Aveda is a line of botanical hair, skin and body products based on the Ayurvedic approach to wellness, a healing tradition from India. Acquired by industry giant Estee Lauder in 1997, Aveda is sold in more than 7,000 salons and spas in more than 30 countries. An Aveda salon incorporates the business principles of the brand. Known in the beauty industry as Aveda Concept salons, these businesses leverage Estee Lauder's resources, in return for product loyalty.
Being an Aveda salon means your salon has been approved to carry Aveda products. Whether opening a new salon or changing the business model of a current one, owners must qualify to carry Aveda products. Known as Aveda "Concept" or "Lifestyle" salons, beauty shops allowed to carry Aveda products commit to meeting monthly sales objectives. Salons with too few stylists or treatment rooms are less likely to push enough products to meet Aveda's retail requirements. Aveda includes a form on its website (see Resources) that requests the number of stylists and treatment rooms. The primary objective is to meet monthly sales goals.
After you fill out and submit the application, an Aveda sales representative will contact you. This could take weeks, even months, depending on how many reps are available in your area. Decide whether you want to be an Aveda "Concept" or "Lifestyle" salon. Concept salons carry some products and offer a few Aveda services. Lifestyle salons carry the full line, including teas and hair color. They also offer extensive Aveda-based services. Lifestyle salons require almost twice as big a financial investment. Concept salons can graduate to Lifestyle later.
Preparing to Launch
Once you are approved, it's time to prepare the salon for launch. Aveda salon owners are required to commit to sales goals and minimum monthly product orders. In exchange you receive benefits such as in-house signage, retail and point-of-sale literature, as well as gift-card sales support. You gain access to the brand's vast online marketing library, from which you can download promotional art and marketing materials. In-store tools, such as shelf-talkers and posters, are used to reinforce services and promotions. Use these tools to develop plans for a grand opening.
The primary reason to become an Aveda salon is to benefit from the retail sales. It's important to train staff to make the service-to-retail connection. Every Aveda product used on clients can be sold in the retail area. Although Aveda provides training for salon employees, it's important that as a salon owner, you provide continued education. Develop your hair and spa menus to maximize Aveda product sales. Tie salon services to at-home care to emphasize Aveda's holistic approach to beauty. Train service providers to use Aveda prescription pads to recommend products. Teach front desk personnel to use these "spascriptions" to close a sale.
Education and Certification
Training your staff in product knowledge and services is key to operating your Aveda salon. Aveda offers continued education online, in-house, and through its business college and institutes. You can use the Aveda Institute to recruit employees. Hiring employees already trained in Aveda product knowledge and services will save you time and money. Purepro, an online educational resource, is available to stylists and salon owners. Product knowledge, front desk training and lessons in client retention are all key to operating as an Aveda Concept salon. Aveda salon owners can subsidize educational expenses through awards earned based on product purchases.
ML Corbett covers interior design, real estate and small business, among other topics. A former day spa owner and marketing manager for an international fragrance company, Corbett knows the ins and outs of the beauty industry. Her work has appeared in "Essence," "Black Enterprise" and on HGTVGardens.com.