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All in the Family: Welcome K Charles & Company Salons

ISBN’s newest member, K Charles & Company Salons, defines the concept of “family business.” Kathy Thalman, a hairdresser, founded the first salon of the San Antonio, Texas-based company in 1984. Today, her daughter and son, Holly Vaught and Chase Thalman, have taken the reins and grown the multi-unit enterprise to five salons with another location opening shortly.

Vaught, a third-generation hairdresser, graduated from the Aveda Institute in Minneapolis in 1989. Today, she serves as corporate education director and manages the people side of the operation. Chase Thalman, with a background in construction, oversees the numbers and logistics side of the business, and serves as contractor on every build-out and remodel.

The company includes three K Charles & Company Salons, which offer hair care, spa, skin care and manicure/pedicure services, and two 1,100- and 1,400-square-foot Salon Syzygy by K Charles locations that offer hair services and waxing. One of the large K Charles locations includes an 800-square-foot 3-chair The Barbershop by K Charles, with a freestanding barbershop opening in about 12 weeks. K Charles recently sold its two Aveda cosmetology schools in order to focus on its core salon business.

“K Charles follows a team-based service program to ensure that its goals of excellence and timeliness are met,” explains Vaught. “Services that might otherwise take weeks to schedule with a desired service provider can be readily appointed by coordinating and sharing tasks with team members. The stylist with whom a client is booked is responsible for orchestrating any tasks he/she might assign to team members and is ultimately responsible for fulfilling the guest’s expectations. The team spends many hours training together to ensure the service provided is consistent, no matter whose hands are involved. As a result, tips are not accepted. Our clients’ confidence and recommendation of our salon to others is an ever-rewarding gift.”

Vaught currently serves as a Texas State Captain for the Professional Beauty Association and until recently, served on several boards/committees for the American Association of Cosmetology Schools and the Career Colleges and Schools of Texas. Her passion for government relations led to an introduction to Gordon Logan, from whom she learned about ISBN.

“Our industry is under attack, and it’s critical that the salons and schools work together to decide how we should be regulated, before those outside the industry make those decisions for us,” says Vaught.

Another goal for joining ISBN is to learn best practices for encouraging and motivating her senior team members. “K Charles are high-end salons and our team members earn good money,” Vaught explains. “As my team members become tenured, I want to provide a way for them to continue to grow with us without having to continue to do more services.”

Currently when stylists reach senior status, they go to a four-day work week of 38 hours. Each week, there’s a different rotation and every fifth week, they get Saturday, Sunday and Monday off. They are able to schedule time off during the week, provided they do it in advance, in order to take care of personal business from doctor visits to their children’s school plays.

To promote their team, K Charles features various service providers on their website’s landing page under the “Meet the Expert” banner. The write-up includes a bio and a special promotion.

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