We had the good fortune of connecting with Rachel Galati and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Rachel, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
After spending most of my career working in a commission salon. I wanted more control over my schedule, who sits in my chair, what products I supported and to spend more time focusing on my guest experience. As someone highly sensitive and extremely introverted I needed my schedule to support the energy I needed to show up for my people. And I couldn’t do that working for someone else.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I somehow survived being unemployed half the year and opened my own Salon Suite in the middle of it. It was a huge risk considering most salon coaches wouldn’t recommend you do this unless your monthly revenue is very high. And my business was cut in half after all 3 state mandated closures. But it’s a dream come true really. My friend Zoie partnered with her sola suite neighbor Christina to open As One, a salon collective. It’s a suite style salon built into a little yellow house in Carlsbad Village just steps from the restaurants and shopping. We have 4 stylists and 2 estheticians operating their own businesses. I’m most excited about having my own room to myself for optimal social distancing, complete control over the non toxic products I use and retail plus a nice window to circulate fresh ocean air and natural light. I also have a Dyson air purifier for added protection. It’s a dream in a pandemic. Plus I get to work across the hall from my own hair stylist and hair bestie Zoie. It’s like having coworkers only we are all bosses so we operate at an elevated level because we are all business owners working away in our own rooms. We really do operate “As One” with the products we use and the plans we have to be a sustainable collective. It hasn’t been easy the last year, I’ve become more vocal on social media about where I stand on issues of race, politics, corporate capitalism, handling the pandemic by literally staying home, not doing house calls, and my support of the industry changing how it approaches the lgbtq community. And I’ve probably lost clients to those stances. But mostly to other states, more affordable towns or stylists doing hair in kitchens and garages. And just plain realizing there are some services I don’t enjoy doing anymore and let some people go. I’m looking at this as an opportunity to clarify where my business stands and the kinds of people I want to attract, as well as the kind of creative hair I want to do. I’m happiest at work when I know the people I’m seeing all day I truly enjoy conversing with while I make them look and feel like themselves. And it’s a resounding conversation happening in my industry. We just watched the world whine about haircuts and color for a year. Clearly our services are essential to people, take it away and they have a meltdown and will risk breaking laws to get it. It’s kind of funny now since our industry was looked down on for so long. Throw in a pandemic and it’s suddenly the most important thing for mental health. I would want the world to know that all my business practices are always with health and safety in mind. Sustainability and private owned non toxic products are priority. And my boundaries with work and clients to maintain my mental wellbeing is in place so I can show up 100% for everyone.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
What’s funny is my quarantine life really isn’t that different from my pre-covid life. I’m an introverted homebody to recharge for work so I’m probably the worst person to ask. So unless you like to marathon netflix… I’m useless. I will say though that as an 8 year Disneyland annual pass holder, I know my way around the park! I hate the the beach so that wouldn’t be an option. If I do try to explore with someone visiting, the meditation garden and shop in Encinitas is great. The Brengle Terrace Botanical garden in Vista is pretty cool too. The Santa Margarita trail in Fallbrook is my favorite easy hike. The Calaveras trail in Carlsbad is a nice spacious option too. Finished with any local vista taco shop or Mikko Sushi pickup.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
All 3 of my friends and old salon coworkers were extremely supportive of my move from commission to self employment. We were all miserable there so it was important for them to see someone leave strong because they knew I was terrified. I listened to so many podcasts of hairstylists taking control of their lives with self employment so that was incredibly helpful. Plus anything Rachel Hollis wrote helped a ton. The 2 books that really pushed me was Seth Godin’s Poke the Box and Unfu*k Yourself by Gary Bishop. Learning my Enneagram was also very helpful.
Facebook: hair by rachel galati
Photgrapher @cayleemphotos Caylee Mcfarland