LSM Spotlight: Stacy Dabney Ramirez
Stacy Dabney Ramirez, Owner
Bella Bethesda Salon, Bethesda, Maryland
Stacy at Bella Bethesda is our latest LSM Spotlight feature. LSM Spotlight showcases great people doing great local store marketing. We’re featuring small local business owners, managers of national chains, employees from restaurants and retailers…all people that embody LSM, building their business by being locally relevant to their customers and community.
The first thing you feel when you enter Bella Bethesda is the positive energy. While you may have rushed in, ready for a beauty refresh and slightly out of you breath, you are only seconds away from feeling better – because that is what Bella Bethesda does – it makes you feel better!
And the positive energy that envelops you comes right from the top. Stacy Dabney Ramirez is one half of the sister team that conceptualized the award winning Bella Bethesda Salon over 6 years ago. Lindsey is the lead stylist and talent “behind the chair” who recruited her then elementary school teacher sister, Stacy, to join forces and pursue the vision they had always shared – to open a business together. So when a turn-key opportunity and a silent partner to help them make the leap both presented themselves, the two sisters grabbed the chance to create something unique. The silent partner has long since moved on and the turn-key space has undergone some changes. And the former elementary school teacher has learned some lessons in leadership along the way.
We sat down with Stacy recently on a busy Monday, and here are some lessons this business savvy, former teacher shared with us.
Connect with your Guests by connecting with your Employees
“What I learned was that I had to focus on the employees. We served over 24,000 guests last year – while I couldn’t touch all of them, I realized that I needed to focus on the 30 people who work here.” Stacy knows that by focusing on each of her stylists, and helping them achieve their goals, her guests will benefit and have a terrific service experience.
Teach your employees how to grow their business, and your business will thrive
Stacy loves attracting Stylists who are open to developing their technical expertise, as well as their business acumen, while they contribute to the culture of Bella Bethesda. The salon has worked with consultants to create Key Performance Metrics so the Stylists and Stacy can track their progress and contributions to overall Salon goals. She coaches each Stylist on how to build their business through guest count, pre-bookings, and retail sales. Each Stylist has a personal book that helps them track their goals and results. These books serve as a focal point for conversations around performance, success and opportunities.
Bring your vision to life through the Actions you take
Stacy had a vision for “Nordstrom level customer service.” To bring that vision to life, she first had to get the buy in of her Stylist team. “One challenge was Redos,” Stacy recalled.
For those of us not in the industry, Stacy explained that a redo is when they give the guest one more chance to “make it right,” at no additional charge, after a color, cut or service did not turn out the way the client expected. “This is always hard for the Stylist,” Stacy explained. After all, they are the artist, take pride in their technical knowledge and ability, and felt that they had done a great job delivering what the client described. But Stacy worked with her team to help them see that if the guest wasn’t 100% satisfied, Bella Bethesda’s work was not done.
One-on-One chats, Bi-Monthly Staff meetings and ongoing coaching help the team feel part of the business. “It made all the difference,” Stacy revealed. She encourages her team to always “listen to the client, explain why we are doing what we are doing, and work with them until we get it right.”
Give back to the community around you
Stacy and Lindsey both grew up in the community where they are now business owners. So finding ways to be part of the community and give back has never been a challenge. Participating in Locks of Love, being an active Chamber Member, and connecting with community endeavors came naturally. But once again, Stacy reflected on how to bring her team into the equation, “I wanted to find a way for the Stylists to use their natural talents.”
So Bella Bethesda began supporting the “Look Good, Feel Better” program of the American Cancer Society. The program is designed to improve the self-esteem and quality of life for people undergoing treatment for cancer. “We didn’t go in as Bella Bethesda, we went in to help.” To date, 12 Stylists have been certified and are actively involved in the program, using their talents to help others in the community.
Share your secrets to success
Stacy believes in sharing with open arms all she has learned. “I believe that execution is key. I am happy to share with others what has worked for us. I am confident we will continue to grow just by a high level of execution.” As Stacy and Lindsey are responsible for coaching their team, they have also engaged coaches for themselves who they meet with monthly to foster their own personal development and learning.
When I asked Stacy where Bella Bethesda will be in five years, she has a vision that the Stylist of today with be the Shareholders of tomorrow. “I would love it if some of them were opening a future Bella salon.”
And Stacy? She will continue to teach and mentor, and exude the kind of positive energy that makes each guest feel better with each visit to Bella Bethesda.
For more on all the great things Bella Bethesda is doing, check out their website, blog and newsletters. And congrats to the team for winning the Customer Service and Advanced Education categories in Salon Today Magazine.
Thank you Stacy for sharing your secrets to success with LSMGuide in our LSM Spotlight!