what’s the best way for people to find out about Refined Men’s Salon in Franklin? What should they do? Do you have a website? What do you do? Do you Google?
White: The easiest way is to Google our name.
Leahy: Google the name Refined Men’s Salon of Cool Springs. Then what happens?
White: The little website button will take you straight to our online booking. We figured out that men are very simple. (Leahy laughs) If they do not see what they need in six seconds on their website, then they will close the website and go to the next.
And so we made it very, very simple. There’s no fluff. You go straight to the online booking. It gives you your pricing and all of the services we offer. And it’s a very simple process.
Leahy: Julie, you know your customers very well.
White: I do.
Leahy: You said it. Men are very simple.
White: Absolutely. But they also deserve to have good hair.
Leahy: Yeah. Well, it is sort of a quest to have good hair. And you look at this as you get older you think that the importance of having a good haircut or having a good pair of shoes or being well dressed and kind of all of that matters if you’re out there in business, right?
White: Absolutely. Absolutely. And reflecting your personal style is very important as well. Whenever you’re trying to exude confidence, and you’re trying to get to the next level, it will help you boost.
Leahy: Reflecting your personal style. That’s interesting. I guess we all do have a personal style.
Leahy: That’s a very interesting way to look at it. Now, you seem to have a very, very detailed understanding of your market. Are you limited geographically? Have you studied all this stuff? Tell us about your customer base.
White: I had the benefit of already walking into seeing a customer base. I found that most of our customers were coming from 064-067.
Leahy: Now, look, she’s already gone into the numbers, folks. This is I think one of the reasons that we were launching this Entrepreneur Corner series because you kind of listen and learn and see what it is that makes a business successful. When you just said those numbers, those are actually zip codes. Which are the zip codes.
White: They are. I’ve lived here my whole life, so I always go by just the last three.
Leahy: Which are the zip codes that you focus on and that most of your customers are from?
White: 37064,-37069, 067 and then even into 204, 206.
Leahy: Now let’s step back. The first zip code you mentioned are mostly what Franklin and Brentwood?
White: Yes. Yes.
Leahy: Okay. And now the other ones you mentioned, where are they?
White: 204 is South Nashville and 206 is East Nashville.
Leahy: Okay. So that’s where most of your customers come from. Now, let’s start sort of at that end. This is surprising to me. Why would somebody from East Nashville or South Nashville drive all the way out to Franklin for a haircut? And now I think you probably studied this. You probably know the answer. But what is the answer?
White: In my own personal opinion, East Nashville is very eclectic, and it’s also a very hot area to live in right now. We’re seeing people from all kinds of huge cities. Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle, Portland.
And they’re moving to the hip trendy neighborhood. However, the eclectic salon doesn’t fit the business model of most of these men that are moving there.
And given with our marketing and our word of mouth, they find us and they find that it works better for their lifestyle.
Leahy: So in other words, if you are from Los Angeles, and a lot of people like Roger Simon, who’ll be here at 7:00 hour, moved from Los Angeles. And although he didn’t move to East Nashville, a lot of them move to East Nashville, South Nashville.
And I’ve heard stories about people from Los Angeles who buy houses here and they don’t visit them. They just watch them.
They look at them in real-time on the internet, and they make an offer and they move just because the numbers are so great. But they typically tend to be business people, right?
White: Yeah. Absolutely.
Leahy: And so if you’re a business person and you’ve moved from Los Angeles to Nashville, there are certain things you have to figure out. Where do I go get my groceries? Where do I get clothes dry cleaned, and where do I get my haircut?
Where’s my dentist? All these things. Where’s my doctor? Where you get your hair cut, is very important. So what you’re saying is that in East Nashville, there are a lot of talented hairstylists.
Leahy: But it’s a different kind of hairstylist than say you would offer more of a, I don’t know what you call the high-end professional look. Is that right? Or how would you describe your approach to hairstyling?
White: I would definitely describe us as more of a conservative high-end because we are not like the fluff of the newer trendy hair stylists that are coming into the area now.
Leahy: This is interesting. The fluff of the newer trendy hairstylist coming into the area. I don’t know what that means, but I’m sure you know what that means. What is the fluff of the newer trendy hairstylist coming in? What are they, like?
White: They are amazing. They are very creative.
Leahy: This is interesting because you’ve analyzed your competition. You’re not at all critical of them.
White: Absolutely not.
Leahy: But what you’re saying is you are serving one particular niche that they are not.
Leahy: What niche are these new trendy hairstylists serving that you are not serving? How would you describe their niche?
White: The crazy haircuts and the crazy hair colors. They tend to gravitate towards the really trendy hair salon.
Leahy: So when you say that now, this will date me. When I thought of a crazy haircut, I thought of the old Mohawk, but that’s been around for, like, 20 years.
White: Mohawks are still kind of crazy.
Leahy: Do people get Mohawks?
White: Yeah. In a sense. They kind of evolved. They’re not just that straight up anymore.
Leahy: Men now getting different hair colors, too. Is that right?
White: There are some, yes.
Leahy: I see that with women, like, with purple hair and all that kind of stuff.
White: Absolutely. And that’s kind of what I’m talking about with the trendy hair and everything.
Leahy: And if you’re a business guy, I mean…
White: Business guys can’t have blue hair.
Leahy: In California, I guess maybe someone can here.
White: It’s possible here in Nashville.
Leahy: If you’re a business guy and you show up with blue hair, I don’t think you’re gonna close the deal. I think that you have a lesser chance. (Laughs)
Leahy: Now the other thing that I see is this blonde thing going on. Is that new? Maybe it’s five or six years old. Guys are doing like, the bleach blonde thing. Is that a thing or not?
White: It is a thing. I have more people coming into the salon now wanting blonde. I have one particular client that he gets platinum.
White: Yes. I think that’s a lot.
Leahy: I didn’t know that there was platinum as an option, but I guess anything is an option, right?
Leahy: But generally speaking, most of your customers will tend to be business guys?
White: Yes. Generally, we are sticking to the haircut and straight razor shaves. We do a lot of facial waxing and other services like that.
Leahy: But for the business guys, what is it? We got 30 seconds here. What is it the business guys are looking for in a haircut?
White: Something quick, easy, and something that they can style confidently in the morning.
Leahy: The way I style my hair in the morning is…I wake up. (Laughter)
White: You are not alone.
Leahy: Scooter says, yeah. That’s me too.
Listen to the second hour here:
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