ICA Salons Meet Top Talent at Career ExpoMarch 2, 2023
Nurturing the Nurturers Part 2: Business Wellness is Personal WellnessMarch 15, 2023
Self-care doesn’t look the same for everybody, so we sought a different perspective. For many salon owners, business health is inextricably linked with personal health. Financial well-being, professional relationships, and the other demands of being a small business owner don’t necessarily disappear when you leave the salon. Vivian Yeh of Josephine’s Day Spa & Salon knows this intimately and shares how she finds balance when personal and professional well-being are intertwined.
To Yeh, wellness means something a little bit different. “In both worlds, it means I am physically, emotionally, and financially at peace,” she says. “Peace means for me that if there are challenges, you have a plan to solve them. Then I’m at peace. When you can’t, that’s a problem. So it’s not the lack of challenges, it’s the lack of solutions.”
Being well is a newer concept to Yeh—when she was younger, she associated wellness and self-care with yoga, meditation, and spirituality. She felt too practical to do those things, instead focusing on advancing her business. But now, Yeh recognizes the need for balance. Instead of trying to separate work and personal life, she seeks balance between them. “My work takes up a whole lot more time – more than just in the salon – and I spend a lot more time on work than my personal life. But I was able to find harmony and I’m OK with that. Once I found that harmony, I’m no longer stressed out. I’m more patient, more clear, less reactive, OK with setbacks, and more self-aware.”
Now, Yeh can recognize when elements in her life have fallen out of balance. She’s more pessimistic and negative and can physically feel the tension building in her neck and shoulders. She also notices that her energy “is very tangible. The staff can feel it as soon as you walk into the room, and how you’re interacting and reacting with them.” But she, like all of us, is a work in progress.
“I’m self-aware, but I’m not sure if I’m that good at taking action—yet!” Yeh admits. “Because I cannot change the situation, I decided it would be much easier if I just change the way I think and approach it. Once I did that I was able to be more positive and optimistic. I work on my own emotions so I can treat my employees the best I can.”
A Culture of Wellness
Yeh relies on herself to stay on track, but is also extremely grateful for her team at the salon and her sister—people she knows she can trust to take care of her business. She also makes sure she has one day a week without any electronics. “To give yourself permission to not mentally have to work on your business for one day has helped me tremendously. It’s not about you turning off your phone, it’s me giving myself permission to have that eight-hour break,” she explains. Then adds, “I do love massages, too.”
She hopes her employees will follow her example. When she notices a team member struggling, she tries to create a safe place and really listen to them—to help them create that harmony in their own lives as well. The culture of communication and trust she has created at her salon not only serves her, but her stylists too. Josephine’s employees receive a wellness fund as part of their benefits that they can use for life coaching, spa sessions, or anything they need to stay balanced.
Finding Balance in One Another
Finally, Yeh says that gatherings with her professional peers offer a mental break for her. She is looking forward to the Spring Gathering in Las Vegas on April 2-3 as a moment where she can relax amongst like-minded people with shared experiences and soak up the harmony.