City Home Collective Blog on IMAGE STUDIOS 360

We introduced you to Jason Olsen — a dynamic, local business owner that I’ve worked with for the last 6 months. Jason owns Image Studios 360, an innovative studio space for salon professionals. I designed the retail space at his SLC location on 1850 South 300 West. A little Q&A to provide some insight on the savvy he’s adding to our top-notch city:

How did you come up with the idea for Image Studios 360? It was literally decided over dinner. I was imagewith Steve Petersen (a local hair stylist) discussing an idea I had. I wanted to take the concept of owning your own salon, and strip away the complex pieces of ownership to create a space that is affordable, beautiful, and ready for salon professionals to sign a lease, move in, and operate the next day, if need be. It would still allow people to be independent in their own business, but with virtually none of the headache and hassle that goes with the traditional route of salon ownership. The concept itself isn’t new, and can be seen all over the country, but no one was doing what I wanted to do, which is provide business support and training, on-site management, and most importantly, a space that shows well. After going through it all with Steve, he said, “Why not do it?”. Having never actually considered it would really happen, I sat and thought for a moment. I said, “I think I will.” Needless to say, I went home started sketching floor plans for what would become the Image Studios 360 location in Draper.

Then the fun part; I teamed up with my brother, Shaun Olsen, and my best friend, Megan Oviatt, a hair stylist in Draper. She was crucial in getting the infinite details worked out; there are so many different things to consider when building a shared salon space like this, and it wasn’t something we could do overnight. Countless hours of drawing, measuring, and erasing went to designing the studios so that each room was not only a functional space, but a beautiful space. Without the help from Shaun and Megan, it would never have gone through.

Heard you had a good design team…plans to grow with them in the future? Yes. We’ve worked with Rafael Alvaredo here in Salt Lake, who helped design the Image Studios 360, SLC. The talented Andrea Beecher [of theCOLLECTIVE] did the design for our Bumble & Bumble retail salon called “The Salon @ Image Studios 360”, which is located next door to Image Studios 360, SLC. The ever-so-wise Matthew Landis helped put everything in its place, ensuring that we all created something unique and incredible for Salt Lake.

What were you trying to accomplish with this as your business model? First and foremost, Shaun and I wanted stability – both for our business, and for our tenants. After dealing with the ups and downs that we all saw during the recession, I was enamored by the idea of having a stable business. Image Studios 360, at its very core, is a commercial leasing company — we take retail space, design and build it with 25-30 salon studios, and then lease them back to established hair stylists, nail techs, massage therapists, and estheticians. We also wanted to combine all aspects of the beauty industry and find a way for them to work together, but independently. If the entire space were just hair stylists, there would be little opportunity for cross-traffic to take place. In our Draper location, we have over 2,000 clients walking through the doors on a monthly basis; there, they have a mix of hair stylists, estheticians, nail and pedicure techs, spray tanning salons, and massage therapists. Clients can patronize others with a multitude of services offered in the same space.

How long ago did you open in Draper? Draper opened June 1, 2010; Salt Lake opened July 15, 2011; Sandy location (106th South State) just opened March 1, 2012.

What’s different about the Salt Lake location? Originally, we had about 4,400 sq. ft. of space in which we were going to build out 23 salon studios. Then, the landlord offered us the adjacent space, which was about 1,300 sq. ft. of extra space. With this, we created an open-air salon with 8 stations, a retail store, and 3 studios. This enabled us to invite hair stylists that weren’t fully-established an opportunity to come over to Image Studios 360…without having to sign a lease on a room. We hoped to be able to attract a large part of the cosmetologist community by having the salon side within Image Studios 360. When they’re able to move to a studio, we have something on the other side to suit their needs.

How did you start working with Matthew Landis, and what is he bringing to Image Studios 360? Had I known Matthew such an amazing consultant and coach, I would have hired him long ago. I’ve consulted with Matthew several times throughout the different phases of Image Studios 360. There have been many hours of picking his brain and making sure that, from his expert point of view, this was something that was needed in SLC and would be successful. In short, he told me over lunch that I’d be stupid not to do it. As he saw it, it had great potential to serve needs in the hair industry in our city that weren’t being met. I took his advice and here we are today. It was one of the only times I was excited to be called ‘stupid’.

Matthew’s filling several roles with Image Studios 360 — we’ve hired him as a consultant to help us in our growth phase, and we’ve made him our leasing agent for the SLC location. Another winning aspect of Image Studios 360 is training and education; and we offer industry-based training every quarter, which Matthew teaches. We also have business skills training every 6 months, taught by guest speakers.

In our Salt Lake location the stars aligned perfectly, to allow Matthew, Shaun and I to team up on the salon side [adjacent to the studios] to open a fun and unique hair salon that would look and feel like nothing else in Utah [with the help and sharp eye of Andrea Beecher and theCOLLECTIVE, I think we nailed it].

Note: We’ve also added our retail area to this space. Matthew has sourced and brought in some amazing lines, such as Bumble & Bumble, Davines, Orrojo, Ojavan Skin Care, Jane Iredale Makeup, and Darphin Skin Care.

Have there been any surprises, now that you’ve been in it for a few years? Yes…the incredibly low number of problems we’ve had amongst our professionals! I think it’s because they really are professionals; they come here to escape the drama that plagues a lot of salons. With 48 people working together in our Draper location, and over 35 in Salt Lake, I think that’s really saying something.

The original blog posted by CityHomeCollective can be found here.


By Matthew Landis – Consultant, Life Coach, Entrepreneur and Rockstar Hair Stylist.

