One service can add thousands of dollars to your income this year



Chris Sulimay: Hey everybody, welcome to Shop Talk by 124Go. I’m your co host Chris Sulimay and I’m here with my very good buddy.

John Palmieri : John Palmieri.

Chris Sulimay: Oh and I’m bouncing phones all over the [00:00:30] place here. We have an amazing guest today with us who’s just spent some time actually, we just took an all-day class from with about 20 of our coworkers and it was fantastic, looking forward to the second day.

Lindsay Guzman: It was a good first day.

Chris Sulimay: Good first day, right? So, we’re sitting here with Lindsay Guzman, owner and founder of Elleb Academy.

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Lindsay Guzman: That is correct.

Chris Sulimay: Right. And Elleb Academy was founded on your expertise in hair extensions.

Lindsay Guzman: Correct.

Chris Sulimay: Which, you know, [00:01:00] trial and error through the years.

Lindsay Guzman: Yeah. A lot of trial and error, yes.

Chris Sulimay: And it’s grown into this thing now where you’re coast to coast with your team, probably a bunch of weekends a year, right?

Lindsay Guzman: Yes.

Chris Sulimay: Sharing with professionals on how to up their game as it relates to hair extensions in the salon.

Lindsay Guzman: Yeah. Well put. Yeah [laughter].

Chris Sulimay: Fantastic. I’ve done a little research on it.

John Palmieri : Did you prep? Cause I didn’t prep.

Chris Sulimay: I did not prep, I did not. I just spent a day listening to Lindsay is what it is, yeah.
[00:01:30] We’ve also got a really good friend of mine from Philadelphia here who just took your class as well and that’s Ashlyn Bowsman, say hi Ashlyn.

Ashlyn Bowsman: Hello

Chris Sulimay: Ashlyn is a stylist that works in the Salon in Philadelphia. And so maybe we’ll get some questions in for Lindsay and talk a little bit about how the day went, so, John, how do we want to get this thing kicked off?

John Palmieri : I always like to get a little background. So, Lindsay, why extensions?

Lindsay Guzman: Ahh, “Why extensions?” I love that question.

John Palmieri : Yeah, why extensions?

Lindsay Guzman: You know, as hairstylists, we are [00:02:00] natural born solution makers. That’s I feel like what drives a lot of hairstylists to do what they do. Yes, of course we love to be artistic and be creative, but ultimately we like to make people happy and inevitably someone will sit in your chair and have fine thin hair or have had a really bad haircut or God forbid, overcoming things like Lupus, chemo, thyroid issues, things like that. And so ultimately, when I first got started, I had an influx of clients like that [00:02:30]and they needed a solution. And I am really frustrated when I don’t have an answer to something. And so extensions had just come on the market 17 years ago- I feel like a dinosaur when I say that- and you know, I decided that I was going to find the solution for them. And more than just being like, “Here, let me sign you up with a wig shop.” And so that is why extensions became a part of my repertoire of tools. And then I just really  [00:03:00] liked it. It was this solution that nothing else could do for them, what it did and that was very enticing to me, I really liked having that result and I really loved the face that I would see of that client when they left I mean, it was just like the most fulfilling thing ever. So, that’s ultimately how, that’s the why.

John Palmieri: Yeah. Lindsay has been here- you know what’s really interesting is – since 7:00 AM this morning.

Lindsay Guzman: Yeah.

John Palmieri : Right. Going from Denver here to Atlanta right? [00:03:30] So got on a plane, flew overnight, got here in a  ridiculously early hour. It’s now 4:30 we’re podcasting, so, I don’t know how long this woman’s been up [laughter].  

Chris Sulimay: If she slept.

John Palmieri : If she slept at all, right?

Lindsay Guzman: Only a little bit.

John Palmieri : Only a little bit. And then the material you delivered today which is great. I mean, I got to sit in the class and listen to your delivery and your passion for extensions and why it’s important it really shows up.

Lindsay Guzman: Thank you very much. I really appreciate that.

John Palmieri : Well, thank you for sharing that with our team, they saw that too.

[00:04:00] Chris Sulimay: Yeah, yeah. And what’s amazing about Lindsay, we did a Facebook live together not that long- maybe it was a few months back and prior to that conversation probably, what makes me so interested in what you’re doing is, you know, you’re teaching a very contemporary form of hair extensions, which when I first met you, I was seeing for the first time other than YouTube or other than like a few hairdresser influencers. But this is a really real [00:04:30] valid new newish,  technology or it’s gotten better and there’s a really high amount, a high percentage of your clientele can enjoy this and benefit from it. So, it’s not the, you have to sit there all day, solutions where your hair used to break off. And so talk a little bit about what you specialize in and why it’s important for salon people and salon owners maybe to tune their ear up to this conversation.

John Palmieri : And if I could  add to that [00:05:00] a little bit too, I think getting back to your point about this is kind of new but not, I remember when I first learned to do extensions, before the war, you know, a long time ago they were keratin infused extensions  and those lasted for a while, but it didn’t last a long time. And what you seem to be doing right now has some real sticking power to it. So, when you’re addressing the questions Chris just asked you if you could give us a little bit of that too. Why is this different [00:05:30] this time around?

Lindsay Guzman: Yeah. So, extensions are not new, extensions, the technology of the thought process of the trend of extensions can be dated back as far as the Egyptian days. This is not a new thing. What is different is that Instagram has completely changed the game of our industry. Information is no longer waited on for your stylist to know the trend and bestow it upon you.

Chris Sulimay: Nothing’s a secret anymore.

