Brown and DeLine's Blog - A Little Off the Top


As a salon owner I have put a lot of time, energy, heart, and soul into developing and maintaining my salon’s culture. My team and I have written a vision, principles, and our bottom lines for success (see below). These concepts continue to reflect what I believe is the ideal workplace and client service atmosphere. Our ‘north star’ is a salon that is professional, supportive, and success oriented. I model these behaviors to my team every day.

We establish our culture with potential new hires at their first interview. Our first interview is a 3 hour trial shift scheduled on a Tuesday. The shift starts with the prospect engaging in our weekly huddle. After huddle, they have time scheduled with senior staff members and team members from the department they will be working in. We encourage them to get to know us while we get to know them. The shift ends with a more traditional style interview with me. It is important that the message of our culture comes straight from the top. I stress that everyone here works hard toward their goals and supports each other’s success as well. I ask them if they are ready to work as hard toward their goals as we are. I ask if they are willing to work as hard for their success as our team is.

To help keep our focus on our ‘north star’, every week at our team meeting we set a culture practice for the week. Some examples of this are random acts of kindness, sharing our favorite inspirational quote, sharing our gift. A current favorite is ‘what’s your twist?’ What is the one unique thing about you that you share every day? What makes you the best part of your clients’ day? We start these conversations at huddle and continue them throughout the week.

In the break room we have an energy chart where employees record their energy level for the day.  We use a scale we call ‘zero to zen’. We strive to have everyone’s energy at an 8 or above. If anyone’s energy is low, we do our best to help them increase it. A coffee, a hug, or a sympathetic ear are often enough to turn someone’s day around. It is our goal to be the best part of the client’s day. To do that, we have to be having a great day ourselves. The staff knows that we all have the option to say ‘I’m at a zero today. I need a day off’. This option isn’t abused or overused. I feel having the option to take a day to recharge makes the days better for the staff and the clients, too.

Our three rules for success are also posted in the break room.

Rule #1 – You are responsible for your own happiness

Rule #2 – Work hard

Rule #3 – Support your team

We teach the team that everything we do every day should follow these rules and support our culture.

The most powerful culture building activity we have is our weekly huddle. We borrowed this best business practice from Open Book Management.  Our weekly huddle includes every employee from the owner to the newest hires. We follow a format where salon sales totals are reported and goals are set for the next week. In addition to sales totals, we also track and report on color waste, website hits, social media action, new clients and retained new clients, energy, and education. We talk about the week’s events.  We discuss best practices we have seen that week and ones that need  further refining. We chart our energy. We establish ‘talking points’ for the week to be sure our clients are informed about our new products, events, and promotions. Each huddle ends with ‘appreciations’. We record at least 5 thank you’s or shout outs to team members who have done something that deserves an accolade. Everyone knows their ideas are welcome and up for discussion. Normal huddle attendance is about  ½ the staff – 20 or so – at each meeting. It’s a great start to the week!

By using these practices we have taught our employees to think and act like leaders.

As the owner, I get compliments daily on the energy and culture of the salon.


Brown & DeLine’s Vision

A network of successful salons that offers up-to-date services, state-of-the-art equipment and world-class education in a positive, supportive workplace that encourages individuals’ professional growth and success to cultivate and serve a diverse clientele that is loyal to “Our Salon”.

Brown & DeLine’s Principles

  • We treat our coworkers as well as we treat our clients.
  • We take responsibility for our own growth and success.
  • We all, every member of the team, are responsible for


Brown & DeLine’s Bottom Lines

  • Successful Salons–Both financially and culturally
  • Successful Staff—Both personally and professionally
  • Wowed Clients—happy, returning, referring, loyal