Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The Top Of The Head

Hairqueen News:  

As I begin my 34th year as a Hair Stylist and my 22nd year as a brick and mortar Business Owner, I am filled with a mixture of doubt and pride!

I am proud of my accomplishments and yet I wonder have I, did I, will I ever do or be, good enough?

There is an Irish saying, "The man at the top of the mountain did not fall there".

On my good days I am so happy at Swans Studios. I love the look and feel of Swans, the mixture of the independent and collegial culture.

I am humbled by my appointment book of long time clients and new clients. The honor of serving my book of business fills me with a deep sense of creative and human satisfaction. 

On my bad days I wonder if I could or should do things differently? I am afraid of becoming stale, jaded, stuck and just as afraid of falling behind as the styles and business practices change. Can I or will I stay up with the trends behind-the-chair and as a business owner?

When will I be at the top of my mountain? Who knows, but for now I will keep climbing. Thank you for joining me on the journey!

Stay tuned for updates and changes as the year goes by.......

Client Corner:

Thank you to all my wonderful clients for making 2017 a great year! 

I'd like to give back to you! 

Please share a story about Suzanne...how we met, why you started going to me for your hair needs, how I've helped you, etc. Anything goes! If you have a funny story, that would be great too! 

SHARE YOUR STORY, RECEIVE A FREE GIFT! And with your permission, your story can be featured in our next Blog! 

Please email stories to: suzanne@suzannevanhouten.com.

Runs Businesses With Scissors:

As the year begins I am planning to get a boost in the right direction by staying organized, as well as refreshing my business look and branding.  

Starting off the year right will make for a more successful 2018!

For anyone that is needing a boost to get a plan going for their business in 2018, please contact me and tell me your situation.  Two heads are always better than one.  

Contact me at suzanne@suzannevanhouten.com

New Hair, New You! Check Out The Latest 2018 Hair Trends:

Short Styles
Wedged Bobs & Chin Length Shags -
Shorter in the front and longer in the back is the graduated look for bobs. If you prefer a textured cut, add uneven layers and have the perimeter cut even from the front to the back. For a more sophisticated look, try adding long, wispy bangs, and cut your locks so they frame your jawline.

Long Hair Styles
Long Tousled Style or Braids and UpDos

Color Ideas
Natural Color -
The color you’ve always dreamed of having can now be achieved with balayage, a french technique in which highlights are actually “painted” on freehand for a softer color. You can now have a deep mocha with highlights or a soft, baby blonde color that looks completely natural.

Non-traditional Color -
Why not try a rich blend of honey, mocha, and gold for the latest trend? How about a smokey violet color, iridescent peach, or a subtle rose gold with brown hues? It’s always uplifting to do something different with your hair, so why remain stagnant and settle for boring locks?

Promotion Of The Month:

Ring in the new year with some new products!
Buy one product, get one product 18% off for the month of January.

We'd love to hear from you! 

Send an email: suzanne@suzannevanhouten.com or to add COMMENTS to our fan page on Facebook, click here

For more information please contact Suzanne Van Houten at suzanne@suzannevanhouten.com.

Happy New Year, Suzanne xoxo

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Spreading Holiday Shears

Hairqueen News:  

December is in full swing, it is that time of year once more, parties and gatherings and holiday fun!!

For hairstylists it is our busiest season professionally and personally.  A month of hairspray, glamour, champagne and delicious holiday treats!  Once Thanksgiving is over we are off and running!

Speaking of Thanksgiving I truly hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. This year we hosted 17 guests including us.  I loved breaking bread with my family and friends.  We were able to host banquet style in our common house, (one of the advantages of living in a co housing community).

Grateful for this lot!

Just before Thanksgiving I returned from a business trip to NYC. where I completed my program with Inner City Capital Connections, ICCC.  It was amazing and exhausting all at the same time. I am setting it all aside during the holiday season and will pick it back up in 2018, stay tuned for updates.

I am delighted that my salon calendar is booked up for December** with you my wonderful clients.

**Please do not hesitate to contact me if you do not have a December appointment.  Appointments move around and sometimes I am able to offer before and after hours slots, please ask for details.

