Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Happy Holidays!

Wishing you a Happy Holiday and a joyful New Year! 

Let us all be prepared for this New Year and grab a hold for the ride! Make 2017 a fulfilling year.

During this Holiday Season, as you dash back and forth from party to party and getting all of your shopping and preparations done, it can be hard coming up with an easy quick hairstyle that isn't a boring ponytail. Here are some ideas of what other's are doing as shown on Yahoo. 

Maybe you'll like to have a short hairstyle with parted hair slicked to the side as seen above. Or, maybe you prefer a more wavy, low-key look as shown below. You'll just keep twisting and add bobby pins where needed.

Don't want your hair up? Then just leave it down and add your favorite hair accessories to amp up your everyday style. 

Getting frustrated with your curls? Try wrapping a few face-framing pieces of hair around a curling iron to define your beautiful curls!

Want your hair off the back of your neck? Just throw your hair up in a quick bun!

There are many great hairstyles you can do even in the last minute! Don't lose hope. You'll look great whatever you do! Need any more help and ideas? Contact me. My information is below.

Promotion of the Month

I am still offering a December special for you, my hair clients, and you, my consulting clients.

To my hair clients: Need some extra hold and shine? You may purchase any of my Framesi Hairspray and Shine Products for 10% OFF! Make your look last throughout the day with a little extra shine and a lot of hold!

To my consulting clients: The New Year is only a couple weeks away! Now is the time to plan your Business Goals for 2017!


You may contact me by phone, 510-545-2955, or email me at suzanne@suzannevanhouten.com to book a Consulting Appointment!

Oh, and as always, to make or change your appointments, please visit my booking website at: https://www.vagaro.com/suzannevanhouten#.UlXbpBD4KbI .

May this season and your future be bright!

In deepest gratitude and love,



Thursday, November 10, 2016

What, Summer Is Over!

HairQueen News

Gosh, it has been a while since I have written a blog. In fact it was in the Summer, in July. Now it is Autumn, and so much has happened.

Happily, my lovely daughter got engaged, so I get to be the mother-of-the bride! No, I’m not doing the hair for the wedding day. I am going to get my hair done, and I’m so excited.  Stay tuned for wedding updates.

Sadly, my dearest brother passed away.  His name was Kevin and I was very fond of him.  The good news about being self-employed is one must carry on. The bad news about being self-employed is one must carry on.  

Last, but not least, because of changes in the crew at Swans Studios, we did a little construction and Swans Studios is even better than before.

What a whirlwind summer in the wheel of my personal and professional life. 

I am humbled by the wonderful support of my family, friends, and you my clients, as I've celebrated and mourned and managed and struggled and carried on.

Thank you, thank you.

Promotion of the Month

As we go into the holiday season, your hair may need a little extra hold and shine. For November, I will be offering 10% off all my Framesi Hairspray and Shine Products. Make your look last from morning 'til evening with a little extra shine and a lot of hold!

Runs Businesses with Scissors

Now is the time to plan your Business goals for 2017! 

Now is the time to review how your current year is going, to check that you are on track with your goals. This is the "work on your business" part of being a small business owner. It is not the sexy part, but it is the part that gets you to the business of your dreams!  

Do you need a little help getting there? Let's talk! Call me and tell me about your situation. 510-545-2955 or email me at suzanne@suzannevanhouten.com.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Grateful For The Summer And Grateful For You

HairQueen News

It's summertime! And that means it's time to relax and enjoy the sun! It also means it's time to protect your skin and hair with sunscreen and clarifying shampoo. Last summer, I wrote about hair care during the hot months. This summer I'm offering a little tutorial on a classic summer style!

