Community Spotlight: Candice Whitman on Managing Your Inventory While Running a Salon Business

GlossGenius Staff
Start your 14-day free trial with GlossGenius today!
Start free trial

No credit card required.

Try GlossGenius free for 14 days!

The Community Spotlight series showcases innovative GlossGenius Educators and Ambassadors who go above and beyond, not only to educate their community but to inspire them, to dare them to dream big, and to empower them with the tools to succeed in managing and growing their business.

Candice Whitman is a Redken-certified Hair Colorist, Salon Owner at Elle & Elle Salon, Images Salon, and Sapphire Salon Studios, and a Salon Business Consultant in Peoria, Illinois. She has been a GlossGenius Educator for four years. You can follow Candice on Instagram at @candice.elle.elle.salon.

Dani Berkowitz

Hi, Candice! Thank you so much for joining me for this convo. It is so nice to connect with you one on one, and to talk to you about your GlossGenius experience, and also about how your personal professional journey has come about, and specifically, how you've managed inventory in your experience.

Candice Whitman

Thank you so much first for having me, I really appreciate it. So yeah, my name is Candice, and I'm from Peoria, Illinois. I've been a stylist for almost 20 years now. And I've kind of done everything in the industry from floating around salons in my early beginnings, to working in the corporate world, and now in owning my own salon and being back behind the chair myself.

So I started that journey back about four years ago and I was very happy that right about that same time, along came GlossGenius. And I was able to partner up with them kind of in the grass roots of everything and get things going with my business. And at the same time, I was growing right alongside GlossGenius, so it's been kind of an honor to grow alongside you guys there.

Dani Berkowitz

So let's take it back. I'd love to know your story, what were the early days like before GlossGenius and before you really found your success at all you do now.

Candice Whitman

So it was a wild ride. It was not the easiest of roads. I know a lot of people who do very well, they come out of beauty school, and they just kind of hit the ground running. I was a hard-headed, I-know-best stylist who was a hot mess, and just kind of you know, showed up every day hoping that the clients were going to just fall into my chair. And I had a very rude awakening that that wasn't what was going to happen. But unfortunately, it was not an awakening that took place very quickly – it took me a lot of years and understanding how the business works, why clients choose me, what I needed to be in order to serve my clients well.

So yeah, up until then I kind of floated around from salon to salon always kind of blaming, 'Well, there's no traffic at this salon,' or you know, I don't like the management there, or they're just not my vibe, or whatever the case may be. I did a lot of that in my early years, and started booth rental kind of just as a hobby. I was in a relationship and I just wanted something to do a couple of days a week just to get out of the house, and so that's what I was doing.

I was recruited into the corporate world, where I became a salon manager and a salon business trainer. And so then I started working with and coaching a lot of professionals and I really think that was my awakening moment. More so than anything else it was understanding that everything that I had gone through up until then was empowering me to be there for somebody else and show them how things can be done so much easier.

And that really is why I love being a salon owner and a coach and an educator for GlossGenius is because I hope that somebody gets to hear my story and maybe take away something that makes their life a lot easier so that they don't have to go through that many years of the worry, and the doubt, and the frustration, and not being able to pay your bills, and just kind of floating around not really having a purpose out there. So I hope somebody gets to take something away from that.

Dani Berkowitz

I can't imagine someone hearing your story and not being impacted by it. It's kind of a hero story, it sounds like, and I think practice makes perfect. And in my experience working with GlossGenius Educators and Ambassadors, I have been extremely impressed with how tough and like the grit that each one of you has to hustle and do what you love doing the most. And through the hurdles of client relationships or the hard days, it's what your conviction is that keeps you going. So it's really amazing, I love to hear that. When did you make that transition to working for yourself and what was that like?

