@hairbysaretta – Hair Extensions expert, Social Media maven, and Modern Salon Top 100



Chris Sulimay: Yeah. Okay, it sounds that’s the clap.


John Palmieri: That’s the clap, that’s the noise.


Chris Sulimay: Shall we get started?


John Palmieri: Yup.


Chris Sulimay: Hi everybody, thanks for tuning in this is ShopTalk@124go, the podcast pointed at salon professionals, who are interested in growing. I’m Chris Sulimay, today’s host [00:00:30] and I’m with my good partner


John Palmieri: John Palmieri


Chris Sulimay: Awesome, fantastic, and we have a really extraordinary guest that we’re super excited about, somebody who we just recently met in the industry but is no stranger probably to a lot of you that are listening if you follow social media or if you’re really interested in hair extensions as long as you haven’t been under a rock probably over the past couple of years, you might have seen or heard the work of this person and so, anyway, today [00:01:00] we’re here with Saretta Bowerman. Hi Saretta.

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Saretta Bowerman: Hello.


John Palmieri: Hey, how are you Sarreta?


Chris Sulimay: Fantastic. And she is the owner of Blue Water Salon in Naples, Florida, and just to set a little context of how we met. Recently, John and I were at the, where are we at?


John Palmieri: Salon Digital Summit?


Chris Sulimay: Salon Digital Summit, we met Saretta before that, I think in Atlanta?


John Palmieri: Yup, that’s right.


Chris Sulimay: At?


John Palmieri: At the hair, was it the Hair Plus?


Chris Sulimay: What’s the name of that event?


Saretta Bowerman: The Hair Plus [00:01:30] Summit


Chris Sulimay and John Palmieri: The Hair Plus Summit, right


Chris Sulimay: Fantastic. That was the summit that was put on Saretta for, that was like hair replacement, hair extensions, how did you land at that summit?


Saretta Bowerman: It’s actually the second year, I was invited to come back. Modern Slam, reached out to me when they realized I was kind of a hair extension expert, whatever, they asked me to come actually last year and do a panel [00:02:00] and talk about my experience and any questions and they said they got good feedback from the crowd, they wanted me back for the second year. I was super honored to be there.


Chris Sulimay: Awesome, yeah, that was actually cool and we saw you on the panel with some really extraordinary hair extension specialists. I think Lindsay Guzman was on that panel, Brent was on that panel


John Palmieri: Yeah, from Atlanta.


Chris Sulimay: Candy, from, I forget the name of her salon, what


Saretta Bowerman: It was [00:02:30] The Mermaid Hair Extensions


Chris Sulimay and John Palmieri: Mermaid Hair


Saretta Bowerman: from Seattle


Chris Sulimay and John Palmieri: Extensions, yeah


Chris Sulimay: and it was great to listen to. We were super impressed, we  tried to get together and grab a Facebook Live with you out of the Salon Digital Summit, you were super busy, probably in enthralled by your four or five spread in modern salon and


Saretta Bowerman and John Palmieri: [laughter]


Chris Sulimay: pulled in lots of different directions so we end up here in the podcast, which is just great. To jump into this a little bit, we thought we would just start kind [00:03:00] of at the beginning, right John?


John Palmieri: Yeah, I’d like to know how you got into this business industry, why hairdressing, how did this happen for you?


Saretta Bowerman: Well, I think for everyone it’s kind of a, sometimes it’s a similar story but mine actually I started out like as an artist, essentially. And in high school, I was always drawing, college, painting, and I kind of realized quickly that I wanted to be doing [00:3:30] something that I could actually make a significant income with, not be a starving artist.


John Palmieri: Right.


Chris Sulimay: That’s awesome. What kind of things are you drawing and painting, like how, did you have sort of a personal style, are you trying everything or


Saretta Bowerman: I got really more well known for doing portraits. I would have friends be like, “Hey, can you draw my child for me?” or “Can you draw my deceased grandma?“ or something. I kind of got into that and I was doing watercolor [00:04:00] painting. Anyways, it kind of going back to where I got started, when I was around, 11 or 12 years old, my, one of my brothers and which is one of eight actually, of eight brothers, he  sat


Chris Sulimay: That’s incredible, you’re telling us that before you got started, it’s like eight brothers and you


John Palmieri: Yeah


Chris Sulimay: you actually turned out to be a girl [chuckle], you know


Saretta Bowerman: I know, everyone’s like, “how?“, I was like “well, just you know, I want to counteract [00:04:30] their masculinity”


John Palmieri: [laughter]


Saretta Bowerman: But anyways, he sat me down, he’s like “okay, you’re going to learn how to give us haircuts with this flowbee”. I don’t know if anyone


Chris Sulimay and John Palmieri: [crosstalk] Oh yeah


John Palmieri: Flowbee


Chris Sulimay: Jesus.


John Palmieri: That’s awesome.


