This is the first installment of 20 Questions. I want to bring you people I meet that have extraordinary stories, amazing commitment and remarkable drive. They are notable, noteworthy and should be noticed. Meet V.
There are people in this world meant for greatness; destined for success. These people wake up in the morning, ready to work 110%; do whatever needs to be done -no matter what – in order to achieve their goals.
Meet Vanessa. Owner of Salon V Salon & Spa in Maple, Ontario.
V is one of those people destined for success. At 15, she had her first job working at a Hair Designs by Mimma, and 8 years later opened Salon V Salon & Spa. At the ripe age of 28, she is the proud owner of not one, but two businesses. Her latest venture is Vintage Barber Shop & Shaving Parlor, which just held its grand opening a couple of weeks ago.
Running a business is hard. Being a twenty-something and running a business is impressive to me. She is a no-nonsense entrepreneur. She knows what she wants, and isn’t afraid to go for it. This is an attribute I hope my girls have when they are older.
I recently visited the salon, and decided to play 20 Questions with V.
- When did you know you wanted to be a hairdresser? Since I was young kid. I used to cut all my Barbie’s and doll’s hair.
- When did you know you wanted to open your own salon? I wanted to open a salon after high school. At 21, I told my mom my plans and she cautioned me about the challenges of opening my own business. Especially since I hadn’t gone to school for business. She was supportive, but as a mom, I understood her hesitation.
- What is the hardest part of being an entrepreneur? Definitely trying to balance a social life outside of the salon.
- What do you love the most about your job? I love seeing the smiles on my client’s faces. I enjoy what I do and coming into work to see my staff. Especially after a crazy day, seeing that my staff is still smiling, saying ‘we did it’ is amazing.
- Has becoming an entrepreneur changed your perspective in any way? Yes, but I wouldn’t change it for the world now. It’s interesting because my mind never stops, and I’m always thinking ‘what’s next’?
- What drives you to get out of bed in the morning? I love to wake up every morning and come to work. I love seeing my amazing employees and clients. Knowing that I have changed a woman’s appearance and seeing them walk out with such confidence, gives me a high.
- What made you decide to open a second business? It must say “I’m crazy” on my forehead! I’ve always loved vintage, old and antique thing. So I incorporated the dying breed of barber shops with the whole vintage theme and a new business was born.
- Do you have any other goals for the future? Yes, to franchise the Barber Shop and continue my branded Barber line for men’s shaving essentials.
- Do you consider yourself a role model for young entrepreneurs? I’d like to say yes. I wish that this young generation had a piece of my brain. I always said ‘you can do whatever you put your mind to’. You have to have passion and love what you do. Always strive for the best and never give up.
- Are you proud of yourself? I am. There are days where I don’t like the compliments or credit, as I feel like my whole team is a part of my success. Everyone is equal and deserving of the credit.
- Who is your biggest fan or supporter? My mother, my father, my sister and my boyfriend.
- Ever have any doubts? Never!
- If you knew then what you know now, would you do anything differently? To be honest, no! Starting at a young age was the best thing I ever did!
- Best piece of advice you ever received? A successful business man always told me; “Let them work for you and you make the money!” Unfortunately, in my industry, it doesn’t work that way.
- Best piece of advice you would give to somebody just starting out on their journey? Be smart. Be a leaver. Never make your staff feel that you are above them. Most importantly, customer service is number one!
- How do you unwind? I find it very hard to unwind. Especially with my level of A.D.D. I have taken up making men’s bracelets, which we started selling in the shop. And I import natural gemstones from India, which helps to keep me quiet.
- When do you find time for yourself? At 9 p.m., when I get home every night and on Monday’s when I’m off. I love waking up early and gallivanting around.
- Pet peeve? Slow-moving people
- Favourite food? Chicken cutlets
- Chocolate or vanilla? Chocolate all the way!
V is my stylist, and has been for the past five years. She is also my cousin, (second cousin on my mom’s side). Family ties aside, I trust her instinct. I love that she is an old soul with a no bullshit attitude!
As I left the salon after playing 20 Questions with her, and my hair looking fab, I ran into her father having a coffee at the Barber Shop. When I asked him if he was proud of her, he smiled and got all quiet. “Of course,” he said. “I’m so proud. She’s a rock star.”
Her mother is equally as proud. “Our family is so proud of Vanessa’s accomplishments both personally and professionally. As a mother, there is no greater joy than to watch her children become confident, independent adults. Vanessa’s strength, determination, perseverance and dedication have been admirable. She overcomes difficulties and challenges with courage, and learns from all of her experiences. Most of all, Vanessa’s enduring commitment to her family, her dreams and her passion has earned her the respect that she so deserves. She is fearless and fierce!!”
If you live in York Region and want to stop by, tell them Tania2atee sent you! You won’t be disappointed!
Salon V Salon & Spa
9661 Jane Street, Maple, ON
Vintage Barber Shop & Shaving Parlour
9661 Jane Street, Unit 3, Maple, ON