“You Deserve to be Heard”: Carolyn’s Hair Salon’s Digital Transformation
At Carolyn’s Hair Salon, Carolyn Bickerton of Orilla, Ontario believes that every appointment is an experience. Priding themselves in putting their energy into the totality of the appointment, rather than just the end result, Bickerton engages in a thoughtful process with all their clients. They spend their time listening, iterating and building the perfect look for everyone in their chair – on their budget. This care and attention to detail are tied to their journey of finding joy in their work.
“I have been in the beauty industry for over 20 years. I started as an apprentice in my sisters salon. Then when I obtained my full hairstyling license, I worked and managed the salon. A couple of years later, I had to move and I then opened up a salon in my home. I became very busy very quickly and after 2 years I opened my first Aveda Concept Spa Salon. 3 years later, I had to relocate again and decided to scale down and return to having a salon in my home. Again, I found myself relocating and decided that I didn´t want the responsibility of having a salon and staff and everything that goes along with it. I decided to scale down again, rent a chair in a salon, and only focus on what makes me happy. And that is specializing in colour and haircuts for women. I have never been as happy professionally as I am now.”
After 20 years in the beauty industry Bickerton decided it was time to change the way hairstylists approached their services. With the premise of putting their clients first and engaging in a collaborative process to reach their clients’ goals, Bickerton established Carolyn’s Hair Salon. Having had an abundance of experience behind them, Bickerton sought to create an online space where customers could not only book their services at their chair in Orilla, but also learn about haircare, shop for products and see their robust portfolio. To accomplish building this presence, Bickerton turned to the ShopHERE powered by Google Program.
“It’s important to have an online platform for branding purposes, credibility and to enable customers to book services and products online. It also educates potential clients about my services and will enable me to create educational videos as well as showcase my work through an online portfolio.”
Bickerton and all of their clients were aware of the value of the type of service that Carolyn’s Hair Salon was offering – but it came time for them to bring this awareness outside of the strong circle they had developed.
“As a small business owner, the biggest challenge I face is trying to do everything! I don’t just work behind the chair. I also do all of my own book keeping, social media, ads, I schedule all of my own appointments, do all of my ordering for products and supplies and continually educate myself with the most current techniques for cutting/colouring hair and I am always searching for the best haircare products.”
It was time to lean on some assistance, and Bickerton found that the ShopHERE program answered their needs. They came to the program with multiple goals and hoped that all of them could be integrated into a single online platform that all current and future clients could access. Bickerton not only offers hair salon services, such as colour and haircut services, they also offer brow services, and wanted to begin providing educational videos and virtual consultations. With the help of their e-Commerce Coordinator, Bickerton was able to set themselves up for success in all these aspects.
“The ShopHERE Program was amazing. It is extremely organized and thorough! I learned so much from my e-Commerce Coordinator. She was punctual, pleasant and helpful. She was also very knowledgeable and easy to work with. No question was left unanswered, and she was very easy to work with… I´m so happy I took advantage of this wonderful opportunity!”
Beyond establishing the building blocks needed to start offering these additional services through their e-commerce website, Bickerton also received support in learning how to market themselves in the digital sphere. Through personalized training and curated materials, Bickerton left the program with a host of information to continue to sow their online presence. Regarding what the most valuable piece of digital marketing support they received; they explain…
“Oh, there were so many! But I would probably have to say the social media aspect. How to post effective posts, reels and stories. ShopHERE has provided tremendous support… by building my online platform with me. I have learned so much and I feel I have a team with me at my side at all times.”
Bringing your business online can be a daunting task, but with the goal of the ShopHERE program being able to fully manage an online store, Bickerton was empowered to continue building their online presence. When asked to share advice for businesses interested in the ShopHERE program she says,
“Don´t hesitate – jump right in!”
Digital Main Street a été créé par la Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) avec le soutien direct de la Ville de Toronto. DMS est également soutenu par un groupe de partenaires commerciaux stratégiques, dont Google, Mastercard, Shopify, Meta, Intuit QuickBooks, Square, Lightspeed, Ebay et Postes Canada.
L'investissement continu de la province de l'Ontario, par l'intermédiaire du Ministère du Développement économique, de la Création d’emplois et du Commerce (MEDJCT), a permis l'expansion continue de la plateforme numérique de la rue principale afin de soutenir davantage d'entreprises qui passent au numérique dans tout l'Ontario.