Saretta Bowerman: “you’re going to learn how to give me a haircut with this flowbee” [incomprehensible] vacuum because we’re too lazy or cheap or whatever to go to the barber. That’s how I started and I was doing all their friends and cousins. I [00:05:00] was very comfortable doing hair.


John Palmieri: Right.


Saretta Bowerman: I think once I realized that I was an artist and I want to go to that direction, I think I just kind of like pushed me


John Palmieri: Alright.


Saretta Bowerman: to “okay this is, let’s try this if it sticks”


Chris Sulimay: That’s awesome. And, did you go straight to hair school from high school? And go that route? Or did you do the college thing first or what?


Saretta Bowerman: I actually really knew I wanted to do hair, so I actually finished high school [00:05:30] and beauty school in the same year, so I graduated high school in  January, and graduated beauty school in February. I was like, right off the bat, at 17 years old, I was in a salon as an assistant.


Chris Sulimay and John Palmieri: Yeah


Saretta Bowerman: It was awesome.


Chris Sulimay: That’s kind of cool, my story


Saretta Bowerman: I got an early start


Chris Sulimay: That’s awesome, my story is pretty similar to that, I came straight out, hair school in the salon before I, you know. I didn’t really know anything I was cleaning shampoo bottles




Chris Sulimay: sweeping floors [00:06:00]


Saretta Bowerman: Yup.


Chris Sulimay: Fast forward a little bit, how long were you before you ended up kind of going in the salon ownership? You’re a salon owner


Saretta Bowerman: Yup


Chris Sulimay: and I know that you made a geographic transition, right?


John Palmieri: Right, because you were in Montana, correct?


Saretta Bowerman: I was in Montana, that’s where I went to beauty school, I worked there for three years and during that time I went from assistant commission stylist to renting, [00:06:30] in that three year time period


John Palmieri: Wow


Saretta Bowerman: and I moved all the way across the country to Florida.


Chris Sulimay: Good weather change.


John Palmieri: Yeah.


Saretta Bowerman: Amazing, best ever.


Chris Sulimay and John Palmieri: [laughter]


Saretta Bowerman: Everyone’s like, “you must miss the mountains”, I’m like, “ahhhh, have you ever lived in snow before?”


John Palmieri: [laughter]


Chris Sulimay: Yeah, I think, you would have called it “I Miss the Mountains Salon” and not “Blue Water Salon” if you were like totally


Saretta Bowerman: Right. Exactly. [laughter]


John Palmieri: When you moved to Florida, did you have a job, [00:07:00] I mean, what were your prospects, what were you, you know


Saretta Bowerman: When I moved to Florida I kind of interviewed like five or six salons and it was, I was kind of like “Okay, I’m going to interview them” to see like, what’s a good home for me.


John Palmieri: Right.


Saretta Bowerman: About six of them wanted to take me on, they were like “Yes, you’re perfect, you’re hired”, I chose this one salon, [00:07:30] long story short, it’s just wasn’t a great fit for me, I worked there for, maybe two months.


John Palmieri: Right.


Saretta Bowerman: and then that’s when, actually my sister-in-law was getting her hair done at the salon that I currently own and she was like, “Hey, why don’t you go check out that salon and see if they’re hiring”. They didn’t get back to me for a few months that’s why I ended up going working at the first salon.


John Palmieri: Sure.


Saretta Bowerman: They hired me on as [00:08:00] front desk and basically taking any walking clients because I moved down here with obviously no client.


John Palmieri: Right


Saretta Bowerman: and then transitioning from that, I took ownership of the salon in about a month.


John Palmieri: In about how long?


Saretta Bowerman: One month.


John Palmieri: One month. Frontdesk to taking on clients that ate walking on the door, till 30 days later I own the place.


Saretta Bowerman: Yup. And I had like dropped the bomb on the [00:08:30] few employees that were left over. I was like, “ by the way, undercover boss”


Chris Sulimay and John Palmieri: [laughter]


John Palmieri: Awesome.


Saretta Bowerman: They were like, “Oh crap, what did we say?“, so funny.


Chris Sulimay: Did they stay with you?


Saretta Bowerman: All of them stayed, there’s still with me after five years.


John Palmieri: Wow, that’s great. Good for you.


Saretta Bowerman: Because we all get along, and I’ve obviously added to the team since then, doubled in size.


Chris Sulimay: That’s super cool, if it would have been me and John, we would have cleared, they would have cleaned house


John Palmieri: [laughter]


Chris Sulimay: We would have started with [00:09:00] nothing [laughter]


John Palmieri: I think I would like to be alone right now. [laughter]


Chris Sulimay: That’s right.


