An experienced stylist, Rocio Perez wanted to open a salon three years ago - right in the peak of the recession. Instead, she made some smart business decisions to put her ahead of the game when the time was right. Rocio decided to buy all of the salon equipment she would need at rock bottom prices... knowing that when she was ready to launch, the costs would go up drastically (a shampoo chair cost her $4500 - and now they’re $15000 a piece!)
Rocio set up shop in her sisters basement and told her 300 clients where she would be for the next few years. "I made sure to pre book all their appointments so that I would have a full book. I was very busy for the next three years. My dad charged me rent, we paid our taxes, I had two assistants and I sold retail in my basement so that I would have a real picture as to how much things would cost. " At first Rocio worked almost 60 hours a week. Once she realized that she could afford the overhead, she decided to start looking for a space to call her own - and eventually found the gem where she is now localted. Rocio owns First Impressions Salon with her sister Diane Perez (the cutest pregnant woman EVER!).
Leading Lady: Rocio Perez
Describe yourself in three words: Passionate, Ambitious, Giving
What do you consider your greatest professional achievement? Opening my dream salon - and loving it.
What are your professional goals for the next six months? Having my team achieve financial success and for my salon to have a good reputation as I do.
How does your company stay connected through social media? We constantly update on facebook, twitter, yelp, bangstyle, styleseat, who does your hair and constant contact.
What profession other than yours would you like to attempt? Event Planning
How do you maintain a work/life balance? I have a great partner that I share the responsibilities in the salon and at home I have a supportive partner. I make sure to work until my kids get off of school and only work two nights a week. Sundays are my family and my faith day.
What website do you visit every day? behindthechair.com
What is the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning? I have to wake up my daughter and I can’t wait to talk to her on the way to school.
What book do you casually put out on your coffee table to impress visitors? Not one in particular but hair books from past and current style icons.
What is your favorite spot to visit in Northern Virginia? National Harbor (Ok, not in Northern VA - but it is a great spot!)
What is your goal for retirement? To make sure that I set up my parents, sister and her family and my family to where we have something that we can pass on and to enjoy life with my husband.
Do you have any advice for women who would like to start their own company? Make sure to have your business plan, make sure that you have your whole family on board to support you and make sure you have a great and passionate team behind you. Take your time setting all of these things up because it can make or break you.
Added from Rocio: I thought I would cry my first day at the new salon from excitement. However, there has not been any time for me to have that moment since we are so busy. This is a great problem to have when you are a new owner. I stay positive because I was pregnant at 17, finished high school on time with my license to do hair. I have been married to my husband since I was 18 and we have been together since my junior year in high school. I finished college in 2010 with a Bachelors in Business Administration and Marketing. Nothing is impossible. Nothing can stop me. I look forward to what my future holds.
Hi! my name is Andrea and I'm a not-so-average Northern Virginia blogger, mom, and transplant from the Midwest. I host Girls Night Out events, meet ups, and write about events and my adventures in the DC area. I love to travel, brunch, and drink wine with my neighbors! I'm known to live on the wild side and order Venti iced double shots at 5pm.