Lindsay Guzman: Nothing’s is a secret, everything is updated in real time. You want to [00:06:00]
know what’s live and on trend in London, you can open up your phone and find out right away. You don’t have to wait for a magazine, don’t have to wait for a talk show host, whatever to tell you. You can find out.

Chris Sulimay: Hell, I don’t wait. It’s the first thing I do when I open my eyes in the morning [laughter].

John Palmieri: “Did anything happen that I missed?”

Lindsay Guzman: Yes, I mean, literally and so trends are on hyper speed right now and so what we have come to find in our salon and my biggest philosophy with hair extensions is, like everything, there is no one way to do [00:06:30]anything. And if we pigeonhole ourselves into one method, we will very quickly pigeonhole ourselves into one kind of client and that can get very mundane and boring. Also for salon owners, that really isn’t maximizing your space, your staff, really your output. And so what we’ve done is we’ve come up with a technique based education. So, we are not brand based at all. We do have brand partners that we love to work with [00:07:00] but they have to keep up their end of quality in order for us to keep up our end of liking them really. So, we’re very particular in that regard. And so what we’ve done is we’ve put together a program that teaches salon owners as well as independent salons and stylists how to apply the hair extension business to their current business model.

Chris Sulimay: Yeah. And so what I was so impressed with like straight out of the gate when we first met, I think you have to let, you know, if you [00:07:30] want to get to my heart really fast, show me how it can help people around me make money. That’s the fastest way, because we work with a group of 130 people. Our job really is to solely help them flourish. So, you threw some statistics out as it relates to that killed my energy around, you’re in an exclusive market. It’s too… You know, people won’t do it. People won’t pay, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. So, give [00:08:00] us some of those statistics because if I’m learning so you can hook me. So I can understand why this, if I’m not doing hair extensions yet, or if I’ve never been interested. Why I should at least listen up or consider it now?

Lindsay Guzman:  Right. So like I said, extensions are not a new thing and the popularity of them is rising. So, for anyone to think that anyone isn’t willing to pay for something that makes them feel better, botox wouldn’t be as popular.  I don’t care where you live, rural [00:08:30] or urban America people will pay for anything [Crosstalk]

Chris Sulimay: I like that you can pronounce rural. I don’t know too many people I can actually say that word [laughter].

John Palmieri : I can pronounce it but doesn’t sound good [Crosstalk]

Lindsay Guzman: It’s the Colorado [incomprehensible] accent [laughter].

Chris Sulimay: You rule because you can say rural[ Crosstalk][laughter]

Lindsay Guzman: That was cute. And so here’s some fun statistics that we have found. So, our salon has been since inception has been alive for [00:09:00] four years. When we first started out, nobody knew that we specialize in extensions. I had just started training my staff, they were only a few months in and there was only four of us. But we still got new clientele every week, every month, every year. And what we found no matter whether it was from day one or day 321 or day 3001, the same spread applied. So, whether [00:09:30] we had 10 clients or a hundred clients or they knew or they didn’t know, 20% of our clientele get hair extension services. So, if you think about that, if our clients had no idea we specialized, they’re just coming to us for hair services that means that that stands to reason that the client’s sitting in your chair right now that see you every single day. 20% of them are interested or want hair extensions.

Chris Sulimay: Whether they know it or not.

Lindsay Guzman: Whether they know it or not, they’re a good candidate. [00:10:00] A lot of people- it’s purely education- surprisingly left, don’t know that that’s a solution, they think that they just have to deal with what they have because they are just not blessed or whatever. So it is our job to educate them and yes, Instagram is going to help us, but they may still feel like, Instagram is full of the beautiful and the young, right? So, for a  50 something woman to see a 20 something with waist length extension, she’s going to think, “Well I don’t want waist length extensions.” She doesn’t even know that, [00:10:30]that same method could apply to her and help her just have thicker current hair.

Chris Sulimay: Totally.

Lindsay Guzman: Right? So it’s all about educating our clients. So, we found no matter what, no matter how you shook it, on average, 20% of our clients get extension services.

Chris Sulimay: One in five people for those of you who don’t love to math.

Lindsay Guzman: That’s good, yes, I love that. Yes.

Chris Sulimay: One in five of your clients, right? 20 out of 100 if you’re talking a month, are going to accept your [00:11:00]opportunity if you knew to even ask for it. It’s interesting, Ashlyn, since you’re sitting here, because not that long ago, I was working on a client at Sola Mays Urban and this was after I’d met you, but I have never been interested in hair extensions until now. Now I’m going through your certification, I’m super stoked about this [laughter]. But Susan, I remember was sitting there, little Blonde. And it was interesting because Ashlyn was having a [00:11:30] discussion. Now you’ve only been doing tape ins until this certification-

Ashlyn Bowsman: A little bit of fusion, little bit of keratin but mainly tape ins is like the main breadwinner, you know?

Lindsay Guzman: It is the gateway [laughter].

Chris Sulimay: Yeah. And what was interesting and Ashlyn, just to describe, Ashlyn’s a four year stylist now really like just starting to pop I think in Philly. I mean you’re really, your game is amazing right now. Beautiful balayage  the whole bit. But what was interesting is Susan was [00:12:00] sitting in my chair, I’m talking her into short haircuts because my solution is let’s remove it if it looks like shit, right? And you are having a hair extension discussion. I’m never thinking that she’s sitting here interested in what- and all of a sudden I’m noticing her eye just go towards your chair through that conversation. Like the next week she booked for extension.