John Palmieri: [laughter]


Chris Sulimay: When you took over the salon, obviously five years ago, I mean this is pre-Instagram days, you’re building from scratch, you’re kind if managing both building a clientele as well as growing your staff, I mean, talk a little bit about building a client, because what I’d love to get into, to be honest, is, I’d love to fast forward a little bit here in a second and really start to talk to you about Instagram, growing your business [00:09:30] how that’s all worked out. Some of its


Saretta Bowerman: Yeah.


Chris Sulimay: cool opportunities that you’ve had since then, Modern Salon Top 100, some of the other opportunities that are now coming along with that growth. And you’re a stylist-owner who’s still works in a salon, so this is very much not like an overnight success story to me, this is you’re in there doing the work all the time and kind of seeing the benefits. That said talk a little bit about that [00:10:00] growth a little bit pre-Instagram days, I want to try fast forward to that, but just some of the trials and errors you had in starting a salon kind of from scratch.


Saretta Bowerman: Yeah, absolutely. I want to say at the very beginning, you just have to kind of get your boots on the ground, kind of a thing like, you just have to meet people


John Palmieri: Right.


Saretta Bowerman: I just put myself out there, really, I just, I drove [00:10:30] to Sax Fifth Avenue and said, “Hey, do you guys ever have any events where I could come in and just do people’s hair as they are walking by. Or I drove to every wedding venue where I could find in town and just had a really nice menu and “Hey, I’m new in town, I do wedding hair, if you would like to come and get a blowout for me, at no cost, feel free to come in anytime”. They ended up being my clients [00:11:00]. And then, they sent their brides to me and they sent their moms to me.


John Palmieri: Right.


Saretta Bowerman: So, really getting your boots on the ground first.


John Palmieri: That’s awesome. Can I tell you something


Saretta Bowerman: Everyone, everything, “Hey, yes, I can do your hair tomorrow”, and now that I’m more advanced in my career, obviously, I can say “No”, because I have the ability to, but in the beginning putting the hard work in and getting out there.


Chris Sulimay: I love that and the truth is [00:11:30] I just relocated to Atlanta, recently, and I’m going through that exact phase right now.


Saretta Bowerman: Right.


Chris Sulimay: which is interesting and there was a moment where and I’m sure that there are a lot of people listening to this that have gone through the relocation thing or thinking about the relocation thing.


Saretta Bowerman: Right.


Chris Sulimay: And either way, I would say to them, there’s that moment where you realize, it’s kind of like a “Holy shit moment”, to where you’re like, I got to go do this, I have to go get [00:12:00] these people and I’m doing the same exact thing right now, it’s funny, and basically letting people know anybody that wants to do, anybody that’s in a visible position or works inside of our salon group that wants to do a full on makeover, like a hair transformation that I can document all the way through audio or video, photo and it’s such a cool thing to do that I think most, most I would [00:12:30] say this is a true statement, new people growing, never think about that and I hear a lot of people that get in the industry, they go, “I don’t do free services”, that’s something that you get to choose when you’re busy


John Palmieri: When you’re busy. Right.


Saretta Bowerman: Yes, you get to


John Palmieri: Yeah


Saretta Bowerman: Yes, exactly.


Chris Sulimay: Because when you’re new, you got to go get the butts in your chair, right? You got to get people [00:13:00]


Saretta Bowerman: Sorry,


John Palmieri:


Saretta Bowerman: Yeah, you can’t choose


Chris Sulimay: Yeah.


John Palmieri: I found the same thing, like you and Saretta with my first career. I bartended at night. During the day, I did hair, it wasn’t a whole lot of people in my chair, so at night, I pass business cards all night long. Thank God they came to the shop the next day but those haircuts were for free.


Chris Sulimay: Yup.


John Palmieri: Because they didn’t know me or if I was any good


Saretta Bowerman: Of course


John Palmieri: I can make some margarita [00:13:30] but


Chris Sulimay: Yeah


John Palmieri: Are you hearing that? That’s the whole of the story


Saretta Bowerman: [chuckle] And I’m


John Palmieri: Go ahead, please.


Saretta Bowerman: I was just going to tag on to that, I think that now there is so much social media nowadays, sometimes I think that maybe the younger generation of hairdressers coming up, kind of think that they don’t have to do that anymore.


John Palmieri: Right.


Saretta Bowerman: But I still think they kind of, I mean, you have to kind of like put your time in still.


Chris Sulimay: [00:14:00] I mean, we could totally go off on a tangent right now, I’ll try to reel it in, if that’s possible. But, it’s funny because the other thing that I discovered was and this is recently coming back into salon, like real like salon life again is Instagram or your putting your, I call it the digital portfolio out there, spreading, getting digital referrals, spreading your message that way, you still got, [00:14:30] something still has to happen when they come in and sit down


John Palmieri: Right.


Saretta Bowerman: Yup.


Chris Sulimay: It better be something that doesn’t, that they love, they better have had a great experience, you better have been able to communicate with them in a way where you’re able to talk about your services, the products that you offer, them bringing in their friends, because if not,


John Palmieri: You can’t [incomprehensible]


Chris Sulimay: Yeah.