I am so grateful to have the privilege of serving you.  I look forward to hearing about your Thanksgiving, your holiday plans for December and the New Year as we make you an even more beautiful you!

PS.  I have a little thank you gift for you this month, just an extra little cheer for you!

Feeling the love!

Promotion Of The Month:

Shine This Season!

Please enjoy 10% off any product that produces that holiday shine in your hair. 

This includes glosses, hairsprays, shine spray.  

Please contact me at suzanne@suzannevanhouten.com or add comments to our fan page on Facebook, click here.  You can also comment on the blog as well! We'd always love to hear from you:).

I wish you a very merry, happy holiday season!

Suzanne xoxo

Thursday, November 16, 2017

With Gratitude

Hairqueen News:  

The holidays are quickly approaching! I have been working hard on my Inner City Capital Connections, ICCC presentation and I am getting ready to go to New York to attend the ICCC National Conference from November 16 to 17.  I plan mostly to attend the conference in New York and hope to squeeze in a little sightseeing around the Big Apple.

Now that we have our new tenant at Swans Studios and my ICCC course is about to be completed, I can start to focus on the busy holiday season.  I am so grateful that my salon books are full with you, my wonderful clients. If you have not booked yet for the holidays, don't fret as I can add you to my waiting list and or refer you to my new associate Ginger. Please shoot me an email and we can make happy hair happen.

This year I am hosting Thanksgiving. My sister and her family will join us as well as my daughter, her in-laws, a neighbor and some dear friends.  We will have a full house and I am so excited.  With all that has been going on in the world time with family and friends is more poignant than ever. 

One of the gifts and privileges of being a long time hairstylist is the joy of witnessing my clients lives as they unfold and change with the seasons. As well as sharing my life's journey and changes with you.

Change is the one thing we can count on in the merry-go-round of life.  I am grateful to have you along on the ride with me.

Thankful for family! This was at my daughter's wedding

Promotion Of The Month:

A way to say thanks! 
Please enjoy our buy one product, get one product 15% off special for November.

Client Corner:

Thank you to all my wonderful clients! 

I certainly want to express my gratitude to you as I wouldn't be where I am without all of you. 

Runs Businesses With Scissors:

Since I am finally done interviewing for now, I plan to use the rest of the year for wrapping up this whirlwind year and preparing for 2018.

For anyone that is needing a boost to get a plan going for their business for the New Year, please contact me and tell me your situation.  Two heads are always better than one.  Contact me at suzanne@suzannevanhouten.com

Holiday Hairstyles:

Need a little inspiration?

Here are some great hairstyles for any fancy event, including the holidays:).

No time to shampoo between parties and events or are you wondering how to keep your hair from drying out too much? Try Kenra Dry Shampoo on days you go without shampooing for a fresh, yet manageable style!  

I have this product on my shelves at Swans Studios.  Happy to show it to you next time you are in.

Q & A corner or article:

We'd love to hear from you! 

Please let us know what you'd like to read about in this blog. Also, if there are any stories or tips you'd like to share about your experiences at the salon, please email suzanne@suzannevanhouten.com or add comments to our fan page on Facebook, click here

For more information please contact Suzanne Van Houten at suzanne@suzannevanhouten.com.

With Sincere Gratitude,

Suzanne xoxo

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

October Flew By!

Hairqueen News:  

I am embarrassed to say that I could not find time this past month to sit down and write my October Blog.  My wonderful virtual assistant Sara had the Blog prepped for me but it kept slipping down my to do list until I almost missed the month entirely.  What a wild month it has been! 

I have been interviewing a new tenant for Swans Studios, polishing up my ICCC presentation, gallivanting with my besties and doing my darnedest to keep up with my normal personnel and professional commitments.

I took a few days in the country with my besties to rest, relax and restore my reserves before the truly busy holiday season kicks off!

My new sparkly shoes - I love them

Promotion Of The Month:

OK, we missed October so here is the November promotion, hope you have a chance to take advantage of it.

Client Corner:

Thank you to my wonderful clients Julie and Lorenzo for your lovely before and after head shots!

Runs Businesses With Scissors:

Yay, yay, yay we have a new associate at Swans Studios.