How-To: Summer Beach Waves

Always wanted to sport that spent-the-day-at-the-beach look? Now you can!
  1. Spray Color Lover Hair Primer 11 on wet hair and apply BY Sparkling Mousse Flexible Hold on the roots. 
  2. Blow dry naturally. 
  3. With the flat iron and I.Dentity Protect.it shape the lengths without making curls, but just twisting the sections alternating clockwise and counterclockwise movements. 
  4. Smooth the fringe. 
  5. Open the sections with your fingers and finish with BY Black Lava Hair Spray Mega Hold

Promotion of the Month

This month I'm offering a promotion on my entire Kenra line: 

Buy one get one 15% off! 

Kenra Clarifying Shampoo

Kenra Dandruff Shampoo 

Kenra Dry Shampoo

Kenra Travel Hairspray

So if you need a shampoo to remove chlorine or help with a dry scalp or to save you time on your travels, we have you covered with Kenra.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

2016 Mid Year News from Near and Far

HairQueen News

Father's Day is just around the corner, so this month we're focusing of the men in our lives! Men's hairstyles and hair products are often overshadow in today's world, but they are just as important as women's hairstyles and products!

Promotion of the Month

So this month, I'm offering a special promotion for the entire American Crew product line, designed specifically for men's hair (but that doesn't mean women can't use it too!)

Buy 1 American Crew product, receive 10% off.
Buy 2 American Crew products, receive 15% off.
Buy 3 American Crew products, receive 20% off.

NO Foil Highlights NO Fooling

Would you like a shimmer highlight or two?  New from Framesi Shimmer DeColorB - 5 Minute Highlights from start to finish.

My client Leann says "I absolutely love my Shimmer Highlights!!! So fast! No foil wraps!! And another great hair cut.  You are the best Suzanne! Thank you!"

Thanks Leann!!

Trends from Korea

My assistant Misha recently returned from a trip to South Korea and I asked her to report trends she noticed there. Here's what she saw:

While much of Korean culture idealizes Western beauty trends, a few differences did stand out to me.

  • Almost all women in Korea wear their hair long and color it lighter shades of brunette. It was rare to see any women wearing their hair shorter than shoulder length or in it's natural black color, let alone both at the same time! These long bangs were also popular, as they enhanced the Korean trend towards the "babydoll" style

Misha in Korea

  • I wear my hair in a pixie style and in my natural black hair color and I felt like there was always at least one Korean staring at me because of my hair. In fact, one woman thought I was entering the wrong bathroom because my pixie haircut looks like a man's cut!
  • PS - I use American Crew Forming Cream in my hair everyday and I love it! It allows me to style my hair how I like without making it too stiff. I encourage everyone to take advantage of this month's promotion!

  • It was also common for young Korean men to color their hair lighter shades of brunette. A very trendy hairstyle was a shaggy slanted rendition of an undercut and bowl cut.

  • My personal favorite hairstyle I saw in Korea was of a bartender I met. She had unusually short hair compared to most Korean women I met and I thought it suited her perfectly.

Running Businesses with Scissors

I am so excited to have Misha's report of hair trends in Korea.  Thank you Misha for your great reporting!  And I am super excited to be able to offer Shimmer by Framesi.

It's fun behind the chair and to keep that momentum going I know I must work on my business as well as in my business.

I recently joined a non-profit Working Solutions as a Business Consultant. I look forward to helping Working Solutions Salon clients grow and prosper in their businesses.

This month I will be doing my own mid year check in with my salon and consulting businesses.  Sort of like a Well Business Check.  I will create a check list and review all areas of my businesses so that I can enjoy the summer and prepare for the Fall.

I'll let you know how it goes...  

And if you need a tune up don't forget to contact me and we can see how your mid year Well Business Check checks out. You can reach me at 510-545-2955 or suzanne@suzannevanhouten.com.

"Keep an eye on your dream business before it becomes your worst nightmare.  The pace of the pack is the pace of the leader. You can do it and you don't have to do it alone"

Thursday, April 28, 2016

It's Never Too Late Too Learn Something or Try Something New

HairQueen News

This April I attended the Spring Style Hair show in San Jose, CA. It was fun to wander the exhibit halls, chat with colleagues from Framesi and to attend a hair color class on techniques for Balayage.  It's true you are never too old too learn and it's never too late to get out of a rut whether you are in or behind the chair. It is humbling, fun, and freeing to discover new ways to bring high-lights and low-lights to the wonderful heads of hair I am privileged to serve every day. 

