Interview with Kimberly Ann Wright, Owner of Logik The Salon
Logik the Salon is located in Southeast Portland, Oregon along Division street, and just off of Southeast 50th. It is owned and operated by female entrepreneur Kimberly Ann Wright. Kimberly has a longtime passion for fun hair, specializing in color treatments.
Kimberly took over ownership of Logik The Salon 12 years ago, when it was only 9 months old. Since then, she has given beautiful hairstyles to thousands of people.
Today, WCBC Review interviews Kimberly to dive into the history, mystery, and magic that is Logik The Salon.
WCBC Review interviews Kimberly Ann Wright, the owner and lead hair stylist of Logik The Salon in Portland, Oregon.
In this episode we discuss the power of testimonials, how to adjust to cutting hair in a COVID world, and fighting against city changes that disrupt businesses.
Kimberly can be found at Logik The Salon on 50th and Division in Portland, Oregon.
Cardinal: Hi, welcome to WCBC review, where we put the spotlight on small businesses. Today, we are interviewing the owner of Logik The Salon. Kimberly, how are you today?
Kimberly: I'm doing pretty good.
Cardinal: All right.
So we're just going to jump right into it.
Cause I'm super curious. I know that you are a Gresham mainstay. So when did you start your business? What year?
Kimberly: Actually we're on 50th and Division.
Cardinal: Oh, okay. When I hear Division, I think gresham, for some reason
Kimberly: it goes all the way from downtown to Gresham. Okay. So yeah, we're on 50th and Division Southeast.
Cardinal: Gotcha. And how long have you been there?
Kimberly: 12 years.
Cardinal: Nice. Not bad. I hear with small businesses, there's a couple humps. There's like the first year. Most of them fail and then there's year five where there's like another sort of round of difficulties. And if you can make it past that, you're golden. So congratulations.
Cardinal: so what was it that made you want to start a salon business?
Kimberly: Well, to be honest with you, I came over to Logik with a couple, from another salon we worked together at and they, opened Logik up and lasted nine months and needed out from underneath it and asked if I wanted to take over the lease and it was not my goal to ever own.
I 'd manage salons and everything for years. And I was like, okay, I am taking a leap of faith and doing this cause I'm not moving again. So I took over their leads and, just kept it going.
Cardinal: That's awesome. , that's a very unusual story.
Most people are like, Oh, , I'm a barber or a, a hair tech and I want to start my own business, but it kind of came to
Kimberly: It did fell in my lap.
Cardinal: So you said that they were open for nine months before.
Kimberly: Nine months.
Cardinal: Okay. Well, if you had to start over from day one from when you took over Logik, the salon, would you have done anything differently now, looking back.
Kimberly: No, I just started right off the top of building up and adding to when I took this lot over, there was literally not very much signage and a MySpace page.
Cardinal: Oh, wow.
Kimberly: That's all they had done. So I just had to dive in and build in and get all this stuff up and running. And, , that's in the beginning of when all social media started really being a thing.
So I had to teach myself how to do all of that
And get rid of the MySpace page. Cause at that point it really wasn't a working thing anymore.
Cardinal: Oh, man. They tried,
Kimberly: They did try. They, you know, they were newlyweds and they had a lot on their plates and not in Portland. So no support system or anything
Cardinal: that can be really tough.
Kimberly: Yeah. I think they had a real struggle of it.
Cardinal: So you feel really good about how you've taken it over and the direction that you've pointed it towards?
Kimberly: Yeah. You know, the right now during COVID of course it's a whole new experience, like starting from the beginning, I guess you'd say. Yeah.
Cardinal: Well, that's my next question is what's the toughest part about having a business during. 2020 and 2021 and all this COVID craziness.
Kimberly: Oh goodness. There's so much. I mean, between having to keep PPE regularly in the salon and the expense and the fact that you often get taken advantage of their price gouging and not sending you what you actually thought you were getting. So that's kind of a struggle and then just, you know, making people feel safe.
So that they'll come in because especially now with that new strain of COVID, , it's slowing down our business again, because people are really afraid. So it's just really being personal with our clients and keeping in touch and, you know, trying to figure out what financially there is to help the small businesses out there.
