Michelle Le: Owner of Salon 130

For me, this edition of Celebrating HER is extra exciting becausee we get to reward our readers for diving into the world of entrepreneurship! I first met the owner of Salon 130, Michelle Le, on an impromptu trip to get a haircut in 2014. Never did I think that I would later have the chance to feature Michelle on this blog (!), yet here we are. I remember Michelle telling me about her path to owning her own salon between snips and blowdries. That day, I left the salon not only with a Pinterest-worthy do, but a positive "Go get 'em!" attitude. I knew I had to have Michelle as a guest feature when Celebrating HER was born. As for the reward, make sure to like our Facebook post with this story and tag a friend for the chance to win a wash, cut, and style at Salon 130! Now let's begin.

Celebrating HER

Name: Michelle Le

Business Name: Salon130

Website: www.salon130.com

Tell us about your business.
I wanted to create my own mark in the hair business in Ottawa which I felt meant focusing on the many Professionals working downtown who wanted a better “business class” service offering for their personal service dollar. Salon130 is happy to offer Ottawa a fresh choice for a much better value in all their hair care services, all of which are offered at affordable price points. The main focus in opening Salon130 was to create a relaxed, comfortable atmosphere for Guests to relax and enjoy a much-needed break in their day.

What was the biggest obstacle to building your business and how did you overcome it?
As a business owner with a very detail oriented vision, I have found HR and building my team to be the most trying. Finding that perfect fit with the right personality, drive, and work ethic is a hard combination these days! I am working through it by creating a thorough vetting process for all our potential stylists as well as a structured training program with my trusted management team to ensure that once we find our next teammate we have the ability to help them grow within our Salon130 culture.

What motivates you? What are some ways you stay motivated?
My clients motivate me by constantly feeding my energy while in my chair. I love when they get excited about a new look and you can just feel their positivity and sense of self come through! The connection you make with so many different people and the things you can learn is amazing. My staff help me stay motivated, in that I love to watch them grow and achieve their own milestones with Salon130!

The connection you make with so many different people and the things you can learn is amazing.

What made you resilient to the fear of failure?
I moved here from Vietnam when I was 12. I came from a third world country where I would sell popcorn on the street to make money for my family. I was born with the mind of an entrepreneur, there is no failure, there is live, learn, and grow.

What is an important lesson you’ve learned through running your own company?
Nobody notices but it's the little things that all add up to success or failure. The mints at reception, or the fresh flowers, even the way chairs are positioned - all reflects many important things about our business and culture. It’s not easy to have a trained eye for details, but that is an important lesson in business. It is the small day after day little stuff that all adds up to a successful business image.

What is the best part about running your own business?
Making an impression on new talent - and helping others achieve something important in their lives, makes it all worthwhile.

Making an impression on new talent - and helping others achieve something important in their lives, makes it all worthwhile.

If you could go back in time and tell your younger self one thing, what would it be?
Take twice as long to plan things out ahead of time, and then plan and expect to pay double as much.

Describe your daily routine from the moment you wake up.
Coffee in front of my mirror. The still quiet of the morning allows me to reflect upon the goals and objectives of the day that lies ahead. Many good thoughts come to me during my alone quiet time. From there it's a casual walk to work stopping by the local coffee shop to say hi to the staff who also visits our salon. Makes a fun start to my first appointment of the day. Then as time flies by, after ten hours of standing or twenty clients later, performing hair magic all day... it's time to walk home to see my family around 9 pm for some well deserved although short R&R.

What’s your favourite day of the week? Why?
Saturdays - I love the relaxed stress free downtown business district vibe on weekends.

What is your go-to pick-me-up?
An Iced Caramel Macchiato from Starbucks!

What is your spirit animal?
A tiger!

What is your favourite app?

What is a quote you live by?
“There is only one way, the right way” - Michelle Le

“There is only one way, the right way” - Michelle Le

Feel free to mention anything else pertaining to entrepreneurship, your “path to
success”, etc.
The path to success is finding similar, like-minded individuals and then allowing them to express themselves through their chosen craft.

Celebrating HER

We'd like to thank Michelle for sprinkling us with inspiration and sharing her story! If you're in Ottawa, be sure to check out Salon 130 located at 130 Slater St. downtown for a fresh new 'do and to meet (and have your hair cut and styled!) by the Girl Boss, Michelle, herself! You can also follow Salon 130 on Instagram @salon.130 for some hairspiration.

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