Trends of the Season

It's officially Spring! That means it's time to sport those Spring trends!

Choppy Lob

A great laid-back look to pretend you just spent all day at the beach.  Great angled, tousled bobs with balayage.

Fringe Baby Bangs

A quick way to change up your look for the Spring season.  Nice bold color for bold fringes.

Icy Buzzcut

For the boldest of the bold, there's this look straight from the Spring 2016 fashion runway shows.  Love this close crop.

Product of the Month

For the month of May, enjoy a 10% discount on all hair brushes/combs/rollers and hot tools!

A good brush is good for your scalp and good for your hairstyle.

Velcro rollers and back.

A good dryer saves drying time

Let's talk brushes and combs next time I see you!

Question & Answer Corner


Is it true it can take hours to go from dark to light? Is that why it costs so much?


Yes it's true for both the time and the money.  Many beauty blogs and magazines are showing brunettes that are super light or have multi-colored hair such purple and blue.  These are looks that take several processes and lots of bowls of hair color and or bleach.  For virgin hair, it can be a faster process but for clients with previously coloured hair the service can take longer depending on how many levels of lift are needed to remove the artificial pigment.  Let's talk reality before you become a blond bombshell or a rainbow goddess.

Runs Businesses with Scissors

We made it through Tax Season--now what!  First take a breather and then take a look at your business through the eyes of your clients, employees and neighbors.  April is a good time to spring clean.  Here is an  check list to get you started:

  • If you have a store front, is it appealing?
  • Is your signage clean and visible?
  • Is the lobby, front desk clear of clutter?
  • Is your inventory up to date or dated?
  • Are the work areas free of dust and dullness?
  • Are you sporting a fresh cut and or color?
  • Are your services priced accordingly?
  • Do you have your promotions planned?
  • Do you have your time off planned?
  • Do you have goals for yourself and your team so you can call thrive?

Is this list overwhelming? Do you need help? Let's talk, call me to set up a time to tell me about your situation? Contact me at 510-545-2955 or suzanne@suzannevanhouten.com to set up a consultation.

Client Corner

James Jordan

I have been working in the San Francisco Bay Area technology industry for almost twenty years.  My expertise comes from years of managing SEO projects for ad agencies, web companies, and small businesses.  My business can be found at www.bayareaseoservices.net

I have seen our local brick and mortar small businesses challenged by global businesses who take advantage of the internet to crowd out our community resources.

Believe it or not the playing field can be leveled.  BAY SEO knows a focused dedicated team of SEO professionals can get you the attention you deserve on the search engines.

I have assembled a behind the scenes team of writers, developers, marketers, and designers who will help us level that playing field.


Thursday, March 31, 2016

April Showers

HairQueen News

It is Spring and time to think about a Spring Haircut or Fresh Spring Hair Color.  Recently I took a Balayage Class to freshen up my color skills.  Balayage means to "sweep" or "paint" in French.  With this technique I am able to create softer less noticeable regrowth lines.  This is especially helpful for blond and silver haired clients. The principal idea being less is more when creating soft natural looks.  Although of course as is often the case to create something simple takes time, technique, and expertise.  If you would like find out if this technique is right for you, let's talk at your next hair appointment.

In the meantime here is a recent example of a Balayage for a Brunette whose hair I have been reverting from all over Color to Prestige Silver and Brunette.

For hair appointments, contact me at 510-545-2955 or suzanne@suzannevanhouten.com or go on line to www.suzannevanhouten.com.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Stress-Free Tax Season

Runs Businesses with Scissors

Tax season is a stressful time of year for everyone, but especially for small business owners and entrepreneurs.

