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Design 1 Salon Spa’s Graham and Anna Walt take over ISBN Facebook January 14-18

Two years ago at the ISBN conference in Orlando, Fl, Rhoda Olsen closed with an impassioned speech urging us to look after our people. In a time of shrinking intakes and a hemorrhaging of qualified professionals, she urged us to take action to ensure our industry survives and thrives. We need young people to choose beauty as a career and to stay with it, not leave after a few short years, disillusioned and in debt. We need them to love the choices they’ve made and to tell their friends and their friends’ children, so they also choose it as a career. But the only way we can do that, Rhoda argued, was by putting them at the heart of what we do.

We left that conference buzzing with ideas and determination. Almost as soon as we got back to Michigan we ripped up our education program and rewrote it, putting our people at the center. Design 1 education has become a system that benefits our people not Design 1, although the company has benefited hugely from a more enthused, motivated and better trained team. It didn’t happen overnight. It took time to remodel. It took energy and it took a lot of innovative thinking. But it wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for the ISBN and its focus on sharing, which is why we jumped at the chance to grab the controls of the ISBN Facebook page for a week from Jan 14-18 to post details of what our new education program looks like.


Education is our passion. We’re excited about what’s happened at Design 1 over the past 18 months and are looking to forward to sharing insights into the changes. We’ll be detailing how we recalibrated education, including showing our new education suite that finally allows us regularly to bring together large groups of our people without shutting one of our salons or splashing out on an over-priced hotel room. Creating a designated space for education does mean costs, but if it is used constantly, that cost is worth it. For us, in the situation we are in where each strip mall that Design 1 anchors is owned by our parent company, it was doubly worth it.

We will also be posting about new relationships born from our association with ISBN, such as the link with easiHair pro. This came after repeated meetings and conversations at the ISBN conferences. easihair pro hasn’t just meant a new extension company coming on board, we’ve also fully engaged with its education service. This focuses on more than just technical training, also providing our people with sessions on how to grow their own individual business in salon. It has electrified our team.

The conclusion to our FB takeover will focus on the education highpoint of the past year, our Parking Lot Party. We have access to many big names via any one of our manufacturing partners, but we wanted to do more with this resource than just another seminar for a limited number of employees. So we set up a two-day event, bringing all our people together at our Plainfield salon. We had Look and Learn sessions open to everyone, led by Tim Dueñas from Nine Zero One Salon, which, as you can imagine, was a huge hit. But we also had a party in the parking lot, with families invited and we put on fun entertainment and events. It was an amazing day. Tim told us it was one of the most inspiring events he’d been to.

There will be lots of other, hopefully, insightful and inspiring posts between Jan 14-18, such as how we use social to drive engagement in education and how we incentivize retail, so we hope you’ll tune in and join in. We want to hear how you drive education and encourage take-up. Or about the innovative events you hold that get everyone excited. Together, sharing our ideas, we can help the industry thrive.

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