Ashlyn Bowsman: Yeah, a lot of people don’t even think that it’s something they can achieve. Like it’s like a celebrity thing. It’s not something they can do or afford. [00:12:30] And then once they start asking you and you break it down, they’re like, “oh, I can do this, I can maintain this.” And it changes everything for them.

Chris Sulimay: So, after sitting through this today, kind of, just on a first day basis, this is your first day, just like me going through this training. Where’s your mind at as far as the opportunity as it relates to the way Lindsay’s kind of sharing it, I mean, can you see what she’s saying? Like, “wow, I can think of 10 people off the bat.”

Ashlyn Bowsman: Yeah. I mean it’s nice to have other options too. Like we’ve talked about it
[00:13:00] in the class, I guess as well. Like I’m doing tape ins mainly because that’s what I know how to do. I perfected that. Now, you’re able to offer your clients other options, other methods like we’d learned today so that they’re not just confined to having just tape ins, cause tape ins don’t work for everyone that sits in your chair. And some people like a lot of girls that we get in our salon come in and they’re like, “I saw this on Instagram” and they’re like, “can you do this?” And you’re like, “I don’t even know what that is, but I will try.” [laughter]

Chris Sulimay: And that’s what I love [00:13:30] about this discussion with you Lindsay, is most people, they’re seeing it on Instagram this is the thing that you’re seeing on Instagram and YouTube right now is the method that you use or a variation on the method that you use. And most people, I would argue 90% of hairdressers still don’t even know that this is a thing that they can do.

Lindsay Guzman:  Yeah, Yeah. That’s absolutely the case. What we find is that people… So here’s [00:14:00] how Elleb Academy got started. I feel like this starts with a good history. So, Elleb Academy got started because as I went through my training and learning hair extensions, I found that most of my education was based on purchasing hair. It was not based on being good at putting them in. They just wanted to get you hooked enough that you would buy their hair. Fine, not all of them were that way. I may give great links a lot of props here, they have some of the best education out there and I hope  [00:14:30] that I’m as good as them, but it’s one method, one method. And so it was born out of frustration, I had nowhere to send my staff. I was like, well, you know what? I have all the knowledge in my head. I’m just going to put it down on paper. So, what we have found in doing that is that by educating our staff in all the methods are popular, we now know that not a single client will ever leave the chair because we have a solution for them. So, where tape ins [00:15:00] have become the gateway drug, it’s very easy to learn, very quick to do, there’s very little user error- I should say there’s a lot of user error [laughter], but for most people they feel like,-

Chris Sulimay: You’re not going to do a lot of harm.

Lindsay Guzman: Not going to do a whole lot of harm. It really got people kind of interested in hair extensions, but it was also really cheap to learn. So, if you do actually want to go and learn all the different methods all on your own, you’re going to be spending tens of thousands of dollars. So, the other piece of the pie was what if we could put together education [00:15:30] that was far more palatable on the wallet and you still could learn all the different methods and then have the perfect solution for your client, because at the end of the day, that’s the most important person.

John Palmieri : Yeah. I think for Chris and I that resonates with us because part of this journey for us is this discovery that most education now isn’t through the manufacturer, right?

Lindsay Guzman: No.

John Palmieri : Now, it’s to independents and we can talk a little bit about this later, but there’s the thrive event coming up in Seattle soon. Now we met you [00:16:00] at the Hair Plus-

Lindsay Guzman: Summit.

John Palmieri: -Summit in Atlanta. And all this education is coming to us fast and furious and it’s through amazing people like yourself who said, “you know that was okay. The manufacturer education was good, but I need so much more than that.” And one of the things you talk about in your classes, you know, I’m not here to represent the brand, I’ll tell you what brands we use, but in the end it’s about the technique. And I think that is a big step for our industry as a whole just [00:16:30]
because we’re learning techniques now as opposed to learning “this brand says you should shampoo this way, this brand says you should shampoo that way.” And while that may either good or bad, we’ve got to a different place, which I really like.

Lindsay Guzman: Yeah. The stylist is far more supported I feel like these days than they ever have been. And it’s only getting better. I call it the “Independent Education Revolution” and we are in it and I think it’s absolutely amazing because it’s authentic and it [00:17:00] is organic and original and it feels genuine. Because it’s no longer by a manufacturer who is… At the end of the day, we all want to make money and I get that and I respect them for the job that they’re doing and they help support us and make us who we are.

Chris Sulimay: They’ve helped train a lot of educators who are now independent. My training came from manufacturer training. I mean I’m a professionally trained speaker. I try to get away from that sometimes and it comes back in. I got to give props [00:17:30] to the Redkens of the world that helped train me, the Keunes of the world, Living Proofs of the world. That said, there comes some inauthenticity inside of a lot of educators you see going, I just didn’t want to, we all know that retail’s an enormous part of our business, but it became a thing where as an artist and a hairdresser that stands behind the chair and goes, “you know what, this is working for me and there’s no forum [00:18:00] for me to teach this inside of manufacturer education.” Right? That’s the thing.

Lindsay Guzman: Yes.

Chris Sulimay: And so, we’ve had to go outside… I mean, we’re loving it. I want to add a follow up question. I want to talk around a little bit about money now. And I know that you stay generic in your guidance when you’re inside of a group but… Because the [00:18:30] other thing that had me leave and then go back to John and go back to Brian and say, “Michael was right” and Michael Hamlin was the one who brought you to the table here, right? And saying, “Michael was right. This service is special and Lindsey’s a really special person to deliver it, by the way.” I mean we really, we recommend you as an educator.