John Palmieri: Yeah, that’s got to be a good experience, both, technically


Chris Sulimay: Right.


John Palmieri: and for the relationship building


Chris Sulimay: [00:15:00] Totally.


Saretta Bowerman: Yeah.


Chris Sulimay: I love that. Do you want to say anything more about that part and piece, do you have newer people in your salon who you’ve kind of help push in that direction or anything else that you wanted to say about the boots on the ground thing or any other strategies or


Saretta Bowerman: I mean, I would say just don’t expect it to be given to you, even if there’s [00:15:30:00] other busier hairdressers at the salon that maybe have overflow that would maybe refer their guest to you or something, don’t expect those people just to give them to you, you better work and even gain their respect.


John Palmieri: Correct.


Saretta Bowerman: The more you’re, I always like love my, actually my very first boss in Montana, I always look up to her, I still call her sometimes. She always had the quote that, it was just so simple but [00:16:00] I still think of it everyday. “Busy makes busy”, if you’re a busy body around the salon.


Chris Sulimay: That’s a great statement


Saretta Bowerman: Sweeping after other people and doing stuff for them, they’re going to have more respect for you and they’re going to refer people to you because they’re like, “We know she hustles”


John Palmieri: Right.


Saretta Bowerman: “We know she cares, she goes the extra mile”, when someone asked me, I’m going to refer them to them. [00:16:30]


John Palmieri: Right.


Saretta Bowerman: “Busy makes busy”, I think of that everyday in my head. Some people get it and some people just don’t get it. But


Chris Sulimay: That’s great advice.


Saretta Bowerman: I don’t know, I guess that’s just something that


John Palmieri: I think there’s a quote going on our Instagram feed later


Chris Sulimay: Yeah, that’s really.


John Palmieri: [laughter]


Chris Sulimay: Yeah, that’s really good. What was her name.


Saretta Bowerman: Do it


Chris Sulimay: What is boss’ name?


Saretta Bowerman: Her name was Marie [incomprehensible] well she got two last names [00:17:00] but Marie Hackey?, and she came from a salon family, she was actually the only sister that wasn’t a hairdresser but she was an amazing manager.


Chris Sulimay: That’s really cool.


Saretta Bowerman: Yeah.


Chris Sulimay: Hair extensions, I feel like we want to talk about it


John Palmieri: Yeah, because I think that when we talk about hair extensions, it so, for a lack of a better way to put it, it’s so hot right now, right? Instagram is full of it, it’s all over Facebook. I mean, we’re obviously spending more time [00:17:30] at our company Salon 124 into creating extensions into our business and because I’m old, right? I can remember 15 years ago that it was a great idea but it never really seem to have caught on the way I thought it would have. This time around, though, I mean, man it’s caught fire,


Chris Sulimay: Totally.


John Palmieri: Yeah. Tell us about, how did you get there, what drew you to it, tell us about that journey.


Saretta Bowerman: Okay. I actually started hair extensions [00:18:00] in Montana and it was obviously something that wasn’t as popular, like eight or nine years ago.


John Palmieri: Right.


Saretta Bowerman: I kind of got the itch when I was there and really loved it and I only specialized in, I think one or two different applications methods but then when I came to Florida, I realized “Wow there’s a much bigger need here” and I think just where I [00:18:31] live, people are just willing to, I don’t know how to say this any other way,


Chris Sulimay: Pay for it


Saretta Bowerman: Pay for it, they are willing to spend the money for it. No matter what age range they are.


John Palmieri: Right.


Saretta Bowerman: I just started to put my work out there and specialize in it and got models and was like, “Hey you’re so pretty and you have a big presence online, let’s give you some extensions.” and all of the sudden [00:19:00] I just kept getting all these inquiries for it and I think when you produce a really beautiful products like extensions and they stand out from other people, you will get the people in your chair.


John Palmieri: Right. Because I’ve gone to your Instagram feed and I can probably use that, those words, they stand out, look at those pictures like, “Man, that’s just good looking hair” and I can’t tell if it’s extensions, you just did a really great  [incomprehensible] [00:19:30] that”. Either way


Saretta Bowerman: Thank you


John Palmieri: beautiful work


Chris Sulimay: Yeah.


John Palmieri: Good job.


Chris Sulimay: Is there a particular type of extension that you focus on and why? And what have you tried, what are your trial and errors for somebody who wants to get into it?


Saretta Bowerman: Right. I actually focused, mainly, now on tape-ins because they are very quick the application is very quick, learning how to do them is quick [00:20:00].  It’s a beautiful blend, it gives a really full look in the hair. I would say getting into them just find a company that you love their hair and you love, they have a pretty big presence online that’s pretty huge because kind of, they’ll usually repost you and so you want to find a company that’s pretty reputable, just take a class from them, they have classes all over the world, like everywhere.