Candice Whitman

So I was going through a lot at the time. I left a bad relationship and I left a bad relationship with two small children. My son, who was not yet diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum, so he was missing a lot of milestones and things like that. I was a single mom for the first time and all that I had was this job that was more of a hobby than a job. And so I went to the corporate world just kind of as a means to an end and I loved it there. I learned a lot in a very short amount of time, but I was going through so much with my kids and my own personal life and I needed to free up my life, I needed to be able to be a mom, I needed to be able to kind of create my own hours.

And I thought, if I can teach stylists every day how to be successful, there's no reason that I can't just go out there and have that same success, and also have the freedom to do all the things that I need to do and be the mom that I need to be to my kids. So that really was kind of the driving force – it was my kids, it was my life, and my mental health honestly, to be just completely transparent with that – I needed that slowdown and that grounding again.

Dani Berkowitz

At the point that you did become your own boss and took that leap – because that's what it was – was that before or after you found GlossGenius?

Candice Whitman

So I made that leap on a whim. It was against everything in my good nature but I was like, I need to do something for me, and I need to do it now. And so I put in my notice and left, and I went out and just became a booth renter renting a chair in someone else's salon. And I had no real clue how I was going to do it because I wasn't really actively doing hair behind the chair when I left. I had maybe 20 clients that were mostly like friends and family and things like that. But I just really tried to spend all my time that I wasn't working in my business working on my business.

And so I started doing that and it started growing, and I was trying to keep up and I found myself back in that same state of mind of like 'I can't keep up with this pace.' And that was why I had left the corporate world – because I needed that slowdown. So I told myself I would not do that again. And I was struggling to keep up, you know, with my text reminders and confirming appointments with clients that I had coming in, with keeping my notes because I'm not the most organized person by nature. All of those things were just kind of starting to weigh on me after a bit.

And so I was like 'There's got to be a better way!' And I looked around just like in the app store, of all things. I started looking around in the app store, I was like 'Please let there be this magical scheduling system' or something that I can use that will at least send out text reminders. If it can at least do that, I'll be happy. And I downloaded a couple of different apps and tried those out. The first one that I downloaded was okay, but it wasn't my brand, I'll say that. We're in the business of making people pretty and it wasn't pretty or easy, it wasn't any of those things that I was looking for. So I really wasn't too thrilled or excited about that. Any features that I needed, that I was excited about, all of a sudden cost extra, so that was kind of a mess.

I tried another one out and I liked it at first but I needed some help with putting everything in there. And I remember getting onto the website, and it told me to call the 1-800 number. So I called the 1-800 number and it told me to go onto the website. And I went round and round and got no answers and no help. So here I was in this world of being out there on my own for the first time, like not only as a mom, but as a business owner, and then just being completely lost and alone in that moment. And so I was like 'You know what, let's try one more.'

So I tried another app and immediately not only did I find a beautiful website that was easy-to-use, my clients didn't have to download anything – and I know that about my clients that if it's easy for them to do, they'll do it. Once it ruffles the feathers a little bit, they just won't do it. So I love that it was super easy for them to use. It had everything that I was looking for in an app at the time. And yeah, so that was what brought me to GlossGenius and it's been awesome, like I said, since then to watch it grow as my business develops, they're also developing. So I don't ever have that struggle of 'I need more' because there's always more coming.

[CTA_MODULE]

Dani Berkowitz

I want to actually go back to what you mentioned about the corporate world and how you realized that it wasn't really for you and you had to create that boundary in order to maintain balance in your work and personal life. What did you take with you that you apply to your business today?

Candice Whitman

I think boundaries for one, like you spoke about. Before, I was getting emails at all hours of the night, texts at all hours, and when I started receiving that same thing but just from clients instead of your management teams or whatever, I was like 'This is the same thing.' I don't want that anymore. I don't want the chaos. I don't want the craziness in my life anymore. I want to be in charge of my own schedule. I want to have work be work and home be home, and have that separation there for myself and for my kids.

Dani Berkowitz

And is that where you learned the basics of inventory management, or is that something that you had to once again find self-education for?