Lindsay Guzman: That is so sweet. If you want to just be there when I wake up in the morning every  morning [laughter][Crosstalk]

John Palmieri : Well, Chris and I started a Lindsey fan club here in Atlanta.

Chris Sulimay: Yeah, yeah. We have t-shirts [laughter].

[00:19:00] Lindsay Guzman:  That’s amazing.

Chris Sulimay: But I know that there’s been a financial implication on your business that you could achieve with no other service other than this service. And so I want to talk a little bit about that and maybe as a stylist, what you can see a stylist, how they could impact their business and then what it’s done for you as a salon owner overall and the growth that you’ve experienced there.

Lindsay Guzman:  Absolutely. I mean, I can extrapolate this out in like an entire day seminar- what it has done for our [00:19:30] business, but to bring it into a smaller 30-second style.

Lindsay Guzman: Yeah. I mean John’s got 90% left on the charge here.

John Palmieri: We’re good for a while [laughter].

Lindsay Guzman: I hope you have time. So, here’s kind of the long and short of it. So, we have come up with techniques that are efficient and incredibly applicable in the salon setting. So, gone are the days where you needed to take nine, 10 hours [00:20:00] to do an application. Do those exist still? Absolutely, and occasionally I have them, very rare, but they do exist. But for the most part, the common client, we have gotten it to a point where we use techniques that are safe non-damaging beautiful looking and take two hours or less to apply. That means that the amount that you’re making per hour is the most you can make per hour for a service hands down. The only thing that maybe comes close is a Japanese permanent straightening and even that, I mean we’re talking [00:20:30]
four hours to put it in. I think the most you can charge is 600.

Chris Sulimay: Do people still do that?

Lindsay Guzman: I do still do those. Yeah, I do.

Chris Sulimay: I mean yeah, that’s like the last thing I want to do.

Lindsay Guzman: I don’t want to do that [laughter]. I do still do them occasionally, but for the most part, hair extensions is the most bang for your buck as a stylist you can do. It is the quickest way to earn $300 in an hour. Easy.

Chris Sulimay: Yeah. I want to tag on to that. So, if you listen to our last podcast with Chris Nedza, so, Chris is the founder of ZeeZor owner of ZeeZor, he has tons [00:21:00] of data from over 1,000 salons that he works with. He has a couple of hitters that do over 500,000 a year behind their chair. And he told us the four services was, you know, balayage, hair extensions, treatments and I don’t know… There was a fourth, but he said none of the top stylists could do it without hair extensions.

Lindsay Guzman: No, no. You can’t. It is the highest per hour service you could do.

Chris Sulimay: So give us a little snapshot [00:21:30]of what that looks like inside of your salon.

Lindsay Guzman:Yeah. So, just to give you an idea, so most of our clients get micro links or beaded weaves, those are our two most popular types.

Chris Sulimay: Okay. Do you want to explain the difference at all between the two?

Lindsay Guzman:Yeah. So, micro links are, they were the Newbie on the block a little while ago. And they’re individual hair extensions similar to Keratin in the fact that they’re individually put in, but they’re put in with an aluminum cylinder that’s small and you place a hair extension piece that looks like the end of a pencil inside of it and it just uses pressure, [00:22:00] you just clamp it down and that stays in the hair. A full set takes me an hour to put in. And typically I’m doing that with a color application, but even if it’s just on their own, just on their own, I charge 950 for the hair and I charge 650 for the install. I profit off of the hair because it is a retail product and that is what we are here to do.

Chris Sulimay: So, give us a general markup on hair, I mean percentage.

Lindsay Guzman:Yeah. So, typically it’s just like any other [00:22:30] retail products. It’s doubled, So I’m making 50% of that. So, for 450 or no, 475. Thank you. I can do math [laughter]. So, 475 and then I make 650 for that hour. So, I just made over $1,000 and I worked for 60 minutes. There is nothing else I can do. Now, that what is if I was an independent, now if I’m a salon owner, even if I had to split that with my stylist, I’m still making more per hour off that stylist [00:23:00] them doing that, than them doing a men’s haircut.

Chris Sulimay: Yeah. And that’s a win-win everywhere, because we know that there’s so many amenities that come along with working inside of a salon that are unseeable sometimes by the people. So, we know that’s a good deal on both people’s ends.

Lindsay Guzman: And then the beautiful thing about that is all the methods that we teach, we teach in a way that the clients should be coming in for regular maintenances. So, all the hair is reusable and even when we teach fusion, [00:23:30] we still teach it in a way that a client will be coming in every four to six weeks for maintenances. And so that client now just spent 650 plus in that hour with you and then you will see them every four to six weeks for 150$ -$300 maintenance that can be added on or put in with a color. And so you can just see how it extrapolates out to be a very good business model. And then for those who like to get really [00:24:00] scientific with it, we’re really looking for repeat business. So, when you are trying to do a five year forecast, you look at average visits per year for a client.So I recently went to a seminar where they had everybody do this for five years and I can tell you who that was, I went to a Strategies incubator and they had everybody-

Chris Sulimay: You’re a Strategies team based on, you run under that plan.

Lindsay Guzman: Yes, we do. So, they had us put all of our data in and they said the average hair salon has a five [00:24:30] to six hits per year. And they said, “we’re going to really strive for you guys to get that extra one so six to seven.” So, we start putting in all of our data and we couldn’t find the right report for whatever reason, we couldn’t find the right report. So, they were like, “well just put in seven.” But if you put in the numbers right you are, whatever you made that year should show up. And it was like $600,000 lower. And I was like, what is happening? So, they just kept upping the number, nine was our average visits per [00:25:00] year because of hair extensions and 20% of our clients are coming in every four weeks. That dramatically increases the amount of times a client is sitting in your chair, buying product, making an appointment, getting hair color, connecting and it just, I mean, you can just see how big it gets. I get really excited. My voice is so high [laughter].

