Episode 093

Steve Sleeper

Podcast Length: 61 mins | Date Published: 8th June 2021

The Hairdressing Industry in the American Market with Steve Sleeper.

The world over the salon industry is a collection of small businesses, and in many cases, the owners of those businesses are often overwhelmed with issues around employment law, tax, health and safety updates, changing legislation, and a raft of other challenges as well as all the other fun stuff that comes with being a small business owner. 

Luckily, in many countries, we are supported by industry associations that are there to offer information, support and guidance to help salon owners navigate their way through the maze as well as offering solutions and a sense of community.  

Today’s podcast is the second in a series of ‘three’ episodes where we talk to the key representatives of associations in the United Kingdom, the United States and Australia to get an overview of the hairdressing industry in each of their respective countries, the challenges they face and the solutions they have.  

My guest today is Steve Sleeper, who is the Executive Director of the Professional Beauty Association, otherwise known as the P.B.A… and in today’s podcast we will discuss the hairdressing industry in the American market 

Thanks for listening!

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Special thanks to Steve Sleeper for sharing his thoughts with me for this week’s episode. Until next time!

In This Episode:

[02:17] Welcome to the show, Steve!

[03:52] Steve shares his background and how he ended up in the beauty industry.

[05:17] What is the purpose of an association like P.B.A?

[07:23] Steve discusses how the association is funded.

[11:02] P.B.A is a national trade association with no individual state chapters.

[13:33] Has COVID driven people to your door to become members?

[16:42] Steve speaks about how the pandemic has affected the beauty industry.

[19:20] What is the ballpark number of salons in the United States?

[21:14] Steve believes the pandemic hit the independent salon business models harder than some other business models.

[24:49] Steve talks about the state licensing you need in the U.S and the increase in people getting apprenticeships to learn more after cosmetology school.

[27:20] What percentage of people go through beauty school and work in the industry for a long period?

[30:46] Steve discusses how many independent salons versus employee-based salons there are in the United States.

[34:18] Steve shares whether he believes independent salons are good for the beauty industry.

[37:36] Steve believes that new stylists that have graduated from school need to go into a salon to learn before they take the step to becoming an independent salon owner.

[38:47] In ten years, what do you think the hairdressing industry will look like?

[41:45] Steve talks about the partnership business model and its work in the beauty industry.

[45:08] Steve guesses that over 50% of salons now are doing the online booking and other software.

[47:31] A certain percentage of clientele will stick with having their stylist come to them instead of going back to salons.

[51:06] Does the P.B.A have the ability to impact the government level to help get changes through?

[53:51] Steve speaks about what the P.B.A does to help elevate the industry.

[55:34] What benefits do the hairdressers get from day one when working in a salon?

[57:30] Steve shares what he believes is the best thing about the beauty industry in the United States.

[58:41] Steve wants everyone to think about joining your association so you can stay abreast of what is going on in the industry.

[1:00:11] Thank you for being on the show!


Links and Resources

Grow My Salon Business

Club House @antonywhitaker 


Steve Sleeper

Professional Beauty Association

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