“You Deserve to be Heard”: Carolyn’s Hair Salon’s Digital Transformation

by Amal Khurram   |   September 13, 2023   |   Share this:  

After 20 years in the beauty industry, Carolyn Bickerton of Orilla, Ontario, 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.” 

At Carolyn’s Hair Salon, Bickerton 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.” 

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 call. They came to the program with multiple goals and hoped that all of them could be integrated into a single online platform that all their 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 and still is 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. Even after the site is built, if you need assistance it´s available. 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 with all of their educational videos and 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.  

“Don´t hesitate – jump right in!” 

To connect with Carolyn’s Hair Salon, visit their website. To learn more about the ShopHERE powered by Google Program, please visit here. 

About Digital Main Street

Digital Main Street was created by the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) with direct support from the City of Toronto. DMS is also supported by a group of strategic business partners, including Google, Mastercard, Shopify, Meta, Intuit QuickBooks, Square, Lightspeed, Ebay and Canada Post.

Continued investment from the Province of Ontario, through the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade (MEDJCT) has allowed the ongoing expansion the Digital Main Street Platform in order to support more businesses going digital across Ontario.

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