John Palmieri : But average per year is was like my favorite number, my favorite KPI. Because it impacts and influences businesses in ways that [00:25:30] if you’re not familiar, you haven’t done the math, you really don’t recognize. And so that’s one of the things I like about, you know, extensions as it drives that number.

Chris Sulimay: We just did a post on our Instagram page today, quoting Chris again, I’m calling his name out a lot. He said something to the, I’m going to paraphrase, it’s like “losing so slowly that you think you’re winning.” I just thought that was a genius. Now, if you’re an owner and you don’t know this and [00:26:00] you owned a salon in 2006 and you stayed through it and you’ve been, you know, you own a  salon for 10 or 12 years, however long that’s been. Average visits back then would have been 8.6 a year. It would have been about eight times a year that people were coming in. That number you just told me has shrunk John and I don’t know what number you said, but it’s drastically [Crosstalk]

John Palmieri : Yeah, I mean with [incomprehensible] the Balayage, it’s down to four, maybe three depending on the person. So, we don’t have time to [00:26:30] sit here and do put out an excel spreadsheet although I’d like to. To go from eight visits a year down to four when you cut your visits per year in half, you basically cut your revenue in half. Now having said that, balayage is a more expensive service so you’ve made up some ground there, but it’s still not the same as when it was eight.

Lindsay Guzman:  Well, so what we’ve done, is so we do extensions is primarily what we teach, but we also teach some balayage classes and some [incomprehensible][00:27:00] classes [Crosstalk].

Chris Sulimay: This is the thing that you guys are really [Crosstalk]

Lindsay Guzman:  Our number one is hair extensions. But to that point it’s all about just finding those services so that people can maintain their look to make it look the best it can look as often as possible.

John Palmieri : Yeah. And I think one of the things that’s really important and we’re going to dig down a little deeper in a second, is we tell our staff, you know, it isn’t about- because I want to make this really clear- telling clients that come in more often than they need to.

Lindsay Guzman:  No.

John Palmieri : It’s not about being inauthentic, it’s not about trying [incomprehensible] with the customer. [00:27:30] It’s about giving them the best service possible.

Lindsay Guzman: Possible. That’s what it’s all about. Yeah.

John Palmieri : [00:27:33] And the best service possible is that these extensions can’t go unmaintained for two months, right? If you want to maintain them in a way its supposed to look, you want to get in on the schedule that you need to. And that point needs to be made really clear. Because I think some people think, “oh, I’m going to tell him to come in four weeks” no, they need to come in six. Don’t call them forward.

Chris Sulimay: Yeah. I mean everybody around this table is a hairdresser, none [00:28:00]
of us like to lie to clients. That said, I just saw something, I forget what it was, but somewhere I was scrolling and somebody was doing a rant on the Internet and it was something to the fact of like, “don’t tell me to benchmark” or blah, blah, blah, whatever it was. And I couldn’t just help a giggle. I said, in the short term it feels really good to explode and let that shit out. But in the long term, if I don’t have some understanding of what’s happening at my chair and everything that [00:28:30]
sits down in my chair, I can count. It’s a number. Whether I like it or not, whether I’m artistic or not. When somebody sits down and doesn’t come back for three months, there’s a numerical effect that that has on my income, there’s a visible anaesthetic effect that it has on their hair and it also affects the services that I have to do, like the maintenance that I have to do. So, all this is just a conversation about doing business smarter on your longevity as [00:29:00] well as really understanding like when I send the client away for four months, it’s a whole different visit then if we were to do a maintenance visit in between. And I’m guessing the same thing with extensions, right?

Lindsay Guzman: Yes. Absolutely. So, extensions have gotten a really bad rep over the years. Mainly because the technology just wasn’t there and we really tried to push it in ways it couldn’t be pushed and so they’ve gotten the bad rep of being damaging or painful or expensive and okay, I’m not going to lie, they are luxury service  [00:29:30] so they are not like buying, you know, a pair of jeans at Walmart but they are not non economical for the right people. And so one of the reasons why we’ve been able to start getting away from that bad rep, and I think that we are a long ways away from making it go away completely, is because of that piece. Because we talk about having maintenances, we talk about people coming in more. We have new technologies that require it. And then in our class, consultation, as you guys saw on the class today. [00:30:00] Consultation is a giant part of our class. It probably takes what, an hour and a half, It took up of the class today it’s almost as important if not more important than the installation itself.

Chris Sulimay: What I love about consultation in this format is for most clients or if you’re bringing this service on new as a salon, you have no choice but to not take the consultation for granted. [00:30:30]
This is so brand new for them and so brand new for you that you have to talk about this. So, it’s a forced, it’s a forced thing. What are some, you had a little system for your consultation, I thought it was really beautiful.

Lindsay Guzman:  Yeah. Thank you.

Chris Sulimay: Cause there’s also people inside of our organization who do offer, they’ve been offering tape ins for a while and they’ll get the price conversation, it’ll come up. I believe when people bring up prices because they’re uncomfortable having that conversation and they don’t have a system for a [00:31:00] flow of that. So, give us a little snapshot of your flow, how you approach that were priced budget comes in just kind of-

Lindsay Guzman: Yeah. Yeah. So our consultation thought process, and I would love to say that I was the originator of this, but I’m not.

Chris Sulimay: Who is? Who is?

