A Hair Raising Business Opportunity
Salons across America are venturing into territories never before seen. From dyes to dreads and bobs to braids, salons of the 21st century go far beyond the cut-and-curl beauty parlors of our grandparents’ age, and with that change have come a remaking of the salon model itself.
Atlanta’s Mychel “Snoop” Dillard, a self-described “serial entrepreneur,” plans to cash in on changes in the highly profitable beauty industry by offering franchises for her Remedy Salon Suites. Her company is seeking qualified people interested in buying into her salon model, one that leases suites to beauty professionals and offers semi-absentee ownership for franchisees in cities across the United States.
Remedy Salon Suites franchises are $20,000, and Dillard expects a total investment range from $60,000 to $100,000. Franchisees must also have $50,000 in liquid capital. Target location areas are mid-sized to large cities around the country, including Atlanta where Dillard already owns three.
“We’re looking for people who are headstrong and looking for a business that is semi-absentee ownership,” she adds.
There are three company-owned salon suites established in the Atlanta area. One was a former doctor’s office, and another was spa, both locations already set up for a suite of salons to move in with a minimum amount of construction needed. The third location was a shell, so more work was needed.
Each salon contains suites leased out to beauty professionals. Franchisees are responsible for finding a space, building out salon suites and renting those suites to beauty professionals. Remedy Salon Suites provides training and support throughout the process.
“We support our franchisees from A to Z — hiring the right contractors and architects and giving them to training they need to keep the suites at least 92% occupancy,” Dillard says.
Amenities and perks to leasing include 24/7 access to their suites, upscale studios, spacious single/double suites, private parking, valet parking, premium fixtures, finishes and appliances.
Once approved, franchisees will obtain access to the brand; tested and proven processes and support; purchasing power and distribution chains; cooperative marketing; new product research; development and roll-out; experienced training staff; and continuing training and education.
The concept of leased suites is ideal for someone looking to invest in real estate rather than owning a hands-on business. Once the build-out is complete, beauticians lease the suites and must provide their own business licenses and insurance, an ideal situation for beauty professionals who want to work their way up to owning their own salons — a business incubator, of sorts. It’s also good for beauty professionals who don’t want the overhead and upkeep of owning their own salons.
Maintenance requests and lease payments to owners are done through an app — each location has its own — making absentee ownership more of a reality. Franchise owners are responsible for the upkeep of the restrooms and common areas.
Staying Afloat During a Recession
The beauty business is one that’s recession-proof, Dillard says. In addition to the salons, her portfolio includes co-ownership of five restaurants and commercial properties. It was the COVID-19 pandemic, though, that made Dillard’s eye turn toward the salon business.
“The pandemic made me realize that I should invest more in the salon suites and open up more locations versus being highly invested in restaurants which, of course, provided more profit but, you know, there are so many more details — so many more overhead costs and operating costs. And a restaurant is by far not a semi-absentee ownership opportunity — or recession proof — which the beauty industry is, as well as being a brilliant, multi-million-dollar industry.”
Courses in financial literacy are offered through the company’s DHG University, teaching people how to build business credit and clean up their credit reports in order to get funding to invest in a business. While DHG does not offer funding, it has affiliate partners on its website that help with financing.
Dillard’s business philosophy?
“I’m pretty much direct when it comes to business. I believe in making sure that I know where every dollar is being spent and maximizing profits without having a lot of overhead costs,” she says.
Her Path to Success
Mychel Dillard is black. She’s a woman. She became a teenage mom at 15. And she’s gay. It may not be the successful business profile set by Dale Carnegie in the 1970s, but with America now a more-accepting country and the glass ceiling shattered, Dillard’s back story, along with dogged determination and her try-and-try-again attitude, has made her among the most-successful black female entrepreneurs in the country.
“I’ve had lot of ups and downs, you know, on the road to success,” she says. “I’ve had businesses that have been stolen by my employees. I’ve had many failures and have done various types of businesses, you know, along the way. So it hasn’t been a walk in the park.”
Dillard, a native of Detroit, was accepted into Vanderbilt University when she was 16. She knew at an early age she wanted to take an alternate route in life and always dreamed of playing in the WNBA. However, her hoop dreams dissolved once she realized a passion for entrepreneurship and business.
Following graduation in 2005, she worked as a financial advisor and investor for an arm of American Express, while holding a license in real estate, investing in rental properties, and offering advice to those interested in managing their finances and purchasing new homes. The real estate market was hit hard in the recession of 2008, and Dillard’s properties were foreclosed on.
“It changed my credit and also my confidence in investing in the real-estate industry,” she says.
She remained in Nashville, opened The G-Spot Lounge and when it closed, she lost her $35,000 investment. But a move to Atlanta proved to be her ticket to success. Dillard started a successful party Party Bus Kings — driving the bus herself to save money. That financial success led to investing in a hair salon and spa and a hookah bar, a win-win for Dillard. But she wanted more.
Partnering With Celebrity
In 2016, Dillard met Grammy award-winning rapper Tauheed “2 Chainz,” Epps, who, at the time, was looking for new business opportunities. Not long after their initial meeting, they partnered to open Escobar Restaurant and Tapas Lounge in Atlanta through Dillard Hospitality Group, and now have several additional food venues, including Crave Restaurant; Members Only, a VIP lounge that caters to Atlanta celebrities, socialites and business owners; and Escobar South. But it does not end there. Dillard’s and Epps’ latest collaboration is Esco Seafood, a restaurant near Atlanta’s Little Five Points neighborhood serving fresh seafood and made-from-scratch sauces.
The partnership has been a good one. Epps celebrity has been good for marketing; Dillard’s business acumen has been good for growth of their restaurant empire.
“He allows me to do my thing which is to operate the restaurants because that’s not his forte. His strength is music,” Dillard says. “So, we have a good balance when it comes that.”
Epps and Dillard expect to offer franchises in Escobar in the next year. Dillard also plans to get into real estate development in the next 12 months. Dillard also plans to teach people how to open their own salon suites business — even if it’s not one of her franchises — on the website salonsuitesmastercourse.com.
To learn more about becoming a Remedy Spa & Salon Suites franchisee, visit http://www.remedysalonsuites.com/franchise/