Candice Whitman

Both. I really started that inventory management there working in the corporate world, because we focused very heavily on retail there. I started learning the basics of merchandising and inventory, and just processes and systems, and how to drive your team and manage your team well in those moments, too. So that's kind of where I started it. And then going out on my own, I really kind of took that turn there that was less about selling what was offered to you and creating my own opportunities.

Dani Berkowitz

So when did the wheels start turning for Candice's own line of product?

Candice Whitman

So back probably two years ago I would say, I had taken some courses online about retailing, because I knew that was the next step for my business. The first step was just get clients in my chair, just have a full book and get clients in my chair and keep them coming back. And then the next step was really more so around retailing and over the course of really delving into all of that I discovered private labeling in those courses. And just the excitement that that kind of brought to me from not only being able to mark up your products more and have more of a profit, but I was so excited because I was really cherry picking products from all different lines before. And I'm like 'Here, this hairspray is great, but the shampoo is not but use this from this line and that from that line.'

And I really wanted to have something that was more cohesive. And at the same time, I was really learning about branding and trying to focus on who I am and who my salon is as a brand. I wanted to give that to my clients, I wanted them to have something that was great that they knew that they could enjoy, whether it was the shampoo – they didn't need three different lines – it was all there and all-in-one.

Dani Berkowitz

Well your launch was just a few weeks ago: How has it been so far? Have people been really excited about it and reacted to it? I mean, I need to order my own.

Candice Whitman

I have been so pleased since it began. You know, even from my stylists at the shop, I've back-barred all the products so that they can use it. And I've loved seeing that excitement in them because I've worked really hard on this and so it's nice to see when somebody appreciates your baby there wherein somebody says 'Hey, you've done a great job with it.' It's nice to see that whether it's with my stylists or my clients who are now trying it for the first time and sending me texts and things, you know, like 'I love it.' 'This is the softest my hair has ever been.' And people are so supportive – they are just blown away that you can do that, you know that you can private label, a lot of them don't even know that's a thing.

Dani Berkowitz

When you input inventory into GlossGenius, do you use any other software in addition to GG or are you using GlossGenius solely to manage, scan, and process those transactions?

Candice Whitman

So the whole product selection on there was super easy. That's what I wanted when I was really focusing on retailing. I wanted something that would be easy for me, because I wanted to keep track of it, I wanted to know all of my numbers, I wanted to grow this thing. And I knew I couldn't do that without all of the tracking and having it be easy-to-do so that I can actually log it and track it because it's not easy. Yeah, being able to put everything into GlossGenius and having it keep track of how many products I have on hand, or what my cost out of pocket was for that product, how much profit I've made on it, what my best sellers are when I go to reorder product – that way I know if I need to order more than I ordered before. All of those different things, the reporting that goes along with it, all of those things really are the things that I was looking for. 

Dani Berkowitz

What kind of advice would you give someone who was opening up their salon for the first time?

Candice Whitman

I think with retailing, one, it's knowing your market. Knowing your clientele that you serve, what their price point is that they're looking for, what types of products they're looking for. Two, really doing your homework and your research around all of that. And then, three, I would say really spreading that word and creating that excitement. Using GlossGenius, when I launched my product line, I was able to every couple of weeks or every week up until the launch, start creating that buzz and that excitement through email messaging, through text campaigns, so all of my clients were really excited.

By the time my products hit the shelves, they came in and were ready to make their purchase, because they already knew what all my products were, they knew what the cost was, they knew the features and benefits before it even hit the shelves. So I love that, using GlossGenius, I had that power to kind of create that excitement and drive that buzz a lot sooner than I normally would have without it.

Dani Berkowitz

Can you tell us a little bit about how GlossGenius has impacted your business?