John Palmieri: Yeah.


Saretta Bowerman: They are not that expensive, just take a tape in [00:20:30] class. And I think that’s the best way to kind of get started. Because any other method like fusion or hand tied they’re a little more intricate and you really have to like doing detailed kind of monotonous things, if you want to get into that


John Palmieri: Right.


Saretta Bowerman: type of extension which I like, I like doing the super detailed, like standing there for a few hours and doing some


John Palmieri: [laughter] that’s perfect.


Saretta Bowerman: but some people hate it


John Palmieri: Yeah.


Saretta Bowerman: [00:21:00] but I will be going, in 2019, I will be offering the hand tied extensions and the beaded weave, I think I’m doing that for myself because I see that’s where the industry is heading right now.


John Palmieri: Right.


Saretta Bowerman: All the bloggers and Youtubers, they’re all wearing these extensions


John Palmieri: Right


Saretta Bowerman: and I want to make sure that I’m in line with where the industry is right now.


John Palmieri: Yeah.


Saretta Bowerman: But to start out with definitely just do [00:21:30] tape ins, that way you’ll get, it’s not something that’s going to be hours and hours of application and you can still make a good profit off of it. Because it’s not too long. Yeah.


Chris Sulimay: That’s awesome, that’s awesome. And so, and that, one of the things that you talked about is searching people online and seeing people, is that hair extension work and posting that on Instagram and doing that sort of stuff is that where you started to [00:22:00] kind of notice the game changing a little bit or your, tell me about, I grew a little bit of a clientele but Instagram was still, it’s really only three years old or four years old.


Saretta Bowerman:  Right.


Chris Sulimay: When did you start to connect those dots?


Saretta Bowerman: In terms of gaining more clients or gaining more following? [crosstalk]


Chris Sulimay: Kind of like, in the beginning I feel like most hairdressers are posting their work.


Saretta Bowerman: [00:22:30] Right.


Chris Sulimay: Right? And for the most part I think people are starting to catch up because they’re seeing what really good influencers are doing and they are trying to emulate that work or they’re trying to copy.


Saretta Bowerman: Yeah.


Chris Sulimay: Not in a bad way, they’re just trying to get to look as good as


Saretta Bowerman: Be better.


John Palmieri: Yeah.


Chris Sulimay: Yeah, exactly.


John Palmieri: I guess, when us that “aha” moment, right?


Chris Sulimay: Right.


John Palmieri: When is that “Hey, I’m posting on Instagram because I’m supposed to do this and it’s kind of fun”, and all of the sudden you wake up one day and you went [00:23:00]


Saretta Bowerman: Right.


John Palmieri: “Holy crap”


Chris Sulimay: Like this is making a difference


John Palmieri: Yeah.


Saretta Bowerman: Right.


John Palmieri: Tell us, when did that happen? The hitch over the head that sneak up on you, tell us about that.


Saretta Bowerman: I mean, I feel like it was something that I was consistently posting, pretty much, but when I look back in my page at that time, whatever a few years ago, I mean it wasn’t great.


John Palmieri: Right.


Saretta Bowerman: But, the photography [incomprehensible] wasn’t great, my work was still good but, I didn’t know what I was really doing, I was double mirrored, [00:23:30] hair pictures and all the funky stuff.


Chris Sulimay: Everybody was doing that then.


Saretta Bowerman: Right. And I was kind of  just going to the motions like, “Okay, you’re supposed to tag this person and hashtag this and just going to the motions and then one day, like three or four years ago, Maggie from Modern Salon commented on my picture and said, “we love this work, could you please send me the formula to this email because I want to put it on our website”. And I think when I got, first thing I was like [00:24:00] “Oh, okay,-


John Palmieri: [laughter]


Chris Sulimay: Breakthrough moment.


Saretta Bowerman:  a big difference”


John Palmieri:


Saretta Bowerman: like “now I really need to focus on really good photos and creating really good content” because this going to actually be something.


John Palmieri: Yeah.


Saretta Bowerman: And it was a pretty slow growth for me, I never felt like in a whole time that I’ve been growing my Instagram that I was just like a burst of, a ton of growth, it was always just like kind of just [00:24:30] working hard consistently, working hard to create good content and keep on being consistent, being on there and posting, it wasn’t any overnight growth at all.


Chris Sulimay: That, I equate that to growing a clientele.


John Palmieri: Yeah


Chris Sulimay: You’re story is, what stood out to me about you and what stood out about a few other people is that, you started in a way a little [00:25:00] late probably. I’m sure you would say that


Saretta Bowerman: Yeah


Chris Sulimay: “I feel I’m a little late to the game”, right?


Saretta Bowerman: Yup.


