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Company Culture Powers Elle Marie Hair Studio

Elle Marie Hair Studio opened its first salon 9 years ago in the Pacific Northwest after attending Summit Salon Business College—which gave them a firm foundation from Day 1. Now, with three full-service salons and plans for the fourth, the family-owned and operated company is providing a culture that values lifelong learning, constant improvement and excellence for its 73 employees.

Elle Marie Hair Studio is family-owned by Colleen Buck, president; her daughter Lorry Green, who is a hairdresser and vice president of operations; and son Jody Bossert, vice president of marketing. The company is proud of its partnership with Redken, which supports its training and education and provides retail and professional products.

“What has made Elle Marie successful is hiring great people who support our powerful company culture,” explains Colleen. “That culture allows our employees to imagine themselves as excited, caring, engaged, involved and valued team players. It allows us to step well ahead of the competition. We spend countless hours educating our team on who we are with regard to our values, beliefs and behaviors. Educating and promoting our company culture at each monthly team and one-on-one meeting with every employee has resulted in exciting company growth.”

About 90% of Elle Marie’s employees are millennials, which made ISBN’s 2015 Conference particularly relevant. “We have attended three conferences focused on millennials in the past year, but ISBN opened our eyes to a whole new world,” explains Colleen. “We’ve come out of our box and are on the map!”

As millennials, Elle Marie Hair Studio’s employees are getting married and having children. The company’s vision focuses on accommodating employees’ determination to succeed not just at Elle Marie Hair Studio, but at home, as well. For example, taking the lead from corporations offering paid time off—PTO—Elle Marie offers free time off—FTO—and the option to work fewer hours, as needed. In fact, as a value-added benefit, Colleen, who is also a certified Life Coach, spends much of her time counseling her employees on how to achieve greater work/life balance. She meets with every employee every month for 30 minutes to check in and see how it’s going, what’s working and what’s not, what tools they need to do a great job and how the company can help them make more money. They can talk about whatever they’d like.

“Our company culture allows our employees to imagine themselves as excited, caring, engaged, involved and as valued team players. Our culture is our personality and supports our values, beliefs and behaviors,” says Colleen. “It impacts our productivity, morals, goals, values and momentum.”

She adds, “Our clients also like who we are. Since they know we are honest, fair and creative, they trust our recommendations for additional services and products and refer on average 50 to 60 new clients each month.” In fact, Elle Marie is so accommodating that if one salon is completely booked on a Saturday, they’ll give the client gas money and send her to another nearby location.”

The company is proud to support three charities—Hand in Hand for foster children, Queen It’s a New Day to get women back on their feet and Pink Hair to Save A Pair for breast cancer awareness. The altruistic philosophy attracts both employees and clients.

Concludes Colleen, “We know that the benefits of a good company culture are increased productivity, increased morale, employee motivation, openness to change, involvement, teamwork, improved relationships between people and last, but perhaps most important, satisfaction, happiness, joy and pleasure from working in a company where people enjoy each other!! We are excited about our future and we will continue to grow our business. We will do this by listening and caring and nurturing our employees and our guests, educating and taking pride in ourselves and our environment, going above and beyond for each other and our guests and being enthusiastic with a smile while ALWAYS HAVING FUN!!”

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