Walking into Bombshells Salon, you are immediately swept away by the class and elegance of the little converted house turned boutique salon in downtown Beaverton. April Orme and DaLynne McIntyre are good friends and hair stylists who had dreamed of opening up their own salon for years. In fact, they had their business name registered for two years before they decided to jump in. Finally, on March 1, 2010 they opened up their checking account, found a place on Craigslist, and six weeks later opened for business. They called in every favor from family, friends, and clients, and worked around the clock to make it happen – all without any outside money.
Bombshells Salon provides hair styling, hair coloring, hair therapy treatments, waxing, airbrush tanning, and their own line of hair products. But what really makes them stand out is their approach to customer service. “I think sometimes people think when they hear Bombshells it talks about us; it doesn’t. We want you to come in here and bring out whatever makes you feel beautiful,” says April.
For these women, the day starts early at 6am with a CrossFit workout, then they start seeing clients around 9am or 10am, and close up shop around 9pm. April and DaLynne try to limit working to only six days a week to spend time with their family, but they don’t plan to work these long weeks forever. April and DaLynne are planning to expand their apprenticeship program, so they feel confident their clients will receive the same level of service when they hand over their clients to other staff members. “So maybe we could work 40 hours a week; that would be nice,” says April. April and DaLynne keep involved in the community as much as they can. They do food drives whenever they have an event, an all-month food drive in December, and have an annual Client Appreciation Day where their clients can promote their own businesses. On top of working in and on their business, April and DaLynne also keep up with fashion and lifestyle trends to keep relevant in the market. And like many other business owners, they work on figuring out how new clients will find them. “New clients coming in have different needs than the clients we have already established, so staying up on that will be a challenge,” says April.
Once things as a start-up business began to slow down, and April and DaLynne felt like they weren’t learning something new everyday, they came to the SBDC for help with developing their business plan. “We wanted to get a better a grasp of the business side of things,” said DaLynne.
In April 2013, they enrolled in the Retail Small Business Management program at the PCC Willow Creek campus with a City of Beaverton business education scholarship. April and DaLynne took a lot from the program, specifically in the inventory management sessions and their advising sessions with Leslie Hildula. “We’re going from survival mode to planning mode, so I think that’s been the big shift that has happened going through the classes,” says April.
April and DaLynne are a dynamic duo. DaLynne is the idea generator and April reigns them in, resulting in actionable plans. As DaLynne said, “We see things differently, which is good.” Their energy and commitment to their business is contagious. April and DaLynne plan to grow their business on the Westside to fill the need and not lose the boutique atmosphere they’ve worked hard to create. As challenging as running a full service salon is, DaLynne wouldn’t have it any other way, “I love that our name is on everything. We get to inspire people to come in and work for us and share what we do.”