I’m gonna pull an old gem from the 2001 film A Knight’s Tale. During a climactic scene when William Thatcher (played by the late Heath Ledger, who had a beautiful head of hair) is in the stocks for unlawfully posing as a noble, his retainers are defending him from an aggressive mob. Prince Edward then dramatically reveals himself to the crowd and says softly to William, “Your men love you. If I knew nothing else about you, that would be enough,” and then proceeds to knight and ennoble the former peasant.
If you truly want to know the character of a person, look at how they treat their inferiors. It’s what came to mind repeatedly as I got to know Amber Reid, owner of Amber Renè Salon & Spa (and future knight?).
Indeed, as I review my notes I see the quotes from Amber are filled with praise for the members of her team, appreciation for clients, and demonstrations of humility. Amber never asks anyone to do anything she wouldn’t do herself. Her extensive experience, exceptional skill in her trade, and ownership of the business aren’t things she boasts about; to her, they represent responsibilities to her employees and customers.
SLC’s Best Hair Salon is Amber Renè
Such responsibility weighed heavily on Amber last year when she had to close up shop for over a month due to COVID-19, and then operate below capacity when she reopened. Despite the loss of business, Amber retained and paid every member of her 30-person staff. It might have been a struggle, but she kept her staff together and didn’t lose a single employee. That’s remarkable, as personal service industries like salons and barbers were hit harder than most, with as many as 100,000 establishments closing permanently.
But they got through it together. The stylists of Amber Renè Salon are women supporting women (and the occasional man). They believe that a team working together can accomplish much more than the sum of those individuals working alone.
After 30 years in the business, Amber (a master hairstylist) is now focused on mentoring and teaching her team. Every member of the team is experienced and brings unique skills to the salon, so it’s not only Amber leading the instruction. There are plenty of opportunities for peer coaching, ensuring that each individual and the salon as a whole continue to improve and learn. This learning mindset creates extraordinary stylists. Hair, waxing, makeup, nails, massage — you name it, they do it well.
Mastery is more than knowing how to do certain techniques or haircuts. A great hairdresser is something of a magician (though restoring my lost hair is too great a miracle to ask for). They see your potential when they look at you and then bring that vision to life with a professional cut and color. Perhaps it’s a deeper shade to bring out the color of your eyes, or a new shape for your bangs that accents your bone structure.
When you leave, you’re someone different. Your step is lighter and your head is high. For the ladies of Amber Renè Salon & Spa, liking your hair is unacceptable. They want you to love your hair.