Shear Art Salon and Spa celebrated a quarter century in business last month.
Joanne Powers opened the salon in April 1986 in the Village Corners (4526 Village Drive in Carrollwood), selecting a 450-square-foot spot close to her home and four children, ages 5 to 12 at the time. Shear Art started with just two employees and Powers working in 450 square feet and now employs 55 stylists, nail and skincare technicians, massage therapists, and hair replacement/ extension specialists.
In 1997, Shear Art relocated to the more visible Village Center on the northwest corner of Fletcher Avenue and North Dale Mabry Blvd. Three renovations later, including a major redesign in 2005, the salon and spa now encompasses 5,000 square feet.
“We grew through repeat business and referrals, generated by the stylists and other service providers,” Powers said, noting that some clients have been regulars for the entire 25 years.
“We believe in growing people for a living,” said Powers. “When employees feel secure and completely understand where they are and where they are going professionally, they are free to provide exceptional guest service.”
Clients notice, says 25-year client Helen Knight, “These people take care of each other through good times and bad; it’s a very positive atmosphere. She noted that she still goes to Shear Art despite having a 30-minute commute since moving to South Tampa four years ago and having a 30-minute commute. “I consistently get a great haircut, color and style so it’s worth the travel time.”
Shear Art is a Redken Elite salon and is recognized by many of the nation’s top distributors for its achievements in advanced education.
My stylist Ashley is always going to one hair show or another, learning the latest techniques and styles. Said Connie LaVoy, another client. “And she’s very good at making sure I stay up to date without going too wild or age-inappropriate.”
The company has been featured on two national television shows, The Learning Channel’s Makeover Story and Fox’s Ambush Makeover, as well as on two local programs, ABC’s Consumer Update and BrightHouse Network’s Cosmetic Surgery Update. To ensure a steady flow of excellent stylists, Powers opened The Salon Professional Academy Tampa, a Redken-endorsed cosmetology school on Gunn Highway.
Shear Art responded to the economic downturn of 2009-2010 when the entire salon industry experienced a 10 percent market decline with a new guest reward program featuring lower priced, boutique services and a catchy tagline, “The economy may be ugly, but you don’t have to be!” It rolled out multi-level pricing, ranking the stylists and other service providers in levels based on the demand on their time. This ensures that each service provider earns promotions through guest retention, aligning the provider’s goals with the company goals.
Instead of downsizing, Shear Art invited another salon, Mark Alan Salon and its eight employees to join its ranks in January 2010. Around this time, Shear Art launched its “style miles” guest loyalty program, enabling guests to earn points for referring friends and product purchases.
Shear Art has a proud tradition of community involvement – whether it is recycling hair to soak up the oil spill in hair “booms,” making regular donations to Locks of Love, an organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children in the US and Canada, or cut-a-thons to raise money for FightKid’s Cancer, The Pediatric Cancer Foundation, City of Hope, or to assist its own employees for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer and Moffit Cancer Center. Over the last 25 years, the salon’s collective donations exceed $110,000.