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!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Should I Do This?

HairQueen News:

Should I, a hairstylist and small business owner of over thirty years, "do" social media?

"They" say we should, but quite honestly with my hours behind the chair, the time it takes to run my businesses, and the desire to have a decent work, life balance I question the if, what, how, why and when of social media.

If I post, or Madison, my marketing assistant posts a picture, a quote, an article, are we helping anyone?  I'd like to think we are.

What should we post? Before and after pictures, hairstyling and/or business tips, product news...or do people already have enough resources for this information?

How should I post, how often, where...Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn?

Why should I post? For me, for you, for the public?

When should I post? Does the time of day, the day of the week matter?

This is what I am thinking about as Winter winds down and Spring begins.....

I'd love your feedback on this topic. Let's talk face to face next time you are in the chair! Or feel free to respond to this blog or send me an email, please.

Madison and I will share any feed back next month.  BTW Madison is my virtual assistant from Freedom Makers. Freedom Makers is owned by my client Laura Renner for more information on Freedom Makers check out their website, (http://www.freedom-makers.com/).

Promotion of the Month:

I love a promotion as much as anyone.  How about I offer you 10% off all the salon products you purchase from me in the month of March? 10% is a nice little savings for you as you shop local and buy good stuff for your lovely head of hair!

Madison reminded me that for this month's blog, people mentioned having more product recommendations, for thinning hair, for volume, etc. 

Thinning hair is a tough one.  

There is thinning hair and there is hair that is thin, the difference is, thinning hair is hair loss and hair that is thin is hair that is fine.  You could have a full head of fine hair; sometimes nice and full and sometimes not.  

Hair loss is a different story all together.

If you have fine hair, it is important to get regular haircuts and to use products for fine hair.  If you have hair loss, working with a good hairstylist and a trusted doctor is the best remedy.

Client Corner:  

The Client Corner, this is an important feature of my Blogg because without clients I am a person with scissors.  

Over the years, I have a accumulated a fabulous roster of clients.   There are my current clients, my previous clients, and my future clients (the ones I have not met yet).

Recently, one of my wonderful longtime clients and I had an email exchange about her leaving me; she said I could quote her so her it is:

"Apologies for lagging so long before I wrote. I recently got my first haircut without you! *shocker* Yes, I have let my hair go unfortunately for far too long, and I finally updated my hair! It was time to transition my move to the south bay and truly move here. I'm sorry we never officially celebrated our last cut together and said good-bye in person. It's been great several years that you've taught me how to care for my hair and style my hair. I have been a client of yours since Topps Salon and it's also been wonderful to see what a strong business women you are through all your transitions".  Jen

Runs Businesses with Scissors:

The salon industry is not for the faint of heart and yet it is filled with hairstylists with big, big hearts.  

I believe, because of this, we must take the time to work "on" our businesses as well as "in" our businesses

This is something I have years of experience with and bring to to the table  as a Business Coach.  

I recently had a lovely compliment from a former employee, this is what she said as she shared about her ten year anniversary in the salon industry.

"Last month marked my ten year anniversary of receiving my cosmetology license. Wow. Best decision I ever made! This career saved me when I was drowning in depression and self doubt. But I had finally found it! What I had been searching for for what felt like forever. A purpose. And I found that it came so natural to me! And Not only I, but others thought I was good! Everyone could see it. I had pride for something in my life. In something people entrusted and even paid me to do! And I made beautiful relationships with the most awesome artistic people. Most are still a part of my life to this day. Thank you Amina Kahealani and Lacey Weinberger for helping me survive cosmetology school in the first place and continuing to be inspirations to me in both our careers and in life. 

Thank you Suzanne D. Van Houten for being the mentor I never thought I'd get the chance to experience even if I didn't see it in the beginning. I still refer back to your wisdom all the time and I'm so happy to call you a friend and even coworker on occasion! 

Wow 10 years and I still love what I do just as much as when I started! I'm running my own life and my business on my terms and it's an amazingly freeing feeling:) I continue to meet new people that inspire me every day and I thank all of you as well. You know who you are. Here's to another 10!!!" - Gina

Seriously if you want to grow your business in 2017 let's talk soon!

Have question on how to set and achieve your professional goals? Feel free to make an appointment with me. You can reach me at 510-545-2955 or suzanne@suzannevanhouten.com.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

A New Year, A New Beginning!

The New Year is finally here! A New Year is like having a fresh start and a chance for change! It’s always important to continually improve and become even better than before! I definitely believe in continuous improvement! Stalemate is NOT where you want to be. Work toward progression! Work toward success! 

Everyone knows that it’s tradition to create new goals for yourself for the upcoming year. Take some time to reflect on this past year. What have been the ups and downs? What were your accomplishments and what goals to you still want to work toward? This is a perfect time to evaluate what areas you feel you need/want to work on most and make a plan for yourself! A plan provides a chance of success!

For my hair clients and friends: 

How would it feel if you started this year with a new, strong, BOLD look! Everyone considers a change in their “look” occasionally. How would it feel if you actually took the chance to go through with it! You may provide yourself with even more self-confidence, hold yourself a little higher, and feel even better every time you walk out the door. Not to mention, it’s simply a lot of fun to make a change! I would LOVE to take a part in making your dream come true for having a new “Do”. If you want to book an appointment, please go through this website https://www.vagaro.com/suzannevanhouten#.UlXbpBD4KbI Or contact me at 510-545-2955.   

For my business consulting clients:  

How would it feel to set a goal for your business of how much profit you want to make and how much growth you want to achieve, and actually make it there! I can help you get there step by step. All you need to do is book a consulting appointment on this website https://www.vagaro.com/suzannevanhouten#.UlXbpBD4KbI (Click Services and Book under Business Consulting) Or contact me at 510-545-2955.

I look forward to speaking/meeting with you.

Have an amazing start to this New Year!

In deepest gratitude and love,