Ginger Godines will join us in November and I will introduce her with aplomb in November.

In the meantime, what a whirlwind it was to be back to interviewing again.  It is humbling to be reminded how important it is to keep those interviewing skills sharpened, to be clear about the position you have to offer and to be patient so that the best person for the spot is hired.

I remember when I owned my big salon, Topps Salon Day Spa, that it was a constant practice of recruit, recruit, recruit.  Swans Studios is a different business model but the same is true, it is important to recruit until the right person for the opening is hired, not just hiring because you have an opening.  Experience has taught me that for both business models it is true that several meetings and discussions, checking references and being clear with all agreements will create a healthy, happy environment for all parties.

Salon Owners, if you need some refreshing on this area of business or whatever you may be grappling with currently, contact me, tell me about your situation and let's create a win, win for you.

To book a Consulting Appointment, email me at suzanne@suzannevanhouten.com or call me at 510-545-2955.

Spooky Hairstyles:

Happy Halloween!

Q & A corner or article:

Click HERE for an article featuring great Halloween Hair tips!

For more information please contact Suzanne Van Houten at suzanne@suzannevanhouten.com

Until next time Happy Halloween!


Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Change of Season

Hairqueen News:

I had this blog written and then it got lost.

When I originally wrote it I was in Santa Cruz trying to escape the 100 degree Bay Area weather.  It was in the evening, I was listening to the sound of the surf and the screams of delight and fear from the Santa Cruz Beach Board Walk.  I felt happy to be so close to the ocean and delighted that in the spirit of the life of the entrepreneur, I could mix business and pleasure, because when you are self-employed sometimes that's just the way it is.

And then sometimes opportunities present themselves and even though your plate is full you are compelled to say, "yes".  I recently did that and now I am in a program for entrepreneurs called Inner City Capital Connection.  I'm about half way through and I'm not sure where it will lead.  If you would like to find out more about ICCC, check out this link, http://icic.org/inner-city-capital-connections/ and of course ask me about it next time we meet.

You might think that adding a business program to my plate would wear me out but the opposite is true: I become inspired.

Next time I see you let's talk about a new idea for your personal look.  Fall is coming and maybe it is time for a change?  How about some low-lights or a perm or a fringe?  Change is good.

Promotion Of The Month: 

10% Off All Brushes, Combs and Velcro Rollers!

Me and my lovely niece and my velcro rollers.

Client Corner:

I love helping people. We can help each other! To have your business featured here, please email me at suzanne@suzannevanhouten.com.

Runs Businesses With Scissors:

I have a change coming at Swans Studios.

One way you could help me, please.

I am looking for someone to rent out the semi-private studio space.

It's a great chance to be your own boss, work in an amazing location and gain confidence as a stylist and business owner.

Please spread the word and contact me (info below) if you're interested or know someone who might be!

This is a perfect spot for a barber, hairstylist, manicurist or make-up artist.

Swans Studios Boutique Salons

The Beauty of Ownership
  • Express your individuality as a Boutique Salon Owner
  • Customize your space, set your own hours, run your own business
  • Ownership comes with support that makes running a business simple, so you're free to spend your time doing what you do best: making the world more beautiful one client at a time
  • We are here to support you and champion our stylists as they grown their business
  • We do everything possible to create and nurture a warm, relaxing and positive experience for our stylists and their clients

The Beauty of Business
  • Included at no charge, coaching and mentoring
  • Strategic planning for your success
  • A quality environment and best business practices
  • We have been in your shoes and we know what it takes to excel behind-the-chair and in business


For more information and to fill out an application, please contact Suzanne Van Houten at suzanne@suzannevanhouten.com.


Come join us in the heart of vibrant Old Oakland.

OK, let me get this published before it gets lost again.

In the meantime, be well, be happy and thank you for being a client, a friend, a colleague, a neighbor, a pal, on this journey, in this precious slice of life.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Back To School

Hairqueen News:


My birthday is in August and this year I turn 57.  I was 22 when I started in the salon industry so this is my 35th year! I cannot believe how fast the years have flown by.

