Episode 107

James Alba

Podcast Length: | Date Published: 21st September 2021

Building supportive salon communities and the positive changes that have come from Covid.

Believe it or not, there are some good things that have come from Covid. One of them is the increase in the amount of sharing and support that different individuals and groups offer.

I imagine that other industries have found ways to connect and share information with each other too, but I think it’s something that the hairdressing industry excels at and should be proud of.

My guest on this episode is James Alba who along with his wife Angela own ‘The B Hive’ salon in New Jersey.

James isn’t a hairdresser but like others, he brings an entrepreneurial business brain to the salon industry as well as being the co-founder and host of the Beauty Business Reset.

In this episode we discuss:

  • Sustainable salons
  • The good things that have come from Covid
  • The changes that the industry is experiencing

And lots more!

In this Episode:

[0:01:17] A good thing that has come from the COVID-19 pandemic, and an introduction to today’s guest, James Alba, and what our discussion today is going to consist of. 

[0:02:51] Where James’s professional journey began. 

[0:04:05] Learnings from the restaurant industry that James has transferred to the hairdressing world. 

[0:06:25] The entertaining, unusual story about how James ended up in the hairdressing profession.

[0:09:56] Inspiration for the concept behind The B Hive.   

[0:12:26] Why it is crucial for the success of small businesses that they focus on sustainability, in both the social and environmental sense.

[0:16:48] How the sentiment of the younger generations impacts the way that businesses are run. 

[0:18:43] An example of the big commitment that The B Hive has made to being environmentally sustainable. 

[0:20:51] Challenges that hairdressing industry experienced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

[0:21:33] Learnings that James and his team when they were forced, out of necessity, to change the types of towels they use in their salon.   

[0:24:42] How the rhetoric around sustainability has changed over time. 

[0:25:30] A story of one of my clients which highlights how the pandemic has made us reflect and rethink what matters to us. 

[0:27:42] James shares what the Beauty Business Reset is about, and how it evolved over time. 

[0:30:50] Why loneliness is a common emotion experienced in the salon industry.  

[0:31:03] Realizations that James had during the first 30 days of running the Beauty Business Reset.  

[0:33:42] How the Beauty Business Reset community members provide support to one another. 

[0:35:40] One of the major discoveries that the salon industry made when it was hit by the pandemic. 

[0:36:16] A positive change that has taken place in the salon industry since the pandemic. 

[0:37:58] James’s initial role in the Beauty Business Reset.  

[0:38:51] Some of the programs that are being run by the Beauty Business Reset and what James hopes the future of the organization is going to look like.

[0:41:29] What I learned from the interview I did with Derek Hull, cofounder of the Beauty Business Reset (Episode 15 if you are interested).

[0:44:11] Changes that James has seen take place in the salon industry. 

[0:45:34] The importance of the way hairdressers interact with their clients. 

[0:46:53] How The B Hive looks after the mental health of their team members. 

[0:48:29] The B Hive’s approach to staff meetings.

[0:50:37] Laws around salon suites in New Jersey.

[0:51:20] James’s opinion on the salon suite model, and how it has changed over time.

[0:54:00] Why the pandemic impacted the salon industry the way it did, and what James hopes we have learned from this experience.

[0:56:29] Changes in the salon industry that the pandemic helped to accelerate.

[0:59:13] Problems with the commission model. 

[01:01:01] The value of community Facebook groups. 

[01:02:04] How The B Hive handles bookings.  

[01:03:49] Advice from James which may change the way you think about your business.

[01:06:38] A story from a previous episode about charging for cancellations. 

[01:09:28] Where you can get in touch with James. 

Thanks for listening!

Thanks so much for joining me this week. If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons at the side or bottom of this post.

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Special thanks to James Alba for sharing his story with me for this week’s episode.

Until next time!

Links and Resources:

Grow My Salon Business

James Alba


The B Hive Organic Salon


Beauty Business Reset

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