And myself personally, I've been in a struggle with TriMet right now, due to the new TriMet. Project going down division. Yeah, they're they? Well, number one, division is far too narrow to be adding extra long buses and bigger bus stops. And they told us in the beginning at which I fought against in the beginning that they were going to only take a few parking spots away from the neighborhood.
Which has had such growth anyway, with apartments in the city, not allowing parking for the new apartment complexes. So a few in, in the real world, if you look up the definition is three and it turns out I found out in July, they're taking all our parking and our bike racks permanently. Yes.
Cardinal: What, where are your customers supposed to park?
Kimberly: They don't care.
Cardinal: Wow. They want them to just take the bus.
Kimberly: The city's goal is to have nobody driving, just walking, biking, and riding transit, which I personally, and my clients agree is not the safest place to be even before COVID. Yeah. So I have a battle going there and I refuse to give up, even though people keep telling me that I can't win.
Cardinal: How long have you been fighting this
Cardinal: Dang. Okay.
Wow. They really picked such a time to try and expand public transit. Interesting.
Kimberly: Very interesting
Cardinal: have you been able to gather other business owners around you? Is it impacting other people on the street
Kimberly: It is impacting other people, but we as a whole, as businesses also have COVID fatigue.
Yeah, and we're so wrapped up and trying to keep our doors open. That most people that I tried to gather the business owners along the vision, and most of them didn't even know what was going on and had bandwidth to join me, to try and stop the situation. Wow.
Cardinal: Oh, well, best of luck with that. Is there any way that we can help you ?
Well I'm trying to get everybody, cause there's just a changing of guards when Wheeler got reelected and Mingus maps and God, I can't remember the other person. Moved up. But anyway, I thought I was gonna, I built, I built a relationship with Mingus maps and then Wheeler decided to not allow him the role that he was supposed to take over from Chloe and give it to Joanne Hardesty.
So I'm asking people to reach out to Hardesty either via phone or email. To try and get some response from her to see if we can get my biggest goal. All I can do is say, as I intend to be heard, even if I can't stop it. So people reaching out to office to try and get her to respond back to me. All
Great. Well, I can put that information in our show notes so people can have a spot to reach out easily and maybe I'll include a little script that they can use, because I know many of us are introverts are like, what do we even say when contacting any sort of legislator.
Kimberly: I'm an extroverted introvert.
Cardinal: Oh, that's an interesting line to live on.
Kimberly: It is an interesting line. It makes it fun when I'm trying to reach out in situations like with TriMet and stuff. Cause I'm like, okay, I'm going to do it. I don't know I'm going to do it
Cardinal: Well, best of luck to you. We'll see if we can't help you out.
Kimberly: Thank you.
Cardinal: Okay, so, My next question is that if a customer was to choose between your business and three others, Why would you suggest that they give you a try first?
Kimberly: That's a good question. I'm not good at tooting my own horn. I would say our, our, our taglines are we're real people doing real people's hair where there's no pomp and circumstance. We're just gonna give you good hair. Nice. And we color outside the lines. We do all kinds of things and we're. Open-minded and caring for our clients.
Cardinal: That can be really helpful, especially if you're like myself and, you know, I go to the hairdresser and I ask for a more masculine looking haircut and I'm not comfortable asking just any hairdresser for that. I have to sort of know them and feel them out first. Otherwise they'll look at me weird or they won't do it right.
Or the whole experience will just be awkward. And I feel like they don't want to touch me because they think I'm gross or something.
Kimberly: Oh my goodness. That's awful. You're a human being. I respect that you wear your hair, you know what you want. And unless something, honestly, isn't going to work then I'm, I'm going to give you what you asked for.
Yeah. I'm going to be honest. If something you asked for is just not feasible for your lifestyle or your capabilities of doing it or your hair type won't do it, but I'm never going to make you feel bad about it. That's not okay. I do a lot of curly haired clients as well. And I hear stuff from them all the time about being mistreated and not listened to, and they seem to really get a good amount of that as well.
So it's like, no, you treat people decently. Respectfully.
Cardinal: Amen. And it's not hard, right? Like you just have to listen to them and that's pretty much it.
Kimberly: Well, you know, part of the industry is actually listening to people. A good portion of it. You can be a mediocre stylist. And a beautiful person to have the most amazing clientele.