It's this time of year that I like to focus on de-stressing. These are my tips for staying stress-free during tax season:

  • Make a cup of tea and review all your income and expenses for 2015.
  • Hire a professional bookkeeper to review that all your income and expenses are sorted out properly.
  • Hire a Certified Public Accountant and give everything from your bookkeeper to the CPA
  • Be prepared to answer questions from the bookkeeper and the CPA.
  • Don't cry if this is overwhelming, as a small business owner you wear a lot of hats - Chief Financial Officer is only one of them.
  • Contact Suzanne** and set up an appointment so she can help you get organized for next year.
  • Remember you know more than you think you do!

Client Corner

This month's client is Kyra from Vermeulen & Co:

Kyra's professional story starts in her teens when she fell in love with theater and costume design. Her love of the arts, especially modern fashion and historical costuming, has been balanced by practical skills in business and accounting.  A California native, she wrote her Bachelor’s thesis on sustainable fashion and is passionate about making a positive global ecological impact around how people select and buy clothing.

Along with Co-founder, Bree Hylkema, she launched Vermeulen & Co. in 2012 with a commitment to Slow Fashion.  The casually elegant clothing combines fit and function with an easy, polished style and is designed and sewn locally (in the Oakland Bay Area), in shapely sizes ranging from 2-18.  High-quality fabrics such as organic cotton, silk, Tencel, and wool lend both a luxurious feel and sophisticated look to take you from a day at the office to a gallery opening or night on the town.
Visit the website at www.vermeulenandco.com to see current offerings. For a free private fitting appointment in their Oakland studio, email info@vermeulenandco.com.


Question: Do I have to keep on recruiting for new talent?

Answer: Yes, it is hard to predict when a member of your staff will decide to move on, open their own business, or find a different opportunity that works for them.  It is best to recruit consistently and when need be, recruit like mad.  New talent can come from many different parts of our lives. One of the best employees I have ever had was introduced to me by a friend of a friend of my neighbor.  I did not need a stylist at the time but I said I would talk to him, we still work together today.  It is important to keep recruitment as one of the tools in the "working on your business" rather in than "in your business" tool kit.

** If you need help de-stressing your business life, contact me at 510-545-2955 or suzanne@suzannevanhouten.com to setup a consultation.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Two Heads are Better Than One

Runs Businesses with Scissors

I have noticed as a long time business owner that I need to know how to do a little bit of everything. I need to make sure every aspect of my business is running smoothly, so it's up to me to not only be a skilled hairstylist, but to also be skilled in

  • business management
  • bookkeeping
  • marketing
  • human resources
  • financial operations
  • inventory
  • communications
  • licensing etc.
This is why it's so important to diversify your skills, while continuing to hone your specialty skill.

For me, my specialty skill is hairstyling. As a business owner, over the years through trial and error and shear determination it turns out I have developed many complementary skills that have helped my businesses be successful.  One of the best decisions I ever made was to hire myself a business consultant many years ago.  My consultant has guided me through many trials and tribulations, successes and failures, celebrations and losses.

As artists and entrepreneurs, we often excel in our passion, but we also need to develop these other business skills to ensure our success. Without proper business management, bookkeeping, marketing, etc, a business cannot succeed, regardless of how passionate you may be.


After decades as a business owner, I have enjoyed consulting with my consulting clients and I am eager to share my knowledge with others, which is why I'm offering a promotion to my consulting clients!

Refer a friend, and after they come in for their first consulting session, both of you will get 50% off your next session!

February is the month of love, so show some love to yourself, your business and a fellow business pal. The two of you can grow your businesses together!

Client Corner

This month's Client Corner is showcasing Kelliane Parker:

Kelliane is co-founder of Time To Go Social. TTGS is a boutique social media and digital marketing agency serving small, independent businesses. Kelliane has spent the last 2 decades providing education and support to small, local businesses. Her company specializes in teaching small businesses how to successfully run their own social media and digital marketing. She and her business partner, Julie Mitchell do this through workshops or one on one consulting, personalized to each individual business needs. Whether you need to build an editorial calendar, set up Hoot Suite or just learn about engagement and social listening, they have a solution for your business needs.