Lindsay Guzman:  I know, right? We all learn something from someone, nothing’s proprietary in this world. So I actually was Bumble and Bumble trained and fullest service with something that they really promoted and we can always extrapolate anything that went wrong [00:31:30] in a service can always be tracked back to poor consultation. Meaning that poor communication is really [crosstalk]

Chris Sulimay: Poor communication.

Lindsay Guzman: Yeah. Poor communication, and so what we do is we talk about slowing down, looking, thinking, communicating and making a plan. And so what that means is slow down take in and make sure that you’re thinking of the questions you need to ask to get the answers that you need to properly prescribe the service that you’re going to be giving to your client. And hair extensions are [00:32:00] such a prescriptive service. You really need to gather more information than just like “what do you want today?” And so when the money piece comes in, you’ve already started talking through a person’s expectations, a person’s… You can very quickly say, “how much are you looking to spend today? What is your budget?” And that’s a very normal question to ask and clients oftentimes have no problem answering it.

John Palmieri : Well, I think what happens is, is you’re a consultation is so thorough that, [00:32:30] that question doesn’t seem out of order.

Lindsay Guzman: Exactly.

John Palmieri : It belongs there. Where as Chris, if I just walk up to you and say, “Hey Chris, how much money you’ve got to spend?” You’re like, “what do you want?” Right?

Lindsay Guzman: Totally.

John Palmieri : But when you set it up in the consultation so that this is part of the process, it’s just they’re almost waiting for you to ask. Because that’s a natural progression for the conversation.

Lindsay Guzman:  So if you guide it, you don’t get the, “how much is this going to cost me?” You’ve already set it up like this is a luxury service, these are the things that we’re going to do to [00:33:00] make sure that you’re really happy with it. This is the quality of the hair. You’ve set it up so that they know that its quality, not just quantity, and that you’re going to get this very amazing service, not just this product.

John Palmieri : And if you’ve done the consultation in the manner that you know your approach shows, you’re also recommending an extension service because there are variety of different ones that actually fit their needs. So I’m getting something that’s going to solve my challenge, solve my problem, give me [00:33:30] the hair that I want, where do I sign?

Lindsay Guzman: Right, exactly.

John Palmieri : But I think that for many people we’re just afraid to have that conversation and I can kind of see why because we haven’t learned the process where the questions fit organically, authentically, whatever word you want to use. But they’re part of the conversation that makes sense. Too many times our conversations, I mean it’s [incomprehensible], they just don’t make sense.

Lindsay Guzman: So true.

Chris Sulimay: Well, consultations have gotten so, and you use the same, by the way, slowdown is the message that I say to people [00:34:00] all the time, like it’s slow. Stop, stop.

Lindsay Guzman:  Just take a beat.

Chris Sulimay: Slow down.

John Palmieri : Have a crumpet [laughter].

Lindsay Goodman: Have a crumpet. You know, no one ever forgets it![crosstalk]

Lindsay Guzman: Okay, first off has anyone even had a crumpet?

Chris Sulimay: I don’t even know what a crumpet is.

Lindsay Guzman:  It’s a small English biscuit.

Chris Sulimay: It sounds great [crosstalk] It sounds wonderful.

Lindsay Guzman:  But it makes people remember it, right?

John Palmieri : Yeah, I remembered.

Lindsay Guzman: Yeah, just finish your crumpet. You know, like have a moment. Take a beat. 30 seconds beat. End of the day, at the [00:34:30] end of the complete day, even if you ran late for every single client, by 30 seconds, you’re running what, three minutes late? Most clients are running three minutes late. So it’s okay to take that 30 seconds if it means that the service you’re going to be giving them is much more enjoyable for everyone involved. I mean, we’ve all done it. We’re all guilty of the, you know, like I said, ripping the crump it off of our face while we’re running out and our hair is all disheveled and we’re, sweeping [crosstalk]

Chris: I think it’s great for me. It’s I got pizza sauce running down the side of my face [laughter], so I think it’s great [00:35:00] you’re eating the crumpet, you know, I had a whole slice of pizza on the side of my face.

John Palmieri : So let me ask you this question now. So aside from really sharpening our consultation skills, which we could probably say that after every podcast. I’m a salon owner, I’m an independent. I like what you have to say. I want to get started. It’s overwhelming, there’s 14 different lines out there, 14 different techniques out there. So if I’m that person and I  decided [00:35:30] that, you know what, I’m going to back up just a little bit because this just popped into my head. We’ve got 24 people here in the class today. And the variety of people in the room is interesting, because we’ve got a bunch of newbies, people that have been with our company two, three, four years, somewhere in there, probably three to four, I don’t think we have two years. But we help people that had been at the company three or four years who want to learn this. It’s exciting, it’s on Instagram, it’s cool. We’ve got a [00:36:00] bunch of people in there who have been with our company 12, 14, 15 years. And I’ll say this, they did “I’m bored,  I need to do something else.” You know, and to find both of those people in that room. So addressing that, I’m new to the industry, this looks like fun, I want to get into it. How do I do that? I’ve been in the industry awhile. Maybe I’m in a rut, I’m a little bored. I want to get into this-

Chris Sulimay: Or, I want to, I want to add a service that I can, you know, we talk about [crosstalk]

John Palmieri : One [00:36:30] of those $500,000.

Lindsay Guzman:  Yeah.

Chris Sulimay: I want to go from, you know, we have our highest performer in the company here. And so she’s looking to up her game. It doesn’t mean that your slack, you know?

John Palmieri : So how do we get started?