You could be an amazing hairstylist with a crummy personality and have no clientele. it's about taking care of people. The job is really about, you know, compassion and consideration and caring.
Cardinal: Nice. Well, it seems like you've got the whole package!
Kimberly: I try, man. I try.
Cardinal: So when you were just opening up. What was the toughest part about taking over the business?
Kimberly: Well, I really started from scratch, so it was really getting all of the social media website finding stylists. Cause they only had one stylist when I took over, that's always the hardest part. I'm looking for stylists as we speak because COVID has created a whole, another dynamic in my industry.
It's very interesting. So, you know, just staffing and getting all of the correct things in line. So people would know about us and finding out what would bring people in the door. Is it paper, you know, ads in the local newspaper? Is it on the internet? It was really trial and error to tell you truth.
There was a lot of trial and error, lots of a learning curve.
Cardinal: So what's the number one way you bring in new customers? Word of mouth?
Kimberly: Word of mouth, and, you know, social media is part of word of mouth now. So people going in and saying, Reddit.
Someone went out and talked about us and I've gotten so many clienteles about. How I took care of their hair and a big part was that we were following extreme COVID rules to keep them safe. that's also part of word of mouth now, as well as people just talking to each other. That we don't do as much of now!
Cardinal: I did see that you're very good at posting testimonials up on your Facebook page. You Did screenshots and stuff like that. I thought that was really great.
Kimberly: Well, you know, they make me feel like what I do is important. You know, that somebody said that they walked away and were happy and felt better.
That's the biggest part of what I love about my profession.
Yeah. That makes sense. Whenever I'm feeling really off, I noticed that it's around time where I need to get a haircut.
I've been hashtagging our business as radical self-care right now.
Cardinal: Oh, interesting. Have you read the body is not an apology.
Kimberly: Interesting. That's a nice title too. Yeah,
Cardinal: it's incredible. It's fantastic. I'll send it.
Kimberly: You have to send it to me cause I will with, with all the things in my head lately, I normally can balance like 10 actions at one time. And now it's two.
Cardinal: Yeah, honestly, same. It's pretty intense. Okay. So has the internet played a big role in your business? Has it become more prevalent?
Kimberly: Oh, absolutely. You know, without social media, most businesses won't survive. If we could go out and hit the streets like we used to, but running a business , when I first started out, I could go run around and put stuff up on bulletin boards, talk to the neighbors, stuff like that.
But once you get going, well, now you can't do it. Anyway. Someone would probably freak out if I walked up and hand them a business card, but you know, you really have to put forth a good Image, I guess you'd say out on social media and to be seen.
Cardinal: Yeah. That's where people go to check and make sure you're trustable and see what you're all about.
Kimberly: Kind of a good, a good side and a bad side of social media. Cause then sometimes people just have a beef for no reason and they'll say bad things. Like I started out in a lot of people don't put themselves up on Yelp. Now because you know, that's kind of become a platform that can be rough. I did it when I first opened up, but I have to say when you maintain a pretty high score.
Cardinal: Nice. Yeah. That's one of the problems with review sites is that people find it easier to leave a bad review because they're thinking about it more. But if they want to leave a good review, if you have a happy customer, you have to remind them like, Hey, could you go leave us a review or else they won't.
Cause they're not mad.
Kimberly: They're not mad about it. Exactly. Well, on top of the fact, I always try to respond to anybody that isn't happy. Well, cause I encourage people to actually be confrontational. It's confrontational in an appropriate way, and actually have a conversation when they are dissatisfied, because it could just be a miscommunication.
Cardinal: Right. That's so true. Okay. let's move along in,
in a world without COVID let's,
let's pretend we're post COVID already. If you looked six months to a year in the future, Where would you want your business to be? Would you want to, what do you want it to increase or decrease? Do you want to hire more people and be a manager?
Would you ever not be cutting hair and step away and be a passive owner or you always want to be in there?
Kimberly: Oh no. I, I believe her salon should be owned by stylist and they should at least be part-time by the chair. So they understand the people that are working for them. I managed salons for over 12 years and watched owners that were not hairstylists and they never understood the artistic personalities of their stylist and often lost stylists because of it.
