Owning a salon can be as rewarding as it is challenging. But these co-owners are making it work together—and wouldn’t have it any other way. We spoke with them to find out their secrets for salon success and why they believe two heads are better than one.
Chad Taylor and Tania Becker, co-owners of Moods Hair Salon, Vancouver
On Working As a Team: Chad and I make it a point to work together successfully. As with any relationship, we never take things for granted. Acknowledging everything, big and small, helps you build trust and a rapport with your partner. Admitting when your partner is right or when they make a great point—these things show you to view this as a team operation.
Benefits of Co-ownership: With a business partner, we get the benefit of that constant push but there's less pressure working as a team. The sense of support that we get from each other is invaluable. After more than 20 years we’ve seen the benefits of having different perspectives and energy working in different aspects of the business, from education to social media to other creative projects. We have a pretty awesome stylist team, so there's always something getting published or someone doing something really cool. It's always fun for us to share those moments.
Complementary qualities: Sometimes one of us may analyze a situation to death, but when we talk it over the other person comes up with a completely different and awesome prespective. At the same time, having integrity, being fun and surrounding ourselves with great people are all important to both of us.
Remo Bot and Cosimo Panetta, co-owners of Haartek Salon, Toronto
On Working As a Team: We worked together in the mid-80's for about four years, and we always had a mutual respect and friendship. To come together as partners was an easy fit, but there are ups and downs. We are after the same thing: The success of the salon is important to the both of us. The biggest thing for us is to be happy. At the end of the day you want to be in a peaceful place of work where everyone feels comfortable.
Benefits of Co-ownership: We like to have a sounding board in the business. One person alone may not be seeing everything. You need someone you can talk to.
Complementary qualities: Patience and respect for each other is so important. You grow and gain huge respect for each other. If you don’t have that, once that is lost, you’re done. You have to be open to listen and then say your piece if needed. Then you can come to a common ground.—Remo
We’re still working on our balance. It’s one thing to be business savvy but it’s also learning as we go along how the business is changing and how we have to change with it. Sometimes one person has to be the voice of reason.—Cosimo
Anna Pacito and Daniel Benoit, co-owners of Salon Pure, Montreal
On Working As a Team: We’ve been working together for many years. With Pure, I felt stronger partnering with someone like Daniel who had the same views, as far as education, hiring people we respected and training our own staff to reflect what we felt was important for a high-end salon in downtown Montreal. Even when we opened, I knew that we had the shared views we needed to be successful.
Benefits of Co-ownership: Keeping yourself humble is important if you want to partner with someone. Whether for the accolades, the success or the problems, having a partner offers you a feeling of strength. Financially, we pulled our money together and opened a salon three times as big as we could have on our own.
Complementary qualities: You need to be able to adapt. During the first few years, you’ll see some things differently so you have to meet in the middle and make things work. We cover different aspects of the business — I handle the PR, and he’s more in the salon day-to-day issues. Our strength as a business is in our passion and drive, whether in competition or education.
Even when you love working together, you’re not always going to see eye to eye. Here’s how these co-owners have managed to overcome some sticky situations.
We’ve always had very similar perspectives on our business. When we have a different perspective, it always adds to the discussion and we come up with a better solution. —Tania Becker and Chad Taylor, Moods Hair Salon, Vancouver
We don’t let things stew for too long. We deal with it and sometimes feathers get ruffled but at the end of the day we try to make it a team issue, not a personal one. —Remo Bot and Cosimo Panetta, Haartek Salon, Toronto
Even though we trade off on who leads, we always take a very smooth and relaxed way of putting things on the table. Early on we had a tiny disagreement and Daniel was the one who said, let’s take a breather, come back and talk. He was right, that’s the best way to deal with situations.—Anna Pacitto and Danie Benoit, Salon Pure, Montreal