Hi friends! Bri Kirkham-Palmer, Salon Society Junior Hairstylist, here to talk about the fabulous Salon Society (SASO) Associate Program.
The SASO Associate Program is a structured mentorship program designed to set up new stylists for success in the beauty industry. I had the amazing opportunity to do the SASO Associate Program shortly after finishing hair school and it was a game changer. Here’s a little bit of what the program looked like for me:
ON THE DAILY
My day-to-day had a lot of variety with my time being spent on a mix of reception, assisting & shadowing, and education.
Working reception was a really great experience for gaining an understanding of the best way to schedule and balance appointments, as well as learn about the different types of services we offer at Salon Society. Our salon is a full service hair and beauty salon so learning the ins and outs of all the hair services as well as the skin, brows, makeup, massage, and nail services was really cool.
One of the best parts of working on the front end was making connections with all the clients that came through the door! It was great to have a chance to connect with all the salon clients and build relationships with regulars (some of whom book to see me today!). Being up front also helped me learn about all the retail products we carry. This has been invaluable knowledge as it made it an easy transition for when I was behind the chair using backbar and recommending home care to my clients.
Assisting & Shadowing
Assisting and shadowing was how I spent a major part of my time. I was always around to assist stylists when they needed it. Whether they were running behind and needed someone to finish blow drying or curling hair, or if they needed me to start washing their next client, it was really great to contribute to the team in this support role and know that I was saving the day by keeping them on track for their next clients!
Assisting and shadowing also means I was glued to the hip of my mentors and was able to watch and learn with every client! Being right there to watch each client's experience right from the consultation, through the application, formulation, finishing, to the photography and rebooking was such an incredible learning experience. Additionally, having the opportunity to work with so many stylists allowed me to learn so many new and different techniques.
The final way I spent my time was formal learning! I was invited to take part in the classes hosted by Salon Society, as well as encouraged to join other learning opportunities as they came up. Learning with the team and from industry professionals was such an invaluable experience.
The mentorship in this program (and this salon in general) is seriously next level. During my shadowing time with stylists, I was able to gain a much deeper understanding of services that I was curious about or in some cases ones that I was exploring for the first time. It was amazing to see all the techniques in play and it also gave me a really good understanding of what a typical day behind the chair looks like for a successful hairstylist. This close mentorship was also great because I was able to build connections with clients that I wouldn't have had the opportunity to interact with otherwise!
The mentorship I received while doing the associate program (and still receive) was exactly what I had been looking for all through hair school.
The majority of my shadowing time was under Aaron Brousseau -- and he was incredible. He was encouraging and also challenged me and pushed me in the right direction. I never felt dumb and was always able to go to him for any questions, re-assurance, or problems. Aaron simplified things for me and helped tremendously with my confidence (behind the chair and just in general!). He would always compliment me when I did something right, but also gave me constructive criticism when I could do something better or change something next time. Aaron's mentorship goes beyond just hair.
CONTINUED LEARNING & TRAINING
When I finished hair school I, like most new stylists, was not super confident with what I had learned. I felt like I had a good foundation but knew I had so much more ground to cover before I would be the stylist I wanted to be. For me, taking classes and continuing my education was a no brainer -- I want to learn as much as I possibly can! At Salon Society there have been so many education opportunities in the salon and also out of town with my SASO team. I am continuously encouraged and assisted in taking these classes and I wouldn’t have it any other way!!
WHO SHOULD TAKE THE SASO ASSOCIATE PROGRAM?
The SASO Associate Program is designed to take a stylist with foundational knowledge and help them flourish and gain the skills and confidence they need to succeed. I would encourage anyone looking for a better understanding of hair and the beauty industry to try the program!
The program is perfect for:
The SASO Associate Program levelled up my knowledge and skills. It has strengthened my confidence and set me up for a successful career in the hair industry -- and I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to participate!
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