Candice Whitman

So my story with Gloss really started out being that single mom who left with two laundry baskets full of stuff in the middle of the night, and starting my life over – and that was a very scary place to be in. But with Gloss, I've been able to grow my own business, grow myself as a business owner – I'm doing the things that I couldn't do before. I couldn't keep track of client notes and do all of those things because my mind is just always so scattered in a million different places. And Gloss really helps ground me, it'll send me the text message that says 'Hey, write down the note for so and so.'

So I'm doing all of those things now that I wasn't doing before and it's really given me my life back in terms of being able to be there for my kids and having that schedule to where I can, creating the boundaries with my client, feeling like a professional. I think that's something we didn't even really touch on. But you know, when you're getting those 'Hey, girl, I want to go blonde' at midnight, that's not a professional moment with your clients.

And I feel like from the get-go, my clients, they see my booking site, it looks professional, they're able to book everything through it and do things there. And it just has that really professional experience from the start to the checkout with my awesome, cute little card reader – my clients see me as that professional now. And I think that made a world of difference in kind of rebranding and reshaping who I was as a stylist, as a business owner, all of those things.

Cute little story: My daughter actually just ran for student council and she was writing her questionnaire about why she wanted to do it, why she wanted to do student council. And she said 'I want to be a business owner one day, and I'm hoping that some of this will give me those leadership skills so that I can be a business owner one day.' And I had no idea that that was something that she was interested in. I said 'Really, you want to own your own business one day?' And she's like 'Well, yeah, mom. I figured if you could do it, like, I could do it, too.' And I was just in tears because there I was that single mom, sitting in your car, you know, when your baby's in the back? Like, how am I going to make this happen?

And then to see my kids say something like that and recognize that I put the hard work into it, and to know that they're capable of all of those things, too. Like, sorry, I'm getting a little choked up over here, but to see all of that, it just, it hit me in the feels there at that moment, and it still does, obviously, when I think about it.

[CTA_MODULE]

Dani Berkowitz

So I want to dive a little bit deeper on what you mentioned around community. I know you're a GlossGenius Educator, and you have been for a couple years. Tell me about your experience as a community member of GlossGenius, and I would love to hear more about what you were mentioning about not feeling alone.

Candice Whitman

Sure. So I think in the early days, GlossGenius wasn't even really around my town, like no one had really even heard of it yet, around here at least. And I went to the Facebook page and I remember seeing people ask questions on there that I had never even thought about for my business because they were in a different place than I was. And being able to sit back and take all of this information in that was just being shared with me, or being able to be that person, you know, if somebody else was looking for advice about something that I had gone through. 

And I thought what an awesome opportunity for that community and that engagement, and whether it's through social media, or whether it's just through other people that I've met who use Gloss – now we have people locally around here who use GlossGenius – and we all kind of have like a little group chat there where we'll ask each other questions. 'Hey, is there a way to, you know, do this or do that with the app.' And it's really nice that you have other people there who are doing the same thing that you're doing but maybe doing it in a different way, and we're able to kind of share that with each other. 

And then also, like I said, the team there at GlossGenius, I've never downloaded an app and then have the experience where they were like 'Hey, what else would you like for our app to be doing?' Usually it’s – I tell my kids this all the time – you get what you get and you don't throw a fit, right? And so instead, it's really having that app that's working hard for us, just like during COVID and how quickly GlossGenius worked to be able to get those gift cards out so that people could purchase gift cards with us. I've never had that kind of support with any other app that I've downloaded. Pandora has never reached out to me or anything as of yet, you know? So it's been amazing to have that kind of community with the stylists and also with the team there at GlossGenius.

Try GlossGenius free for 14 days!

Try GlossGenius free for 14 days!

Sign up
No credit card required.

Try GlossGenius free for 14 days!

Sign up
No credit card required.

Community Spotlight: Candice Whitman on Managing Your Inventory While Running a Salon Business

GlossGenius Staff
Download Now

Try GlossGenius free for 14 days!