Lindsay Guzman: How do you get started? So anyone taking the approach to hair extensions, I always say you want to find really good, thorough education. So the product company will come. The education is the piece that’s important. You want to make sure that the service you are doing is ethical, [00:37:00] is just perfectly well done. Just like anything else you’re going to do. One of the reasons we exist. And so what I recommend for us if you want-

John Palmieri : We’re taking a picture [laughter].

Chris Sulimay: Can’t do it, I tried.

John Palmieri : It didn’t work.

Lindsay Guzman: So what we recommend is take a look at our class offerings. What we’ve done is we’ve broken down our classes into the two methods that work the best together. We recommend you come to that class and learn those two first. So [00:37:30] we recommend you learn micro link and beaded weave, in that class first, it’s a two day class. You’ll learn all the foundational stuff, so consultation, pricing, business, and then you also learn application maintenance, removal of those things, and master it. We give you the step by step as soon as you get done on what to do next, how to find models, how to approach your models, how to work on your models, how to charge them, everything. And then we say once you’ve been doing it for six months and you feel solid, move on to the next two methods, which [00:38:00] we recommend to be fusion and what we consider micro fusion. And we do a whole class just on fusion. It’s a far more advanced technique, there’s a lot more room for user error. And so then we say “master one then learn the next.” It usually takes our stylists about a year to get incredibly good, Chris is just being a [incomprehensible] over here [laughter]. It usually take our staff about a year to get what we considered mastered at hair extensions where they’ve had enough clients under their belt, enough experiences to feel really [00:38:30] confident about whatever might sit in their chair. And we typically throw tape in on the fusion class. Tape in is one of those things like I said-

John Palmieri : Now why there? Out of curiosity.

Lindsay Guzman: Why in the fusion class? Yeah. So we’ve tried throwing it into our beaded weave micro link class and it really does just not require very much time, but just enough time to make it too much information. But because fusion is only one really method that you’re learning, you’re [incomprehensible] two different hairs [00:39:00] to do it on. Tape in is much easier to throw in in than  that one. And honestly, most of the people who come to our class already know how to do it right. You can learn tape in from a Youtube video. We touch on it, as you guys have heard today, we touched on it a lot in our classes. And where it’s a solution and where it’s not a solution, but we put it in the fusion class because we find that once you know everything else, you’ll understand why this is not the ultimate solution.

John Palmieri : Well, I think one of the things that why we got such a great turnout [00:39:30] with our class today is because we’ve been, our salon has done tape ins, for a couple of years now. And of course our stylists had gotten to the point where this isn’t fulfilling for what I needed to do. “I can’t do this. I can’t do that. I can’t do this. Oh God, I wish I, I wish I could do something else. “

Lindsay Guzman: Absolutely.

Chris Sulimay: That’s fantastic. Well I feel like we could talk about this, you know, for the rest of the night, obviously we don’t have that kind of time [crosstalk]

John Palmieri : We need to get done by 6:30, because the Patriots game [crosstalk]

Chris Sulimay: Today is [00:40:00] Super bowl Day and we don’t know who’s going to win yet. So we don’t-

John Palmieri : Yes we do [laughter].

Lindsay Guzman:  So do we have a difference of opinion at the table on this?

Chris Sulimay: No, I, you know, in all honesty we got no skin in the game. So you know, Ashlyn and I were Eagles fans [crosstalk] [incomprehensible]

John Palmieri : Well, I’m going to help you all feel better. I’ll make you all honorary pictures [00:40:30] [incomprehensible] [crosstalk][laughter]

Chris Sulimay: So, Lindsay, you know, what are some closing thoughts as we start to wind this conversation down?

Lindsay Guzman: So mostly you just want everybody to think about really at the end of the day, who’s important, the most important person in your salon is that client. They are the one that came to you. They trust you to know and be confident in the knowledge that you have to steer them in the right direction. And so really [00:41:00] all we’re doing is helping you add to that toolbox so that you really do have a solution for everything. And at the end of the day, you know, don’t trust me, go out there and see what other education is out there, but just know that at the end at what our goal is, is to make sure that every single one of our students feels confident enough to take client day one out of our class and know that they have us supporting them from front to end and all the way around. So that is our dedication to every single student. And so yeah. So I [00:41:30] really just really, really push people to get as much education as possible and know that at the end of the day, there is nothing proprietary in this industry. We all learned something from someone. And the only way that anything actually innovates is by taking an unoriginal thing and building on it. And so even with my techniques, I tell every single one of my students, if you try this and you found something that worked better, tell me so that we can share it with everyone else. Because again, at the end of our day, the most important person is that person sitting in our chair.

[00:42:00] Chris Sulimay: How do we find her?

John Palmieri : Actually before we ask that, because I do want to ask that, I also want to give an opportunity for a shameless plug for the Thrive event [Crosstalk].

Lindsay Guzman: Oh yes, yes. Oh my gosh.  

John Palmieri : So, tell us about the Thrive event coming up in Seattle.

Lindsay Guzman: So, Thrive is the brainchild of me and Sally Rogerson. And we have this notion, we were like, okay, independent education is taking over the world, right? But like everything, it’s expensive and it’s hard for stylists to know which educators, the one that they [00:42:30]
really resonate with and that they want to put their money in. And so sometimes you find yourself, not to say that any educator is bad, but you go and you’re like, “oh wow, I kind of already knew how to do all that stuff from whatever.” So we were like, what if we got a bunch of them together in one place and needed tasters of what it is they teach. And then a student or an attendee could pay us a lower price but have the opportunity to taste  six different classes and then see which one fits them for that year. So, the first one we did was in Denver. It was great. We just had four classes [00:43:00]
and everyone took those four classes. I do think that Chris was there.

