As a company, The Sovereign Stylist team understands that without you all, we would be nothing. So, to give back to our community, we have decided to interview and formally introduce the top contributor of the group each month as well as gift one year of membership to all top contributors that have been in the group for a year or more.
So without further ado, our Sovereign Stylist for February is
Meet Lorraine Fleri. She enjoys cooking, dancing, hiking, decorating, and she likes to study all things related to real estate. She is a dog mom to Bailey, a 15-year-old Goldendoodle, and Lucy, a 3-year-old Shih Tzu/poodle. Taking her pups on walks brings Lorraine a lot of joy. She’s also very close with her niece, Charlie, who she has helped raise.
Lorraine grew up in the United Kingdom riding horses as a kid. When she turned 14, her father said it was time for her to start paying for her riding lessons, so it was time to get a job. Her first job was as a shampoo assistant for her mother’s hairstylist. Lorraine fell in love with the salon atmosphere and meeting new people.
At the age of 16, she left school to accept a hairstyling apprenticeship. One day a week for two years, Lorraine spent 12 hours in the classroom learning about cosmetology, but she said, “I think apprenticeships are a much better way to learn as you get to see what’s going on in the real world with real-life clients.” At the beginning of her career, she was very nervous about cutting and coloring hair, but she was managing a salon by the age of 18.
“I think apprenticeships are a much better way to learn as you get to see what’s going on in the real world with real-life clients.”
After several years behind the chair, she became intrigued with a friend’s adventures as a stylist on cruise ships. As a cruise ship stylist, Lorraine enjoyed styling clients for parties they would attend and learned by trial and error, but the stylists she worked with were very helpful. While waiting for her contract to be approved for a world cruise, she was offered a position at Watergate Salon in Washington D.C., where the owner wanted European stylists. She accepted the job and moved to the U.S. She also worked for ABC News, styling hair for the news anchors in the morning’s wee hours before her long day behind the chair.
Lorraine now operates her solo salon out of her home in Virginia, where she lives with her husband Mike, a retired U.S. Air Force lieutenant colonel. She is fond of Redken and has attended several of their continuing education classes. Her specialty is color corrections, and Lorraine really enjoys doing hair for weddings. She mentioned that she misses the salon atmosphere and is considering opening a booth rent salon because she believes that it is what the new generation of stylists desires more.
Her advice for new stylists is not to rush into being a salon owner. She suggests spending time behind the chair actually and doing hair because she chalks being an owner up to doing a lot of paperwork and managing people versus actually doing hair. Lorraine feels that it is essential to build on your customer service skills because “good news travels fast, but bad news travels faster.” Another thing Lorraine suggests is to properly consult clients to achieve desired results and remain within their budget.
“Good news travels fast, but bad news travels faster.”
Lorraine advocates for stylists and salon owners to properly report income and bring awareness to the tax evasion problems associated with the beauty industry. She notes that “so many young ones (just) want to put cash in their pockets and don’t see the big picture of paying taxes. It gets you real estate and a much larger chunk of Social Security.” Lorraine likes to point out that stylists cannot stand on their feet as long the older they get, and being a hairstylist is a killer on our bodies, so people need as much Social Security as they can get or need to make investments for retirement.
"Booth rental is great if you are business-minded and organized."
Her plans include getting more involved with The Sovereign Stylist because she feels the platform is what our industry needs. Lorraine hopes to assist with business coaching by helping failing salons improve their current situations.
Is Lorraine’s story exciting or what? We can’t wait to see what she expands to next, and we thank her for taking the time to sit down with us! If you wish to be chosen for next month, make sure you interact with the Facebook group. The top contributors are chosen at the end of every month.