The Community Spotlight series showcases innovative GlossGenius Educators and Ambassadors who go above and beyond, not only to educate their community but to inspire them, to dare them to dream big, and to empower them with the tools to succeed in managing and growing their business.

Candice Whitman is a Redken-certified Hair Colorist, Salon Owner at Elle & Elle Salon, Images Salon, and Sapphire Salon Studios, and a Salon Business Consultant in Peoria, Illinois. She has been a GlossGenius Educator for four years. You can follow Candice on Instagram at @candice.elle.elle.salon.

Dani Berkowitz

Hi, Candice! Thank you so much for joining me for this convo. It is so nice to connect with you one on one, and to talk to you about your GlossGenius experience, and also about how your personal professional journey has come about, and specifically, how you've managed inventory in your experience.

Candice Whitman

Thank you so much first for having me, I really appreciate it. So yeah, my name is Candice, and I'm from Peoria, Illinois. I've been a stylist for almost 20 years now. And I've kind of done everything in the industry from floating around salons in my early beginnings, to working in the corporate world, and now in owning my own salon and being back behind the chair myself.

So I started that journey back about four years ago and I was very happy that right about that same time, along came GlossGenius. And I was able to partner up with them kind of in the grass roots of everything and get things going with my business. And at the same time, I was growing right alongside GlossGenius, so it's been kind of an honor to grow alongside you guys there.

Dani Berkowitz

So let's take it back. I'd love to know your story, what were the early days like before GlossGenius and before you really found your success at all you do now.

Candice Whitman

So it was a wild ride. It was not the easiest of roads. I know a lot of people who do very well, they come out of beauty school, and they just kind of hit the ground running. I was a hard-headed, I-know-best stylist who was a hot mess, and just kind of you know, showed up every day hoping that the clients were going to just fall into my chair. And I had a very rude awakening that that wasn't what was going to happen. But unfortunately, it was not an awakening that took place very quickly – it took me a lot of years and understanding how the business works, why clients choose me, what I needed to be in order to serve my clients well.

So yeah, up until then I kind of floated around from salon to salon always kind of blaming, 'Well, there's no traffic at this salon,' or you know, I don't like the management there, or they're just not my vibe, or whatever the case may be. I did a lot of that in my early years, and started booth rental kind of just as a hobby. I was in a relationship and I just wanted something to do a couple of days a week just to get out of the house, and so that's what I was doing.

I was recruited into the corporate world, where I became a salon manager and a salon business trainer. And so then I started working with and coaching a lot of professionals and I really think that was my awakening moment. More so than anything else it was understanding that everything that I had gone through up until then was empowering me to be there for somebody else and show them how things can be done so much easier.

And that really is why I love being a salon owner and a coach and an educator for GlossGenius is because I hope that somebody gets to hear my story and maybe take away something that makes their life a lot easier so that they don't have to go through that many years of the worry, and the doubt, and the frustration, and not being able to pay your bills, and just kind of floating around not really having a purpose out there. So I hope somebody gets to take something away from that.

Dani Berkowitz

I can't imagine someone hearing your story and not being impacted by it. It's kind of a hero story, it sounds like, and I think practice makes perfect. And in my experience working with GlossGenius Educators and Ambassadors, I have been extremely impressed with how tough and like the grit that each one of you has to hustle and do what you love doing the most. And through the hurdles of client relationships or the hard days, it's what your conviction is that keeps you going. So it's really amazing, I love to hear that. When did you make that transition to working for yourself and what was that like?

Candice Whitman

So I was going through a lot at the time. I left a bad relationship and I left a bad relationship with two small children. My son, who was not yet diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum, so he was missing a lot of milestones and things like that. I was a single mom for the first time and all that I had was this job that was more of a hobby than a job. And so I went to the corporate world just kind of as a means to an end and I loved it there. I learned a lot in a very short amount of time, but I was going through so much with my kids and my own personal life and I needed to free up my life, I needed to be able to be a mom, I needed to be able to kind of create my own hours.

