After training at the Sassoon Academy and working in a prestigious Beverly Hills salon, Caitlin Matarazzo launched Hair by Caitlin in 2008. She rents a room in a multi-purpose salon space in Woodland Hills, Calif., and travels frequently to client homes and offices, as well as to photo and TV shoots. The sole proprietor specializes in extensions, and she also cuts, colors, and styles hair.
The GoPayment Blog recently chatted with Broderick about how she got started — and how mobile payments have helped her keep clients happy.
GoPayment: What prompted you to start your own business?
Broderick: I started in a pretty prestigious salon and got my hands on outside work, but salons don’t really like that because they’re not making money off me when I’m not there. I started running into problems making it convenient for my clients and convenient for me, so I decided to branch off.
Could you walk us through a typical day for you?
I sometimes have one client who takes 10 hours to do her extensions, or I can have multiple people. Usually, if I’m in the salon, I’ll have a few people coming in. I do a lot of photo shoots, too. I just got done doing a top 10 model photo shoot for a calendar, and I do a lot of pilots for TV series.
What were your biggest challenges in starting the business?
One of my biggest challenges is the fact that I offer services that are very expensive. It’s difficult if clients want to add a service, or want something else done, because they don’t always have enough cash, and taking checks is risky. I was referred to GoPayment by my husband. He told me how much easier it would make my business, and he was right.
So, how does GoPayment make transactions easier for you and your clients?
Now I never miss out on a service. No one can say, “I don’t have enough cash, but I would love to do that.” You never want to take a check, because it could bounce, but credit cards are very solid. If I’m doing a house call, they’ll usually pay by credit card. I use GoPayment on my iPhone. If a charge doesn’t go through, it tells me right then and there. GoPayment offers solid proof that the payment is there. It’s safe for both parties.
Have you ever had a client’s card declined? How do you handle that?
It’s a little bit awkward. But this new system shows them their transaction did not go through, so I don’t have to tell them myself. They see it and then we take it from there. The other great thing about the new feature is where they can add a tip. My clients really love that feature! I like it because it keeps everyone comfortable. I don’t ask and they can see they can add it themselves.
You started your business just as many people were feeling the pinch from the recession. Was that an issue for you?
That’s always a problem in hair, because for some people hair isn’t a priority, but for some people it is. Extensions really aren’t a necessary service, but I was building my client base before the recession hit. A lot of times I think it makes them feel better to be able to charge it on a card, because they can pay for it later. Having more ways for people to pay makes their lives easier. I never miss out on a service, so the client is always happy.