Photo by Toshi Tasaki
Lorraine Frustace, founder and owner of Shine Salon & Spa, knows that a salon/spa is only as good as its stylists and aestheticians. That’s why Frustace, 40, who launched her nail salon business 20 years ago, invests in her staff of 12 and works to keep them inspired and loyal. For starters, she provides opportunities for continuing education: Nearly every month, she brings in experts to host a seminar—if it’s not stylists, then it’s makeup artists, aestheticians, or skincare specialists.
Frustace then takes each of her employees and lays out specific, year-over-year growth plans to unlock staff potential. “I show them where they are in their careers, and I show them how they can grow,” says Frustace. The growth plans outline yearly goals, which are tied to financial incentives. She sends employees to classes such as the ones offered at the L’Oréal Professionnel SoHo Academy in Manhattan up to six times per year.
Of course, Frustace had to learn along with her staff. In 2000, she added hair-styling services to her nail spa, a part of the beauty business she herself has never practiced. “I had to learn how to lead, to motivate, to set up systems, and to educate my staff.”
Any client of the salon can attest to the results. Shine has a convivial atmosphere where staff kiss each other every morning and evening (really!); the appointments are almost always fully booked. “At Shine, we are really like a family,” says Ruth Hayashi, who does waxing, facials, and nails.
Frustace explains that employee satisfaction comes from the knowledge that working at Shine is not just a job. “It’s a career path,” with room for advancement, she says. In an industry known for high turnover, Frustace can name a long list of employees who have been with Shine for five, 10, and 20 years. Hayashi has been with Frustace since 1993. “I am what I am because Lorraine helped me grow the waxing part of the business,” Hayashi says.
“Lorraine values us, so she doesn’t let us fall into a rut of comfort,” says Dawn Saracino, hairstylist and colorist.
Frustace says that investing in her staff has paid off. “Success, for me, means seeing my employees successful, because in the end, it’s all of our success together.”