Cardinal: maybe that's another plus on why people should visit you over other people. You're actually a stylist owned salon rather than a business person owned salon.
Kimberly: I'm definitely. I'm a stylist first. And then I run the business . I like being behind the chair. I like my clients there. They become like family and you know, you become part of their life.
You're involved in their, their weddings, their birthdays, or anniversaries, the death and life on a daily basis for them. So, what we do is really important. People don't realize that stylists do so much more than hair.
I think I definitely realize that when I wasn't able to get a haircut for six months, nine months, and I just buzz, my head!
I've seen a lot of that.
Cardinal: I don't regret it. I let it be like that for a little while. But. I definitely missed the connection with my stylist. I have a regular one and we know each other and I missed her and I didn't expect that
Kimberly: we build relationships and bonds.
Cardinal: , so you always want to be behind the chair and, and cutting hair, but would you want to expand or do you like right
Kimberly: now? I like where we're at right now. I truthfully need two stylists right now. I've lost a couple due to COVID. People are afraid. And so, and our industry's been kind of pushed underground a little bit.
So it's, it's becoming hard to find stylists that want to come work in the salon. So I would like to have my chairs full. I have one coworker. Who's amazing. We've known each other for 12 years. I'm just a little five station salon. I like it that way. Keep it small, simple, you know, the kiss method.
Cardinal: Keep it simple, stupid.
Kimberly: Yup. I'm all about that. I mean, the property managers where I'm at offered me the space next to me, when it was empty last time, they're like you could open a nail salon and open up the tube and spaces and I'm like, no, I really don't want to be in charge of more people, even though my stylists are independent, they're still, you know, interactions and stuff that you have to have.
And. Maintain the shops.
Cardinal: Okay. So you like where you're at then? That's, that's really nice.
Kimberly: This neighborhood has grown so much. And you know, there's so much going on. If I hope to see a lot of it survive after COVID and the neighborhood be sweetened, a place, a destination to come.
Cardinal: Great. Well that with that, I will ask my last question, which is if you had a new business owner in front of you or someone who is just thinking about starting one, what advice would you give them?
Kimberly: Before COVID or during COVID
Cardinal: before, COVID!
Kimberly: Like, there's a huge spread right there. I would say do all your research, make sure that you have all the legalities under your belt. So you know what you're doing? Well find a mentor. I think mentoring helps in a lot of situations. So I think that was what would be what I would say, find a mentor and make sure you know, all the legalities especially if you're renting booths so that you don't have any surprises established good relationships with the people that work with you and have a goal of where you want to be.
Cardinal: That's really important having that goal.
I feel like people just sort of launch into it with like, Oh, I am, I'm a, a pie maker. I like to make pies. So I'm just going to make some pies and they don't really have an idea of like the other side of the business on how, you know, there's what you mentioned.
There's the whole marketing aspect of it. There's the management aspect of it. There's all
Kimberly: We wear many hats, many, many, many hats and now the masks and shields.
Cardinal: Well maybe At your salon since your hair is so perfect, maybe you're not wearing hats, maybe it's earrings or, Oh, I
Kimberly: learned to put- yeah. There you go. I feel so sad.
Cause now I put on the shield in my mask and my hair looks like poo. I couldnt sit down with you cause it's stick it out all over the place. Right?
Cardinal: Okay. Kimberly! Well, where can people find you?
Kimberly: You can find us on 5016 Southeast division. And if you want to check us out, we have a website which is Logikthesalon.com.
You can find us on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest. Reddit. However you say it.
I was getting it wrong. I can't I'm like, I, you know, I just put that up there because one of my clients said you should be here. So I'm like, okay, I'll check it out. Yeah, I read it's
Reddit is cool. It is like the, the root of the internet, I'd say.
Kimberly: So I'm learning about that, you know, trying to figure out where, where I'm going to fit in there. I haven't quite got it down yet, but I will make it because I persevere. That's right.
Cardinal: Okay. Kimberly will. Thank you so much for coming on to WCBC review, and I hope that you have a fantastic rest of your day and that your business just picks right up where I left off before all this COVID craziness.
Kimberly: Well, thank you. It was nice to meet you.
Cardinal: Good to meet you too. Bye!
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