Chris Sulimay: Anybody that started in the beginning, I can’t speak if this is a hundred percent true or not but let’s say there was a little bit of an advantage because nobody understood it yet, not that may people, other than probably adopters, who saw the opportunity. Now I think there’s a lot of people out there that are seeing the opportunity, have the work like there’s so much beautiful work out there.


John Palmieri: Right.


Chris Sulimay: But,


Saretta Bowerman: Yeah.


Chris Sulimay: Maybe [00:25:30] aren’t putting in the work or feeling a little bit put off because they see that this is an uphill climb now.


Saretta Bowerman: Right.


Chris Sulimay: Talk a little bit about some of the things that you do with your spare time, your off time, to make sure that you’re like getting your content on point, like, are you still doing models on your days off? Are you still, what’s some of the things that, you’re doing that actively increase that? If you are.


Saretta Bowerman: Right. [00:26:00] Yeah. I agree with you when you’re saying “I feel kind of late in the game”, I always feel like I’m a few years behind because currently I have 12,000 followers, well that was kind of a big deal, three or four years ago, but now it’s like, “nah”, you kind of like blink your eye until you hit someone with 50,000 and you’re like “Okay, there’s something”


Chris Sulimay and John Palmieri: Yup


Saretta Bowerman: But I also don’t think that equates to money in your pocket,


John Palmieri: Yeah.


Saretta Bowerman: essentially. [00:26:30] That just opens up more opportunities for you.


John Palmieri: When did you noticed that it went for, what was the number that you all of the sudden said, “This is when it’s really starting to make a difference, now they notice in my pocket”.  


Chris Sulimay: in the salon.


John Palmieri: in the salon.


Saretta Bowerman: In the salon, right. In the salon it was probably around 3,000 followers


John Palmieri: 3,000 followers


Saretta Bowerman: that I felt like “okay, I’m having people reach out to me all the time, my books are really full, [00:27:00] this is good, I like this steady growth”. 3,000 I think is a good number because it’s something people can look at tangibly but sorry I’ll try not to rub to far of your question.


Chris Sulimay and John Palmieri: No it’s okay


John Palmieri: It’s awesome.


Saretta Bowerman: As far as what I do for social media to stay, to try to stay current, I mean I’m not going to lie, sometimes I’m just like, “Man, I don’t have anything to post”, “what am I doing”, “I need to get out there”, but I do, just going back to saying [00:27:30] “yes” all the time.


Chris Sulimay: I feel the same exact way right now, by the way


John Palmieri: [laughter]


Saretta Bowerman: I


Chris Sulimay: Yeah




Saretta Bowerman: Right. I have a lot of bloggers or photographers reach out to me, “Hey, would you like to do a shoot”, or I physically reach out to them and I’m like “you’re a beautiful girl with blond hair, let’s do this next Monday”.


Chris Sulimay: It’s funny, I tried that approach and I got blocked.


John Palmieri: [laughter]


Chris Sulimay: I’m totally kidding.


Saretta Bowerman: Oh damn! [laughter] [00:28:00]


Chris Sulimay and John Palmieri: [laughter]


Saretta Bowerman: They’re like “creep”


Chris Sulimay: Hey, wait a minute


John Palmieri:


Chris Sulimay: who is this guy.


Saretta Bowerman: You’re so fun. But no, I mean, most people really, they just want to be in front of the camera and they want pretty pictures of themselves, so they don’t care.


John Palmieri: Yeah.


Saretta Bowerman: They don’t care if it takes a few hours. I definitely, I mean, sometimes I feel like I’m on a role and I’m like “Yes, I’m getting all these photoshoots in and I got such good content” and sometimes just like anything, you’re in a little [incomprehensible] [00:28:30], you’re like “Shoot, I’m running out of content, I need to get something” because, I definitely barely get good content while I’m working because


John Palmieri: Because you’re working


Saretta Bowerman: Because I worked with an assistant, Im double booked, triple booked, there’s not, because it takes me a good 10 to 15 minutes to take really good pictures of somebody.


Chris Sulimay: That is so [crosstalk] good to hear, by the way. Because


Saretta Bowerman: Really?


Chris Sulimay: Yeah, because I mean we have a hundred thirty hairstylist inside of the company that we’re in.


John Palmieri: Yeah.


Saretta Bowerman: Right.


Chris Sulimay: And [00:29:00] there’s this really, we have a really great energy around social right now but they’re busy, these girls, right underneath us is a machine of a salon, we’re sitting upstairs, in our corporate office


Saretta Bowerman: Right.


Chris Sulimay: And there’s 27,28 hard hitting stylist that’s been in this market for 20 years that are killing it and so for them to get social media content is, I mean, they’re booked, right? And [00:29:30] so we’ve been


Saretta Bowerman: Yeah.


Chris Sulimay: as a company culture training them to, or not training them, encouraging them to do exactly what you’re saying. I’m like “book sometime for content” and they’re doing it and the ones that are doing it, they’re doing it really successfully pretty fast.


