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TAKIN’ IT TO THE STREETS

Many corporate professionals are faced with the challenge of scheduling salon services around their busy work week. Finding time to get out of the boardroom and into their favorite salon or barber shop is a challenge on a slow week – but when meeting schedules get tight and deadlines loom in the very near future, it’s practically impossible to squeeze in their cut and other salon services. STERLINGS MOBILE SALON & BARBER CO. based in San Diego, CA came up with the perfect solution!  Bring high quality salon and barber services directly to the office professional in a well-designed, comfortable and fully functional mobile salon and barber shop.

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We recently had the chance to chat with the founder of STERLINGS MOBILE SALON & BARBER CO. Kush Kapila and learned his inspiration, motivation and business model. Here are some of the highlights from our conversation.

HDP.COM: How did you come up with the idea of a mobile salon and barber shop?

Kush: I was working in high-tech and life sciences and got tired of spending my weekend or evening hours at the barber shop to get a great haircut. I noticed food trucks, pet grooming vans and mobile dentistry and the idea struck. What if I could provide mobile salon and barbering services that were not only great, but set in a cool enough environment that business professionals would become regular clients? The idea quickly morphed into converting an Airstream trailer into a mobile salon & barber shop that is fun, completely self-contained, climate controlled and comfortable enough for full service barbering, women’s cut and color services and manicures.

HDP.COM: Wow, what a great idea!  How did you figure out where to start, and then how did you determine where geographically to offer your services?

Kush: Coming from the business world, it made sense to partner with Fortune 500 companies. For a small fee, we guarantee STERLINGS MOBILE SALON & BARBER CO. will come to their location and offer employees special perks (and pricing) for pre-booking appointments. That arrangement allows us to designate guaranteed locations on pre-determined days regularly. It’s super convenient for the companies employees too because they can now simply walk outside their building to get a personalized full barber shop or salon experience without the hassle of driving across town and waiting in line. Of course, we’re also always open to walk-ins for passers-by.

HDP.COM: Cool concept! Were there issues with starting up and state board regulations?

Kush:  We’re here in Southern California, so I worked with the Board of Barbering and Cosmetology to obtain the necessary license. We also had to figure out other logistics like clean, hot water and drainage when washing hair and rinsing color. It was kind of difficult, but after 18 months of business we can brag a full clientele (close to 2,000 shared between 3 employees), and have surpassed a 50% retention rate with walk-ins and new customers. We have two full time stylists and a full time barber on staff and I’m already looking at expanding my team. It’s been well worth the hard work!

HDP.COM: Terrific! Were there other details that helped you get to where you are today?

Kush: It’s all about focusing on convenience and quality for our clients. We have a great online booking system so that people can plan their business day around haircuts, color or manicure services with their favorite stylist or barber. Everything is booked in half-hour increments so it’s super consistent and respectful of their busy schedule. We also focus on maintaining an easy to use web site so that our customers know exactly where we are each day.

HDP.COM: So what’s next?

Kush: We’re currently working on building fun special event services. The shop is ideal for destination weddings and corporate events. The options are limitless – bachelor or bachelorette parties, golf tournaments, horse races… You name it! We’re also looking to scale the business through a franchise model and ultimately empower stylists and barbers to give the convenience and quality of STERLINGS to their clients without being bogged down with huge rents.

HDP.COM: Congratulations on a really cool concept and cheers to your success! You certainly found a way for Hairdressers (and Barbers) to harness their power! Thanks for sharing your vision, we’re sure you’ve inspired our subscribers – you’ve certainly inspired us here at HAIRDRESSERPOWER.COM!

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To learn more about STERLINGS MOBILE SALON & BARBER CO., check out their website at http://sterlingsmobile.com

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