Summit Salon Business Center (SSBC) held its inaugural Summit Unplugged event on January 28 to 30 at the Dreams Natura Resort & Spa in Cancun, Mexico.
The three-day event featured on-stage education and motivation for SSBC’s top salons and owners, with a focus on giving them the tools to put themselves first and unplug to help them put their best foot forward when leading their salon teams.
“We have about 1,000 clients, so we wanted to bring them into a safe space and invite those who are committed to our belief system together to hang out and celebrate their successes,” says Peter Mahoney, SSBC president and Canadian salon owner. “This community is almost like one big salon. We’re all operating under one big belief system and [shared] principles. We wanted the put together content that’s focused on them and their wellness, and not the same business strategies that they hear when the attend our other events.”
The event began with an evening welcome reception where attendees got the chance to meet, mix and mingle.
The following day featured on-stage presentations that were kicked off by salon owner, host of SSBC’s SUMM IT UP podcast and the event’s master of ceremonies, Blake Evans, who welcomed Mahoney to the stage for an industry update that featured a trend report, financial findings, best practices and more.
Next to take the stage was SSBC’s team leader and coach, Derek Reynolds, and their director of brand development Tim Fisk, who spoke about in-salon culture. Salon owners and SSBC salon coaches Jennifer Culverhouse and Dawn Carter also provided attendees insight into burnout and how to navigate its challenges.
We caught up with Fisk and SSBC’s vice president of business development, Heather Bagby, who spoke more about the brand and the event. “It’s called Summit Unplugged because, a lot of times, small business owners and entrepreneurs spend all of their days serving everyone else and they rarely take any moments for themselves,” says Bagby. “We wanted to provide presentations and an event that can help them recharge, take back to their everyday life and slightly acknowledging what we’ve all been through it the last couple of years.”
“This was born from people meeting in the field and our coaches working with salons and noticing that the salon owners needed this,” adds Fisk. “We hope people will walk out with a sense of empowerment, knowing that part of their success, of their journey to success and prosperity, is in taking those moments to refill their cup.”
Later in the day, Evans was joined on stage by SSBC’s AI solutions architect, Chris Mahoney, who recorded a live podcast onstage and spoke about how AI is changing the beauty industry while giving attendees their top tips on how to use AI to help take their businesses to the next level.
In addition to the general sessions that were held on stage, attendees got the chance to visit three breakout sessions throughout the weekend. Each breakout session was hosted by SSBC salon coaches and leadership trainers including Haleigh Culverhouse and Araceli Castañeda, who provided insight on imposter syndrome. Renee Hyderi and Heather Milo gave their top tips for implementing policies and procedures into salons. Jacob Rodriguez and Jason Culverhouse gave attendees motivation for making their business dreams come true.
We also had the opportunity to catch up with Glenda Keeping, owner of Changes Hair Studio in Shelburne, Ont., and a Summit salon coach, who opened up about how Summit has helped her and her business. “I hired a SSBC coach in 2013 and have been working with them ever since,” she says. “I’ve been a salon owner since 1997 and I had no idea what I was doing as a business owner. I was dealing with debt at the time, and when I heard about SSBC I decided to go to one of their events and I realized that I would be able to get the help that I needed for my business.”
“I knew that I wanted to help other salon owners, so I became a coach,” she adds. “There are so many pillars to SSBC and having someone you can talk things through with is really helpful. It’s also great to be at this event like this to connect with other business owners, get affirmation that I’m on the right track and to validate how I’m feeling.”
The day ended with a beachside dinner and awards ceremony in which SSBC celebrated their salons with awards and titles including Servant Leadership, Passion, Innovation, Accountability, and Sound Financial Practices.
The final day of the Summit started with a morning meditation on the beach that was followed by more onstage presentations; the first one was held by their keynote speaker—author and entrepreneur Nataly Kogan, who spoke about leadership and happiness.
The final presentation focused on how salon owners can leverage their social media channels while providing tips and tricks on how to create successful content, which was held by SSBC’s social-digital division team lead, Kim Light- Pearson.
Browse our gallery from the event.
Photos: Summit Salon Business Center and Salon Staff