Chris Sulimay: That’s how today happened.

Lindsay Guzman:  Yes. But this time we went bigger. So, now we have 10 classes to choose from, ranging anywhere from color all the way to business, to Instagram, to photo taking, to speed foiling we have all these classes. And so it’s a two day educational event you get to pick six of the 10 classes offered. You go to class all day Sunday, all day Monday. And on Sunday night we have a proper hair show where Tim Hartley is actually going to be our headlining artist, [00:43:30] Sally Rogerson of course doing her genius up on stage. And then as far as I know at this moment I just found out a couple of days ago I will actually be doing the third show. I will actually be doing the third show and  my partners in crime will be announced soon enough. So, you can find us at and early bird tickets have ended. So, now you can get one day, two day or full package tickets and you can purchase the evening event [00:44:00] by itself. It’s going to be in Seattle on March 24th and 25th. I hope to see everyone there, it’s going to be amazing.

John Palmieri : Well, Chris and I will be there [Incomprehensible]

Lindsay Guzman:  It’s going to be a good time, it’s going to be a really good time. Yeah.

Chris Sulimay: How do we find Elleb Academy?

Lindsay Guzman:  Elleb Academy, easy peasy,

Chris Sulimay: Spell it.

Lindsay Guzman: We’re classy like the magazine [laughter]. So, it’s E-L-L-E-B Academy and it’s my initials, Lindsay Binkley LB. Guzeman is my maiden name, [00:44:30] but Binkley is my married name. And so, it’s Our whole entire class schedule is on there. You can book, you can get tickets on there, you ca  get tickets for Thrive on there and we have more and more classes to come. So, yeah.

Chris Sulimay: Fantastic. Ashlyn after sitting in Lindsay’s class all day, how you feel and now what were your a-has,  are you ready to do this tomorrow?

Ashlyn Bowsman: Yeah, after day one I feel like I learned so much, but I’m also like my wheels are turning, I’m like nervous, but I think I got it.

Lindsay Guzman: You’re going to do great.

[00:45:00] Ashlyn Bowsman: Yeah, I think it was great though. I feel like if you’re looking to get into extensions definitely try to get to a class with her. And I think the main thing that I loved today was that you weren’t a product based class, like gone to extension classes before and it’s like we’re going to talk about hotheads not the actual placement or the technique. Whereas with you guys it was very authentic and it was like we’re going to talk about why these clients want these types of extensions instead of hotheads or [Incomprehensible], whatever.

Lindsay Guzman: You’re going to do great tomorrow. We have live models tomorrow. It’s going to be so fun. Every single one of our classes is a live model class. So [00:45:30] we don’t believe in only working on mannequin heads cause I don’t know about you, but there’s none single head that’s like a mannequin head.

John Palmieri : I’m going to add this little piece because I think this is interesting. You told this story and I think I want to share it with folks, is that you went to the Thrive event in Denver, right? And I believe if I got your story correct, correct me if I don’t, you went into the classroom, into Lindsay’s class and you’re like, “Hey, I’m going to go check this out. I’ll spend a couple of minutes.”

Chris Sulimay: Yeah, I wasn’t going to stay.

John Palmieri : And then what happened?

[00:46:00]Chris Sulimay: I fell in love with the education and the expertise and the delivery and a lot of you have sat in education that you could have fallen asleep in. And we’ve seen a lot of education. And so I’m super particular, quite picky and sometimes I’m not nice when I’m listening to an educator internally- I’m always nice externally. I graciously let her know early [00:46:30] that I would be leaving. I just wanted to get a glimpse of what she was doing. I stayed for three hours, I did extensions and then pushed really hard to have her come here.

John Palmieri : And then when you came back and we talked about this and you know, this goes back to salon owners, why we think this is important. We sat down and did the math. 20% every clients, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. We’ll do the math this many of our stylists will do it. We’re thinking with our six locations, if we’re not doing a half a million dollars by the end of the year in additional revenues.

[00:47:00] Chris Sulimay: We suck.

John Palmieri : Yeah we suck, right? So, for Salon owners, for independents, for stylists, I can’t over emphasize enough how much of an opportunity I think this is  for your business and for your career and that taking advantage of this new method… I shouldn’t say new methodology, but the new methodologies

Chris Sulimay: This trend, this growing trend that’s not going anywhere.

Lindsay Guzman:  Yeah, it is here to stay. People know about it. It’s not anywhere.

Chris Sulimay: Yeah, fantastic. Cool. [00:47:30] Well, this was just a great conversation. So, if you like what you heard today, please subscribe to our podcast and yeah, please hit that subscribe button and you could go to our Instagram page, which is 124.Go and take a snapshot or screenshot if you’re listening and share it and your stories and tag us in it. And we will share your story on our page as well. And I know John, you’ve got, oh, you can also find us on YouTube at 124Go [00:48:00]
I think it’s all one word. And what else do we need from them, John?

John Palmieri : Whatever podcast app you use, please take a moment to write us a wicked good review. And for those of you unfamiliar with the Lexicon, wicked is  French for five stars.

Chris Sulimay: Five stars only?

John Palmieri : [Incomprehensible].

Chris Sulimay: You prefer Five stars, right?

John Palmieri : Well, you know, if you’re asking me, yeah,

Chris Sulimay: Five stars, I like it. I hope you really enjoyed this podcast and got something out of it. Again, thank you so much for listening and [00:48:30] we will see you soon. Bye everybody.