Spa and Salon Owner Jessica Walker Lives Prepared and Takes RisksRamon Ray
When her lease was not extended, all of the sudden and due to a technicality, Jessica Walker’s journey as a salon and spa ower could have come to an end. But it didn’t.
Jessica learned grit, hard work, and a “can-do attitude” by observing how her parents ran their businesses and growing up working in them.
Today Jessica owns a chain of 4 retail locations – 3 salons, 1 spa and a wedding beauty business.
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Right before Covid, Jessica’s business was doing quite well, in fact, it was thriving.
She had just started construction to move her wellness center and spa, a quiet place of tranquility away from being co-located with her salon. Two different vibes.
Then Covid hit.
Her company was closed for 3 months and like so many in the industry, it was a period of uncertainty and anxiousness of the unknown.
Jessica survived due to her own grit and also because her customers wanted her to survive.
They needed her services in their lives.
Wellness connects people together. J Walker Salon’s slogan is “When your outer looks good, your inner feels better”.
Risk-Taking Is Important
Part of Jessica’s entrepreneurial journey has taught her that preparation is important but you can only plan for so much. You have to be willing to take risks.
Furthermore, having a team of advisors (or mentors) who you can lean on for advice and support is important.
As you’re in the midst of trying new things or experimenting it’s essential to know when to stop and pivot.
Jessica had put together a bridal beauty business and had it colocated in one of her locations. It wasn’t working out. However, she shifted things around and now brings that experience to wedding locations and it’s thriving.
Take Care of Your Team
When her landlord would not renew her lease, unexpectedly in 2002, Jessica had 60 days to vacate the property with no advance warning.
During that time, Jessica had to put a brave face on, for her staff and find a solution.
Not just her livelihood was at stake but the lives of her team were dependent on her and the business. as well.
A few years later, Covid closures brought another round of challenges to Jessica and her team.
How to have team cohesion, when closed for 3 months.
Another challenge and complexity was understanding that staff would have to take options to make a living for themselves. Some might have chosen to provide their own services to their own clients. Would they come back to work, when J. Walker Salon opened up again?
Jessica said it’s essential to share with the market – your customers and future customers – your story.
Why you do what you do.
During the pandemic, when so many businesses cut costs, one thing Jessica didn’t cut was her marketing.
In the spa and beauty market, the competition is fierce and organic marketing alone is not always enough.
Jessica told me that she does use paid advertising as well.
In order for Jessica to ensure consistent delivery of products and services, she has to have a great team.
Yes, Jessica invests money in Indeed and is always looking for great team members.
However, in addition, if you create something beautiful the right team members will come to you.
Don’t rush the interview process. Spend time interviewing to get the right candidate. If you need to follow up, don’t hesitate to do follow-up interviews, to get the right person on your team.
Here’s a bit more about Jessica
Jessica Walker is a successful business owner, entrepreneur and beauty and wellness expert who owns J Walker Salon Group in New Jersey. Jessica opened her business at the tender age of 19 and has grown the enterprise from one small salon to four locations offering upscale beauty and wellness services, along with a bridal and event business. She has appeared on FOX News, News 12 New Jersey, Chasing News, NJ. COM, and New Jersey Monthly. Most recently, Jessica was named one of the “Best Fifty Women in Business” for 2021 by NJ BIZ for her impact on the business and community at large in the Garden State.
A committed and involved community activist, Jessica has been donating her personal time and business resources to a wide variety of charitable organizations for more than two decades. While beauty and wellness are her professions, Jessica’s true passion is helping people and bringing joy to those around her. She is a gifted speaker possessing a natural ability to inspire and uplift others with her words and actions. Jessica has five children and lives in Far Hills. In her spare time, Jessica enjoys working out, reading, traveling, and spending time with her husband, Chuck, and extended family at the Jersey Shore