Check out Time To Go Social at  www.timetogosocial.com



How do I avoid burnout now that I have my dream business but it feels like a bit of a nightmare? Help, help, help!!


First, pat yourself on the back for admitting that you are feeling fed up and overwhelmed by wearing all the hats of a business owner.  Take a deep breath and give me a call to tell me about your situation.  Together we can create a plan to get you back to your love affair with your wonderful business.  The plan may look different to what you expect but then again doesn't your business look different to how you expected?

You do not have too do this alone.

Call or email now. You can reach me at 510-545-2955 and suzanne@suzannevanhouten.com.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Love is in the Hair

Valentine's Day is around the corner. Ti's the day we celebrate love.  Whether you have a date or not,
it is a good day to try a new "do".  Have you planned what you're going to wear to your romantic date night out or your night in? How are you going to do your hair?

Trends of the Season

This season's trend is asymmetry. Try a one-sided hairstyle this Valentine's Day!

Low Side Bun

Loose Side Braid

Side Swept Curls

Question of the Month


If I put coconut oil on my hair, will it fix my split ends?


The only solution to split ends is a haircut. So schedule an appointment for a haircut today!

Client Corner

One of my recent clients wanted a hair transformation.  We took her from black to purple, purposefully leaving her roots black.  It took over three hours to lighten and then dye her hair purple.

Check out these pictures of her that she sent to me with lots of thumbs up from her friends and family!

February Promotion

Framesi's Color Lover will make your hair color last longer. Avoid the color fade with Color Lover! Plus, it's vegan and cruelty-free! Take advantage of this promotion!

HairQueen News

January knocked me off my feet.  The day before I flew to Dallas for my father-in-law's 80th birthday the hot water heater in my business died.  We went from hot to tepid to cold before noon.  This was a test of patience, resilience, flexibility and faith.  I had a full day of clients as did my boutique mates.  We soldiered on whilst my assistant, Lorenzo tracked down a hot water heater repair service and we made arrangements to have the heater replaced the next day. I had a flight at 9.30 am and the repair service was there at 8.00 am as promised to replace the heater.  

This is the life of the small business owner.  The trickster reminding us to have a plan for the unexpected, the dollars to cover the costs, and the willingness to delegate and ask for help.

What is your plan, how do you navigate the waters of uncertainty?

Do you need help, guidance, suggestions for your own emergency preparedness?  Perhaps it is time to work on your business whilst in your business.  Need help? Let's talk.

Feel free to contact me through phone or email: 510-545-2955 or suzanne@suzannevanhouten.com

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Life in the Plan Lane

Runs Businesses with Scissors

Gosh it's officially the middle of January 2016 and that means you should have already made a business plan for the year. How are you going to make 2016 your best year yet? I encourage you to include plans for both your business life and your personal life, 2016 here we come!

Two aspects that I notice are often overlooked when developing a business plan are marketing and scheduled time off.

Marketing not only brings in new customers, it also helps maintain loyal clients, and let's them know that you value them very, very much.   I strongly encourage you to plan at least one quarter ahead.  January is well underway, what are you doing for February and March?  Need help, give me a call and we can plan the marketing and promotions that suit your clients and your business.

Scheduling personal time off is also very important as it ensures that you have time to relax, clear your mind, and return to work refreshed. When you are clear and confidant about your schedule it creates a wonderful sense of well-being and clarity for you, your staff, and your clients.

Need help with these two important plans to help you run a wildly successful business, you can reach me by calling me at 510-545-2955 or emailing me at suzanne@suzannevanhouten.com 



How do I establish a work / life balance?