And I thought, if I can teach stylists every day how to be successful, there's no reason that I can't just go out there and have that same success, and also have the freedom to do all the things that I need to do and be the mom that I need to be to my kids. So that really was kind of the driving force – it was my kids, it was my life, and my mental health honestly, to be just completely transparent with that – I needed that slowdown and that grounding again.

Dani Berkowitz

At the point that you did become your own boss and took that leap – because that's what it was – was that before or after you found GlossGenius?

Candice Whitman

So I made that leap on a whim. It was against everything in my good nature but I was like, I need to do something for me, and I need to do it now. And so I put in my notice and left, and I went out and just became a booth renter renting a chair in someone else's salon. And I had no real clue how I was going to do it because I wasn't really actively doing hair behind the chair when I left. I had maybe 20 clients that were mostly like friends and family and things like that. But I just really tried to spend all my time that I wasn't working in my business working on my business.

And so I started doing that and it started growing, and I was trying to keep up and I found myself back in that same state of mind of like 'I can't keep up with this pace.' And that was why I had left the corporate world – because I needed that slowdown. So I told myself I would not do that again. And I was struggling to keep up, you know, with my text reminders and confirming appointments with clients that I had coming in, with keeping my notes because I'm not the most organized person by nature. All of those things were just kind of starting to weigh on me after a bit.

And so I was like 'There's got to be a better way!' And I looked around just like in the app store, of all things. I started looking around in the app store, I was like 'Please let there be this magical scheduling system' or something that I can use that will at least send out text reminders. If it can at least do that, I'll be happy. And I downloaded a couple of different apps and tried those out. The first one that I downloaded was okay, but it wasn't my brand, I'll say that. We're in the business of making people pretty and it wasn't pretty or easy, it wasn't any of those things that I was looking for. So I really wasn't too thrilled or excited about that. Any features that I needed, that I was excited about, all of a sudden cost extra, so that was kind of a mess.

I tried another one out and I liked it at first but I needed some help with putting everything in there. And I remember getting onto the website, and it told me to call the 1-800 number. So I called the 1-800 number and it told me to go onto the website. And I went round and round and got no answers and no help. So here I was in this world of being out there on my own for the first time, like not only as a mom, but as a business owner, and then just being completely lost and alone in that moment. And so I was like 'You know what, let's try one more.'

So I tried another app and immediately not only did I find a beautiful website that was easy-to-use, my clients didn't have to download anything – and I know that about my clients that if it's easy for them to do, they'll do it. Once it ruffles the feathers a little bit, they just won't do it. So I love that it was super easy for them to use. It had everything that I was looking for in an app at the time. And yeah, so that was what brought me to GlossGenius and it's been awesome, like I said, since then to watch it grow as my business develops, they're also developing. So I don't ever have that struggle of 'I need more' because there's always more coming.

[CTA_MODULE]

Dani Berkowitz

I want to actually go back to what you mentioned about the corporate world and how you realized that it wasn't really for you and you had to create that boundary in order to maintain balance in your work and personal life. What did you take with you that you apply to your business today?

Candice Whitman

I think boundaries for one, like you spoke about. Before, I was getting emails at all hours of the night, texts at all hours, and when I started receiving that same thing but just from clients instead of your management teams or whatever, I was like 'This is the same thing.' I don't want that anymore. I don't want the chaos. I don't want the craziness in my life anymore. I want to be in charge of my own schedule. I want to have work be work and home be home, and have that separation there for myself and for my kids.

Dani Berkowitz

And is that where you learned the basics of inventory management, or is that something that you had to once again find self-education for?

Candice Whitman

Both. I really started that inventory management there working in the corporate world, because we focused very heavily on retail there. I started learning the basics of merchandising and inventory, and just processes and systems, and how to drive your team and manage your team well in those moments, too. So that's kind of where I started it. And then going out on my own, I really kind of took that turn there that was less about selling what was offered to you and creating my own opportunities.