Saretta Bowerman: Awesome.


Chris Sulimay: But it’s about taking that time out, right?


Saretta Bowerman: Yeah and everyone says like “Oh, just have your assistant do it”, well my assistant doesn’t take photos [00:30:00] like I want them to look


John Palmieri: Right.


Saretta Bowerman: And I, like I said, I take 10 minutes, 10, 15 minutes, I take 50 plus pictures to get one good picture, so, it’s not really about just handing the job over to somebody else because how you want your page to look and how you want your photos to look is going to be determined by you.


Chris Sulimay and John Palmieri: Right


Saretta Bowerman: and that’s going to be yours, your taste, your love style and that translates to your followers. But [00:30:30] for instance it’s not always like that because just two weeks ago I have this cute little girl come in, I did a little braid on her, I did not have time to take pictures on her but I just made it happen because I was already running late, I was like, “Okay, I’m just going to take pictures for 30 seconds, I took like one, two, three, four, five, okay I got to go, and this past weekend “I’m just going to post that picture”, it’s not great, it was on my iPhone.


Chris Sulimay: People loved it.


Saretta Bowerman: It’s been reposted like 15 or 20 times this [00:31:00] weekend.


John Palmieri: Wow.


Saretta Bowerman: Behind the chair , beyond the ponytail, [incomprehensible] they all reposted, I was like, “I didn’t even think that it was that good”. You surprise yourself with, I don’t know, I feel like


Chris Sulimay: Yeah.


Saretta Bowerman: there’s never one true answer for everything in social media, it’s just like


Chris Sulimay: Yeah.


John Palmieri: Yeah. Can you talk just a little bit more about that because you mentioned a while back that when you first started taking pictures, you didn’t think they were very good, right? And then you got that message [00:31:30] one day from Modern Salon, right?


Saretta Bowerman: Yeah.


John Palmieri: You just mentioned that you took this cute little braid and got it done and didn’t think it was all that great but it’s been one of your best repost post ever. I think for a lot of stylist in the field, we never think our work is good enough to post, right? We never think anybody’s going to like it


Saretta Bowerman: Yeah.


John Palmieri: Talk a little bit about that because I think that, that holds a lot of people back from actually getting out there, right?


Saretta Bowerman: Right. I, okay, so, in that regard, I do think [00:32:00] there’s something to be said about posting quality photos, because your page is going to look kind of muscled, the lighting is always off, the hair is out of place.


John Palmieri: Correct


Saretta Bowerman: Definitely post the quality photos but don’t be so hard on yourself that, because sometimes people want to see more of an organic kind of thing, they don’t want to see an always perfect background, perfect everything, shot, they want to see more like the [0032:30] real salon atmosphere, or whatever the case is.


John Palmieri: Right.


Saretta Bowerman: So, I don’t know, I have friends that I [incomprehensible] my pictures off of, social media friends, “Hey, what do you think of this picture, I think it’s not great”, and they’re like, “We love it, post it”


John Palmieri: [laughter]


Saretta Bowerman: I would say maybe, share your work with some friends, [incomprehensible] is this good enough? What do you think?


Chris Sulimay: Right.


Saretta Bowerman: They’ll be honest with you.


John Palmieri: that’s great


Saretta Bowerman: Because you are your worst critic, obviously.


John Palmieri: Yeah, thank you.


Chris Sulimay: That’s awesome. There’s a couple of questions I like to ask, people, as we [00:33:00] start to wrap up.


John Palmieri: Sure.


Chris Sulimay: This things, it’s just been do many nuggets, I feel like you’re dropping throughout, this is just a good episode, so far. I actually, I, so I asked, no, let me say this first, before we, before I ask you those last questions. I believe it was the, I don’t even know what month we’re in, was it the November issue? I think you had a five page layout


Saretta Bowerman: Yeah.


Chris Sulimay: five page layout inside of Modern Salon?


Saretta Bowerman: Yes


Chris Sulimay: How is that experience?


Saretta Bowerman: It was [00:33:30] one of those, [incomprehensible] in the salon [incomprehensible] is  having this competition, I have no time in my busy schedule to take these photos but I’m just going to make time or even had a guesting in my house, I think that weekend, I’m going to take three hours, I’m going to find a model, I’m just going to do this. I actually asked my rep, my [incomprehensible] said “What are they trying to do this shoot base off of?” and she said, “Oh the 10th year [00:34:00] anniversary, dried texture bottle”


Chris Sulimay: Wow that’s cool.


Saretta Bowerman: She sent me a photo of the bottle and I was like “Oh, I love that”, black background, gold sparkle dust and so basically I just translated that into hair images. I basically did black background, gold dress, white hair, platinum hair, and just emulated the shapes of the bottle, there’s these half moon shapes.


John Palmieri: Wow.


