I Candy Styling Salon Uses Credit Cards to Its Advantage

Kyra Creech has been in the beauty business for a decade and opened I Candy Styling Salon in February 2009. Creech and her team offer hair cutting, styling, smoothing, highlighting, and coloring, as well as waxing services, to customers in their Goldsboro, N.C.-based shop. They also travel to clients’ homes to apply hair extensions and to wedding venues to do bridal hair and makeup.

Creech recently chatted with GoPayment about her marketing efforts, weathering the recession, and more.

GoPayment: Who are your regular customers?

Creech: We have the military base here, so we have a lot of military spouses and active personnel. We do children on up to seniors, so all age groups. Mostly female but some males, too.

What are you doing to celebrate the salon’s third anniversary?

I think we’re going to run a couple of specials. We’re running a special for the Keratin (smoothing) treatment in February and March, and we’re offering a 10 percent discount to all of our new customers. Word of mouth is always the most effective way to spread information, but I would definitely say that Facebook is an easy networking tool, so that’s probably second.

What is your biggest business challenge, and how did you overcome it?

Just staying organized, keeping everything current. All of my girls are self-employed. They rent a booth from me, and I own the salon, so I take in a weekly income from them as well as my income. It’s my duty to pull everything together and make sure the lights and water and inspections are up to date. You don’t get reminders on a lot of that stuff, so I have a lot of notes. My computer is my biggest helper.

You opened the salon during a recession. Was that challenging?

I find it very odd. When it feels like the economy is down, we actually do better. I don’t know if that is because when people have no control over things at home or at work, they like to still feel good about themselves. My fiance is a personal trainer and even with the recession, he’s stayed just as busy, too. Maybe it’s because it’s a military town. We really haven’t felt any blow from the recession, and since we accept credit cards, people spend more.

Speaking of credit cards, how do you use GoPayment?

Probably about two years ago, I started doing hair extensions. The minimum price for extensions is around $400. It felt really necessary for me to be able to accept a credit card, because most people don’t carry that in cash. I don’t have to know their financial situation, because they can pay the credit card company. I also require a deposit for appointments, and now my clients don’t have to be present to book one. They can just call and give me their information over the phone without having to set foot in the salon.

Being that all my stylists are individually self-employed, it was hard to figure out how to have one credit card processor for all of us to be able to run credit cards separately. If they were running credit cards into my machine, it was hard to divide up who paid what. We all have our own smartphones and card swipers. Even before my newest stylist got her smartphone, she was able to use my swiper to log into her account. GoPayment is the easiest way for us all to do it. Not a lot of salons in our area accept credit cards, so it really did extend our clientele.

About Susan Johnston

Susan Johnston is a freelance writer and blogger who specializes in writing about business and personal finance. Her articles have appeared in or on The Boston Globe, Dance Retailer News, GetCurrency.com, Mint.com, PARADE Magazine, WomenEntrepreneur.com, and other places.
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