Dani Berkowitz

So when did the wheels start turning for Candice's own line of product?

Candice Whitman

So back probably two years ago I would say, I had taken some courses online about retailing, because I knew that was the next step for my business. The first step was just get clients in my chair, just have a full book and get clients in my chair and keep them coming back. And then the next step was really more so around retailing and over the course of really delving into all of that I discovered private labeling in those courses. And just the excitement that that kind of brought to me from not only being able to mark up your products more and have more of a profit, but I was so excited because I was really cherry picking products from all different lines before. And I'm like 'Here, this hairspray is great, but the shampoo is not but use this from this line and that from that line.'

And I really wanted to have something that was more cohesive. And at the same time, I was really learning about branding and trying to focus on who I am and who my salon is as a brand. I wanted to give that to my clients, I wanted them to have something that was great that they knew that they could enjoy, whether it was the shampoo – they didn't need three different lines – it was all there and all-in-one.

Dani Berkowitz

Well your launch was just a few weeks ago: How has it been so far? Have people been really excited about it and reacted to it? I mean, I need to order my own.

Candice Whitman

I have been so pleased since it began. You know, even from my stylists at the shop, I've back-barred all the products so that they can use it. And I've loved seeing that excitement in them because I've worked really hard on this and so it's nice to see when somebody appreciates your baby there wherein somebody says 'Hey, you've done a great job with it.' It's nice to see that whether it's with my stylists or my clients who are now trying it for the first time and sending me texts and things, you know, like 'I love it.' 'This is the softest my hair has ever been.' And people are so supportive – they are just blown away that you can do that, you know that you can private label, a lot of them don't even know that's a thing.

Dani Berkowitz

When you input inventory into GlossGenius, do you use any other software in addition to GG or are you using GlossGenius solely to manage, scan, and process those transactions?

Candice Whitman

So the whole product selection on there was super easy. That's what I wanted when I was really focusing on retailing. I wanted something that would be easy for me, because I wanted to keep track of it, I wanted to know all of my numbers, I wanted to grow this thing. And I knew I couldn't do that without all of the tracking and having it be easy-to-do so that I can actually log it and track it because it's not easy. Yeah, being able to put everything into GlossGenius and having it keep track of how many products I have on hand, or what my cost out of pocket was for that product, how much profit I've made on it, what my best sellers are when I go to reorder product – that way I know if I need to order more than I ordered before. All of those different things, the reporting that goes along with it, all of those things really are the things that I was looking for. 

Dani Berkowitz

What kind of advice would you give someone who was opening up their salon for the first time?

Candice Whitman

I think with retailing, one, it's knowing your market. Knowing your clientele that you serve, what their price point is that they're looking for, what types of products they're looking for. Two, really doing your homework and your research around all of that. And then, three, I would say really spreading that word and creating that excitement. Using GlossGenius, when I launched my product line, I was able to every couple of weeks or every week up until the launch, start creating that buzz and that excitement through email messaging, through text campaigns, so all of my clients were really excited.

By the time my products hit the shelves, they came in and were ready to make their purchase, because they already knew what all my products were, they knew what the cost was, they knew the features and benefits before it even hit the shelves. So I love that, using GlossGenius, I had that power to kind of create that excitement and drive that buzz a lot sooner than I normally would have without it.

Dani Berkowitz

Can you tell us a little bit about how GlossGenius has impacted your business?

Candice Whitman

So my story with Gloss really started out being that single mom who left with two laundry baskets full of stuff in the middle of the night, and starting my life over – and that was a very scary place to be in. But with Gloss, I've been able to grow my own business, grow myself as a business owner – I'm doing the things that I couldn't do before. I couldn't keep track of client notes and do all of those things because my mind is just always so scattered in a million different places. And Gloss really helps ground me, it'll send me the text message that says 'Hey, write down the note for so and so.'