Saretta Bowerman: You were supposed to send [0034:30] a collection of images, I was like, “I can’t even run [incomprehensible] photographer for this, I guess I’ll just take the pictures myself”. I mean I have a Canon D5i, it takes pretty good pictures but I’m such an amateur when it comes to all that stuff. Took the photos, have my photographer friend go over the details of the editing, sent them in and fell on the floor when they were like, “By the way, you won”. A few weeks later.


John Palmieri: Wow


Chris Sulimay: That’s awesome.


Saretta Bowerman: And then [00:35:00] of course seeing that, it’s like huge spread of my work like blown up, oh my goodness, I was definitely in heaven.


Chris Sulimay: That’s super cool.


John Palmieri: Congratulations.


Saretta Bowerman: But I always say with those kind if things with competitions and, because Modern Salon, [incomprehensible] always putting up competitions and it’s like a lottery ticket. The more competitions you enter, one of those, you’re bound to be a finalist in one of them


Chris Sulimay: Yeah.


Saretta Bowerman: Or something [00:35:30] just enter as many as you can and you’ll get that big break.


Chris Sulimay: That’s awesome. Okay, this has been awesome, two final questions for you, number one, what do find yourself the most grateful for, nowadays?


Saretta Bowerman: The first thing that came to my mind is having really nice clients, having really, this special bond [00:36:00] with my clients and I feel like it almost comes from social media because I feel like they’re drawn to my personality already, I’m not fighting like “are we going to mesh?”, “is she going to like my work?”, they’re already in my chair, saying, giving me compliments before I even get started. I just feel so fortunate to have the best, nicest clients and not ever have issues in that aspect.


Chris Sulimay: That’s super cool. And the second thing  


Saretta Bowerman: Because it really goes


Chris Sulimay: Yup? [00:36:30] Go.


Saretta Bowerman: Go ahead


Chris Sulimay: No, you go.


Saretta Bowerman: It goes back to having, it’s about your clients, it’s not about anything else at the end of the day, right? It’s about your clients and then having a good experience.


Chris Sulimay: Yeah. That’s true. And the final question I want to ask you, obviously you’re in to getting better into, whether it’s formal education or just educating yourself, constantly striving to be better, is there a teacher or mentor, whether it’s in this industry [00:37:00] or in life that you would like to say thank you to, publicly, who do you owe some of the, that success, anybody stand out in your head that you think about that maybe you don’t get to say it too often?


Saretta Bowerman: You’re saying like a teacher, mentor, educator, that kind of person?


Chris Sulimay: Any or anybody in your life that you just feel like, that they [00:37:30] lived the thing that you strive to live and be. Somebody that’s have a really good, positive impact on you. It doesn’t have to be in the industry.


Saretta Bowerman: Okay. Oh that’s a tough one, there so many.


John Palmieri: [laughter]


Saretta Bowerman: I would say at the top of my head, one of my, not necessarily mentors but cheerleaders, one of my biggest cheerleaders right now, is actually, she was one of my [00:38:00] employees when I first, she was my first employee in the salon, she started as a front desk and then moved up to being a really successful stylist, and now she’s on her own but we have this amazing relationship where we can completely agree on everything on social media and we push each other everyday to be better and create better images, and her name is Jordan Pumerway? And she’s actually [00:38:30] JBraidsandBows in Instagram.


Chris Sulimay: Say that again J Braids and Bows?


Saretta Bowerman:  @JBraidsandBows


Chris Sulimay: J Braids and Bows


John Palmieri: Yeah


Saretta Bowerman: Yup. We just have, she’s like, the best cheerleader at all times, she’s like, “you’re doing great”, “love your photos”, “keep it going”.


John Palmieri: [chuckle] That’s awesome.


Saretta Bowerman: Right now, there’s many more people, obviously, but yeah. She’s awesome.


Chris Sulimay: That’s a killer.


John Palmieri: Thanks.


Chris Sulimay: Any parting, any last [00:39:00] things you want to say? Anything were leaving on the table here?


Saretta Bowerman: I mean, I guess it goes anything in life, you can’t expect anything to be handed to you. Always hustle and being nice, goes a very long way in this industry, yeah.


Chris Sulimay: That’s super cool.


John Palmieri: Thanks Saretta.


Chris Sulimay: Well, Saretta, thanks so much for being on and to the listeners, thank you so much for listening to this podcast if [00:39:30] liked what you heard today please subscribe, go follow and see @hairbysaretta on Instagram, if you haven’t seen her work, please check it out and again thanks for your time today.


John Palmieri: Yeah, that’s right, thank you and I really enjoyed the time with you, today was great. Thank you.


Saretta Bowerman: Thank you so much for having me.

John Palmieri: You’re welcome.


Chris Sulimay: Fantastic. And we’ll see you all in the next one.

John Palmieri: Alright. Bbye.