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As leaders in the beauty industry, it is salon owners’ job to care for their team and clients. Nurturing those around us can only happen if we are taking care of ourselves. Intercoiffure wants to know: how do you take care of yourself so you can take care of others? We asked Intercoiffure member Rowena Yeager, owner and Creator of Opportunity at Studio Wish INC in Ohio, and former Professional Beauty Association board member, to share how she stays well so she can show up for her team.
STAYING HEALTHY, INSIDE AND OUT
For Yeager, staying healthy, both mentally and physically, is extremely important. “Without your health,” she says, “you really don’t have anything else. Health has to come first.”
“I focus on taking care of who I am and where I am with myself, my family, and my team. If I don’t take care of myself, I can’t take care of others. I have a lot of people that rely on me from my business to my home life,” says Yeager. And she’s not joking: in addition to her salon team, clients, two daughters, and husband, Yeager also runs a local Ohio-based salon networking group to help others like herself find professional solutions and community.
To maintain her health, Yeager turns to meditation, a healthy diet, and exercise. When those habits slip, she relies on journaling and music to help recenter herself. “For me, journaling has always been a huge piece of keeping myself in a good space. No matter what is going on in my life, it helps get out whatever is going on inside.” Music, too, helps Yeager create an emotional outlet or mood booster. “Anything with strings helps keep me focused, while rock and roll gives me energy. Music is an incredibly powerful tool to change emotion and energy!”
WE TOUCH MORE HEARTS THAN HAIR
As many of us have experienced, wellness (or lack thereof) manifests itself in our day-to-day life, impacting our relationships and our businesses. Yeager says she can tell she’s not taking care of herself when she has trouble focusing or starts craving sugar. “If I can’t focus on my day-to-day tasks or on what needs to be done, something needs to change. I can’t get my work done. That’s not fair to my team, clients, or family. I have to keep myself in check.”
“Our relationships with others are definitely a reflection of our relationship with ourselves,” says Yeager. She’s absolutely right. As artists, stylists’ skills can slip when their minds are on other things. They must be “on” at all times with clients, and this takes a lot of energy–energy that may not exist when something in their lives is off balance, impacting relationships with coworkers or even clients, and eventually, the business’s bottom line.
Yeager knows how important it is to encourage her team to stay healthy as well. “Once a month I also do a one-on-one with each of my team members,” she explains. “One of the first questions I ask is, ‘What’s the most important thing we need to talk about today?’ I need to make sure they are heard first.”
Studio Wish also recently opened a spa department. Yeager has encouraged all of her employees to try the services at the spa for free and plans to do so herself once all of her staff has been treated. This helps her team not only better understand this portion of the business, but also recognize the benefits of the spa as self-care.
A SUPPORT SYSTEM WITHIN INTERCOIFFURE
Yeager knows she can always turn to other Intercoiffure members if she’s having trouble. “Sometimes when we look outside of our own businesses, it helps to have another person who has been-there/done-that to offer guidance. I can go to ANY ICA member, and they will very openly sit down and say ‘Hey, how can I help, what’s going on?’” Yeager said. “This is something that makes ICA so special: we are very open and very connected.”