About 12 years ago a group of friends in Colorado started the Sola Salon Studios franchise, Manhattan resident Frank LoFrisco noted last week.
“I lived in Colorado at the time and then when I moved back to New York I decided to open one out here,” LoFrisco recalled. The “out here” he is referring to is Hamilton Avenue in White Plains. “I looked in Manhattan. I looked on Long Island. I looked in Fairfield County,” he said.
LoFrisco said he decided to open in White Plains in 2011 because “it’s great for businesses. There are a lot of people here, a lot of commuters, and a lot of residents. And in this area there are a lot of salons.” LoFrisco said.
For his business, LoFrisco said it was important to be located in an area with many salons because there will be “a lot of salon professionals.”
“Basically, what we do at Sola is we make it very easy for career orientated professionals to have their own business,” LoFrisco said. “So if they’re doing really well at a salon but they’re still working for someone they can say hey, I’ll just come over to Sola, pay weekly rent and I can be in business for myself.” He added he can get a new business “up and running literally in a day.”
Sola allows professionals to determine their own working hours, LoFrisco said, adding at Sola they are not told how much to charge for their services or what products they need to carry.
“If someone has a strong following, that’s where Sola works really well, especially if they’ve worked in the White Plains area,” LoFrisco said.
Sola is divided into 31 studios where clients can have a private environment or be in suite with an open door, LoFrisco said.
Sola offers a variety of services, but the business is primarily known for its full services for hair including cutting, weaving, curling and coloring, LoFrisco noted. Sola also provides nail and skin care services, as well as one studio devoted to eye lash services.
Though Sola is primarily focused on women, “there are plenty of men who come in too,” LoFrisco said.
LoFrisco explained why his business has been successful, “I think it’s really the concept,” he said. “From stories that I’ve heard from stylists, I just get the sense that stylists aren’t treated well. They might have a boss who’s also a hair stylist in a typical salon. So the boss wants to have some amount of control over the stylist.”
“For me it’s easy,” LoFrisco said. “You just treat people well. You treat them like professionals and you don’t get involved in their business.”