When I started nobody sold products, clients smoked in the salon as did the stylists.  There were no computers, no social media, just magazines, paper appointment books, pencils, erasers, telephones and as always the aroma of hairspray and styling gel in the air.  I loved the salon environment then and I do today with all the modern technology, the retail products, the social media and the sweet smell of good old hairspray or gel.

I will retire as a career stylist someday.  In the meantime you will find me at Swans Studios, cutting and styling away, as I adjust with the times, utilizing online booking, social media and the latest trends and techniques.

Although in the end it is the trust my clients place in me that makes my vocation a career.  Thanks for the trust.

I'll be away for a week August 6-15 to recharge my batteries before the busy salon season starts. In the meantime enjoy the rest of summer and Never and I will see you soon.

Promotion Of The Month: 

Since products are the thing in the salon these days and when you buy local you truly do help small businesses like mine.  I like to give back so I run a monthly special to say thank you for your continued patronage.  This month I am having a liter sale.  It's a good time to stock up.


Client Corner:


Of course, what would I be without my wonderful clients like Laura in the before and after shots below. Laura and I met through a networking opportunity.  Laura owns an amazing business, https://www.freedom-makers.com/.  My terrific virtual assistant, Sara, is one of Laura's Freedom Makers.

Thanks for trusting me Laura!

Before & Afters:

Runs Businesses With Scissors:

This month I am asking for your help.  In September I will have an opening at Swans Studios.  I would love to find a new stylist to join me and La Tasha.  If there is one thing we can count on it is change, sometimes this is good, sometimes it is hard, sometimes easy but change will happen.  Marisa will be moving on, we wish her well. 

Please pass the word:  

In the meantime to contact me for hair or business consulting or to join us at Swans Studios.
510-444-6700 or suzanne@suzannevanhouten.com.

Till we meet again soak up some rays and enjoy your days.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Summer Hello

Hairqueen News:

Gosh the year is flying by!  And, as probably can be predicted life for me is the same and different.  For the first half of this past year I was swept up in wedding fever, my daughter was married on June 3, yippee! 

My daughter the bride

It was a new experience for me to be the mother of the bride and a member of the wedding party, rather than one of the hair stylists busily preparing the bride and the wedding party for the big day.

Me mother of the bride

Speaking of Summer: 

  • Are you ready for a summer cut and color? 
  • Is it time to go short and sassy for the long summer days?  
  • How about a few highlights or lowlights, or a splash of bold color just for fun? 

Did you hear that the perm is back?  

I did loads of perms in the 80’s; so I’m your girl if you need a curl or two!  And, I can offer the opposite, how about smoothing out those natural waves for a smoother less bulky head of hair? 

Let’s consult!  To book an appointment; https://www.vagaro.com/suzannevanhouten or contact me at 510-545-2955.  


Promotion Of The Month:


Runs Businesses With Scissors:

Are you a business owner?

First breathe, then pat yourself on the back for making it to the mid point of the year.  

Earlier this year my marketing person resigned for personal reasons.  I took a marketing break for a few months.  I recently started working with a new marketing assistant, Sara; we have planned out the next three months of salon promotions, reviewed my social media strategy and set up our next quarterly meeting.  I cannot do this part alone.  

Now that Sara is handling this area of my business I can focus on the remainder of the year and the who, what, why, where, how and when I can grow my businesses.

Thank goodness Swans Studios is going strong, yet it is also the same and different. 

This past January, La Tasha Lathen joined us.  La Tasha is a curly hair expert, check out her website, https://www.hairapysession.com.

Our other stylist, Marisa and I are staying the course for now, enjoying our wonderful clients and the stability of many years behind-the-chair.  So I know what that means, this is the time for me to take stock and plan for the remainder of 2017. 

I need a team.  My team consists of my coach, my virtual assistant, my salon assistant and my colleagues.  Who’s on your team?  I’d love to hear about your situation today.  

To book a Consulting Appointment, email me at suzanne@suzannevanhouten.com or call me at 510-545-2955.

Till next time,  I do hope you are planning to take some time off over the summer.  It is important to recharge our batteries before the busy Fall and Holiday Seasons.  

Stay cool and enjoy the sun!