Natural Root Salon
Jafi Barnes and Karen Wilson know hair. Both professional hair stylists, the two have owned Natural Root Salon in Philadelphia’s Germantown since 2008. And the business has been growing. Natural Root Salon now counts five employees: four hair stylists and one hair assistant. The two also own a second Natural Root Salon in University City in West Philadelphia and originally owned Salon Ai Mei in Washington, D.C.
Hair, it turns out, is the easy part for the entrepreneurial duo. Loving what they do also helps. The real challenge for both has been in being disciplined and learning how to manage their finances: The couple took Entrepreneur Works’ business skills course shortly after they secured the lease on their salon. Through the course, Jafi and Karen received help with budgeting, learned how to better manage their business, and also developed a solid business plan. (Natural Root Salons owner Karen Wilson at work in her Germantown salon.)
Having been through the process, Jafi advises entrepreneurs who are just starting out to properly educate themselves on how to run a business. Talking to those who have been in business for a while is important: “Mimic people who have been in business,” says Jafi. Other key qualities that entrepreneurs must embody, he adds, are consistency and persistency.
For Jafi and Karen, the veteran entrepreneurs are already setting their sights on opening another salon although they have yet to finalize its location. But the new shop will no doubt remain true to Natural Root’s humble beginnings: “Discover your root to a natural you.”