When you say yes to striving for a work / life balance, you will gain clarity about what change or changes to implement.  For example, I have decided after many years behind-the-chair, I will now be taking every other Saturday off.  For a very long time it made sense for me to work every Saturday but as my businesses and personal life have changed: it is time for me to reevaluate my regular schedule and implement this particular change.  I am looking forward to being able to have more time to spend with family and friends during the weekends. This change will make a big difference to me and I trust my clients will adjust as we find time for them throughout the remainder of my schedule.

Introducing the Client Corner

Every month we will feature one of my clients in the spirit of helping each other in our businesses.

Pam Condie: Certified Professional Résumé Writer

My business mission statement is a favorite quotation from Benjamin Disraeli, a British Prime Minister: “The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your gifts but to reveal to him his own.” 

When I worked in human resources I was fortunate enough to be trained in résumé writing by professional recruiters, the people who read and evaluate résumés every day as part of their jobs.  They know what belongs on a good résumé and what does not. The most valuable insight they taught me is that employers are only interested in hiring people who can solve their problems for them. Thus, my focus is to present my résumé clients as problem solvers.

A few years later I opened my own business, joined the Professional Association of Résumé Writers and passed that organization’s examination, becoming a Certified Professional Résumé Writer.

Even after more than 20 years of résumé writing, I still enjoy my clients, the process of getting to know who they are, and packaging them and their experience in the most effective ways.  I feel it is a privilege to be a part of helping people develop the tools they need to get them what they want, in this case the job interview.


Hope you enjoyed this new feature of our Business Blog and will pass Pam's name on to clients and friends.

Business Trends

Some of you know I have been a vegetarian for over 28 years.  It turns out today more and more people have become vegetarian and vegans.  With this change in their lifestyle they have also looked to reduce animal cruelty in all aspects of their lives. Businesses have found a rise in interest in natural, organic, and cruelty-free products. This is especially true for beauty and hair products. I have always chosen my products to be cruelty free and am delighted that 2016 will see a continued growth in this trend.

Another trend is the higher expectations in customer service. Nowadays, everyone expects VIP treatment, and they're willing to spend more for it. When possible, offer luxury add-ons to make ensure your clients feel like royalty.  Everyone likes a bit of Downton Abbey in their life!

As we strive to keep up I trust you will have a great rest of the month, see you in February!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Fresh Hair Fresh Year

HairQueen News

It's officially 2016! I hope everyone had a festive holiday season spent with family and friends. As the new years begins, it's time to try new things, retire old routines and make positive changes in your life.

Here in the boutique salon, things are changing as well. Marisa Fullerton is joining Swans Studios as a hairstylist in the front studio. For more information about Marisa check out her website at marisafullerton.com.

As for yourself, one of the easiest changes you can make is to your hair. A new hairstyle or hair color can make you feel like a whole new you! Which leads us to the question of the month below.

Question of the Month


How do I update my look for the new year?


It's surprising what a difference a small change can make to freshen up a haircut or color.  Also a sight change can be drastic for some and pointless to others.

Start with looking at pictures of haircuts and colors that you like and bring them to your appointment.  During the consultation we can talk about which look could work for you and your hair.

Is it time for a fringe, time to shorten the length, go darker, go lighter, get some texture or shine?

Is this the year to grow out your grey or the year to dial it back a bit, by adding a few low-lights and or high-lights?

Let's chat and sort it out :)!

To get you thinking here are a few current trends.

Trends of the Season

70s Bangs

The current trend in the fashion word is a throwback to the bohemian look of the 1970s. And with that comes the return of the long 1970s bangs.

Tight Braids

Both of these trends can quickly and easily update your look so you feel fresh for the new year.

Before & After

For more inspiration, check out this recent hair transformation I did!


Discount of the Month

To help you achieve your new look for 2016, I'm offering 10% all hair products for the entire month of January! Stop by the salon and I'll help you pick out the perfect product for your hair and desired look.

For my consulting clients, I'm offering a special discount to help you get your year off to a good start.  Book a January appointment and get 10% off a second January appointment! So call me today at 510-545-2955 or email me at suzanne@suzannevanhouten.com and we can discuss how I can help you achieve your goals.