Image Studios is kind of like a warehouse. . . well, more like a high-end mall of small businesses with everything beauty related. You can have your hair done, tan, get a pedicure and finish off with a massage. Brothers Jason and Shaun Olsen developed Image Studios when they saw that many established hair stylists and beauty professionals were interested in starting their own business but lacked the resources and business background to get started. They are also co-owners of Prestman Auto. Image Studios has three locations in Salt Lake City, Draper, and as of April 2012 – Sandy.

I sat down with these two hot, brilliant men awhile back to get more insight into this awesome business. I have now become a part of myself because I love them so much.

Matthew: So where did this idea for Image Studios come from?

Jason: I have a lot of friend in the salon business – hairstylists. Talking with them, it always seemed like something was missing. They were getting nothing for their work or they were booth renting and weren’t getting support. They were paying a lot and getting nothing in return. Megan Oviatt (Manager, Image Studios Draper) is one of my best friends.

Matthew: Why hair salons? Was this something you came up with over drinks?

Jason: I was having dinner with Steve (Steve Petersen, current manager at Image Studios Salt Lake) and I was telling him about my idea. He said, “Why don’t you do it?” I said, “Maybe I will.” The next day I went to Shaun.

Shaun: I get to work and he tells me he wants to talk to me about something big and I think, “Well, maybe he’s invented a Snuggy or something, and I’m already thinking infomercials. . . “ Then he told me about it and I’m thinking, “A salon?” What are we doing in the hair business? Then the more I thought about it. . . I remember when the car business was dead and people were falling asleep at their desk. . . but Megan was booked three months out. . . and right then and there it made sense. No matter what, people won’t sacrifice beauty. That’s the first priority for people – looking good.

Matthew: Its funny because I still think there’s a stigma attached to being a hairdresser, but in times of recession like this last time, we fare a lot better than most businesses. We felt a small blip, I think, but nothing like the rest of the country.

Jason: For the good hairdressers it was just a small blip, I think.
Matthew: Absolutely. We felt a drop in retail, but not in services.

Shaun: It just made sense after we talked about. As weird as it was to think about a hair salon, in the end, for us, it’s a landlord/tenant relationship. I don’t have to know how to cut hair. I wash my hair with bar soap.

Jason: (laughing) Don’t publish that.

Matthew: So what’s been the best part of opening Image Studios so far?

Shaun: The different personalities. You learn everyone has their own needs and wants. Everyone is different, unique, and extremely talented.

Jason: I have this vision of walking in to any of our salons and seeing everyone happy, busy and successful. On top of that the people we’ve met have been even more fun than I ever imagined.

Matthew: Hairdressers are fun, right? We throw a slumber party every day. Not a bad way to make money.

Jason: We thought there may be some drama going into this, but everyone is really professional and motivated so it’s amazing how that many people mesh so well together. I don’t think you’d find the same thing anywhere else.

Matthew: I think that’s also a testament to your leadership and the atmosphere you guys have created. People leave their jobs usually because the owner or the manager isn’t effective. If you watch Tabatha on Bravo, it’s always the owner or manager that is the problem. For example, I signed a lease for some stylists who were coming from a place where they had use a garden hose to wash their clients’ hair because the owner wouldn’t get the shampoo bowl fixed! On the flip side, being an owner is so stressful that it often takes the fun and creativity out of owning a business when you have to manage people. So what you’re creating is a way for people to own their business with minimal headache. That’s really cool. And the facility is out of this world.

Matthew Landis is a salon consultant, life coach, entrepreneur, and rockstar hair stylist to boot. Matthew can be reached here.

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Stuck in Perfectionism?

When being perfect can actually work as a disadvantage.

BY LYN CHRISTIAN, founder of Soul Salt Inc., and Ultimate Coach University.

  • Are you unconsciously holding yourself back? Answer “yes” or “no” to the following questions and find out:
  • Do you feel what you accomplish is never quite good enough?
  • Do you find that you are rarely satisfied with your completed projects and work?
  • Do you believe that if you do not do a perfect job that you are less of a person?
  • Do you fear failure because you will not be respected if you do fail?
  • Do you put things off because you’d rather not do them than fail trying?

If you answered yes to just one of these questions, you may be or have been stuck in what I call the Perfect Trap. Perfectionism is like a virus of the mind. It seduces us into an unnatural concept of what is possible.

Most of the human population suffers unknowingly with a certain degree of perfectionism. If we remain unwilling to do something about it, we might be sabotaging our capacity to excel.

Here are some quick ways to relieve the pressure of perfectionism.

  1. Come to a clear understanding that pushing to achieve perfection is like swimming with a rock. Eventually you’re going to drag down your performance and potentially drown a few dreams.
  2. When you decide to accomplish a goal or to complete a project, set realistic standards for yourself that lean heavily towards excellence rather than perfection.
  3. Experiment and learn to discriminate between good, great, excellent, and perfect. Learn to embrace good, great, and excellent. Learn to discard perfect.
  4. Celebrate and enjoy what you do accomplish. Take stock by asking yourself, “How much did I enjoy doing this?”

Lyn Christian has been called a “woman of courage” and “the coach’s coach.” She holds a degree in education from Brigham Young University, Master Coach Certification from the International Coach Federation, and coaching certificates from Franklin Covey and Marshall Goldsmith’s elite executive coach training.

Lyn is the founder and owner of two coaching related companies: SoulSalt Inc. and Ultimate Coach University, and works closely with Image Studios on developing systems and coaching programs for its salon professionals.

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