Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Trainee Debriefing

Well, my class went very well! It certainly gave me lots of things to ponder. First, how involved with Sisterlocks as a business do I want to become? My primary reason for taking the class was curiosity, but as the class approached and definitely during, I became more intrigued by the opportunity it represented for entrepreneurship. I talked to a really, great woman about working in her salon...who knew? I have a lot to think about.
At first, I am going to proceed very slowly. I want to provide the same positive experience to Sisterlocks that I had. That means providing consistent, meticulous technique and a positive, professional environment. The first requires practice, the second some resources. For those who are patient, I am willing to start slowly--probably through personal references to provide Sisterlocks services by outcall. If you are in the DC or NYC area, send me a message and we can talk more about what that includes. Right now my goal is to work *very* closely with a small group of women that I can provide top-notch personal service rather than trying to build a huge volume of clients. I've noticed that when Sisterlocks come to an area, it catches on like wildfire! Which is great, but often it becomes difficult to find a provider.
At the risk of sounding like Debbie Downer--that Rachel Dratch character from Saturday Night Live-- I also saw some cautionary tales in the making during my class. As Sisterlocks expands as a business opportunity, those interested will have to become more savvy about who is in the marketplace. A few in the class did not understand or intend to honor that they were learning a trademarked system and agreeing to offer Sisterlocks as it was conveyed to them. I see that as an ethical issue, but for those who may unwittingly patronize these providers there is a great probability of frustration and confusion.
There *are* several locking techniques that one could utilize with great results, but Sisterlocks is a specific, unique technique that creates a particular outcome. If someone offers you a hodge-podge of shortcuts and modifications to Sisterlocks...well, you probably won't get what you thought you would. There is no getting around the fact that Sisterlocks are very time-intensive and exacting to install, but consider this...you only want to have it done once. So make sure it's done right and by someone who is concerned and knowledgeable about your outcome.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Renea,

Ugh! I'm so excited about you taking this class, and being a thoughtful buinesswoman, but I must confess, my first instinct is to be a parade rainer and groan at the "trademarked system." The word is trademarked. Systems are not trademarked, they are patented, only this one isn't. So, the new new round of hairdressers are being misled again, even after the SL v. NL court decision!

Renea said...

I agree Anonymous, there is a difference between trademark and patent. This is why I describe it as a ethical issue.
And I am not a lawyer, but we are asked to sign what I assume is a binding agreement that we will not do certain things...blah, blah, blah. My concern is that there are many that are actively misleading those who are interested in Sisterlocks. Misleading them about what they as providers are trained or intending to do, misleading them about what the consequences of their modifications or misrepresentations will have for their locks. That may end up fodder for small claims courts across the land, but ethically I think it's wrong to say as a service provider that you are providing a particular 'trademarked' system when you are not.

Tra said...

Renea,

I think that your very first client will have indeed found a treasure in you as her consultant. You seem to be very conscientious and that is so necessary when this type of committment and investment are being made.
I look forward to watching you (via the internet) grow as a Sisterlock Consultant.

Tra

Tra said...

I have a question. I am "somewhat" interested in taking the consultant class but I am concerned that I would not be able to make the parts as straight as I would need to for them to be considered "bonafide" sisterlocks. Did you find that to be an issue for yourself or anyone else in the class? Did they work on this at all?
I don't make super straight parts now in my daugthers head so that is why I would be afraid to do someone else's hair at all.

Tra

Renea said...

Tra-
I am quite the type A person myself...smile. And I am not a trained cosmetologist, nor do I have a sweet little girl to practice on everyday. That said...They have repackaged the training course so that now you get hands-on practice with a mannequin. You may not think you are the world's best parter, but you are probably as good as you need to be to get started.

You'll practice on the mannequin...and when it comes to a real-live person, you'll be making large sections, then small ones. And after it's all said and done, the person's hair does grow in and their locks swell in...so it's not like it stays in that first phase where you can constantly see the scalp. The parting is more forgiving than you're worried about and if you part your daughter's hair, your aim is a lot better than you think!
Renea