So I'm doing all of those things now that I wasn't doing before and it's really given me my life back in terms of being able to be there for my kids and having that schedule to where I can, creating the boundaries with my client, feeling like a professional. I think that's something we didn't even really touch on. But you know, when you're getting those 'Hey, girl, I want to go blonde' at midnight, that's not a professional moment with your clients.

And I feel like from the get-go, my clients, they see my booking site, it looks professional, they're able to book everything through it and do things there. And it just has that really professional experience from the start to the checkout with my awesome, cute little card reader – my clients see me as that professional now. And I think that made a world of difference in kind of rebranding and reshaping who I was as a stylist, as a business owner, all of those things.

Cute little story: My daughter actually just ran for student council and she was writing her questionnaire about why she wanted to do it, why she wanted to do student council. And she said 'I want to be a business owner one day, and I'm hoping that some of this will give me those leadership skills so that I can be a business owner one day.' And I had no idea that that was something that she was interested in. I said 'Really, you want to own your own business one day?' And she's like 'Well, yeah, mom. I figured if you could do it, like, I could do it, too.' And I was just in tears because there I was that single mom, sitting in your car, you know, when your baby's in the back? Like, how am I going to make this happen?

And then to see my kids say something like that and recognize that I put the hard work into it, and to know that they're capable of all of those things, too. Like, sorry, I'm getting a little choked up over here, but to see all of that, it just, it hit me in the feels there at that moment, and it still does, obviously, when I think about it.

[CTA_MODULE]

Dani Berkowitz

So I want to dive a little bit deeper on what you mentioned around community. I know you're a GlossGenius Educator, and you have been for a couple years. Tell me about your experience as a community member of GlossGenius, and I would love to hear more about what you were mentioning about not feeling alone.

Candice Whitman

Sure. So I think in the early days, GlossGenius wasn't even really around my town, like no one had really even heard of it yet, around here at least. And I went to the Facebook page and I remember seeing people ask questions on there that I had never even thought about for my business because they were in a different place than I was. And being able to sit back and take all of this information in that was just being shared with me, or being able to be that person, you know, if somebody else was looking for advice about something that I had gone through. 

And I thought what an awesome opportunity for that community and that engagement, and whether it's through social media, or whether it's just through other people that I've met who use Gloss – now we have people locally around here who use GlossGenius – and we all kind of have like a little group chat there where we'll ask each other questions. 'Hey, is there a way to, you know, do this or do that with the app.' And it's really nice that you have other people there who are doing the same thing that you're doing but maybe doing it in a different way, and we're able to kind of share that with each other. 

And then also, like I said, the team there at GlossGenius, I've never downloaded an app and then have the experience where they were like 'Hey, what else would you like for our app to be doing?' Usually it’s – I tell my kids this all the time – you get what you get and you don't throw a fit, right? And so instead, it's really having that app that's working hard for us, just like during COVID and how quickly GlossGenius worked to be able to get those gift cards out so that people could purchase gift cards with us. I've never had that kind of support with any other app that I've downloaded. Pandora has never reached out to me or anything as of yet, you know? So it's been amazing to have that kind of community with the stylists and also with the team there at GlossGenius.

Try GlossGenius free for 14 days!

Community Spotlight: Candice Whitman on Managing Your Inventory While Running a Salon Business

Try GlossGenius free for 14 days!

The Community Spotlight series showcases innovative GlossGenius Educators and Ambassadors who go above and beyond, not only to educate their community but to inspire them, to dare them to dream big, and to empower them with the tools to succeed in managing and growing their business.

Candice Whitman is a Redken-certified Hair Colorist, Salon Owner at Elle & Elle Salon, Images Salon, and Sapphire Salon Studios, and a Salon Business Consultant in Peoria, Illinois. She has been a GlossGenius Educator for four years. You can follow Candice on Instagram at @candice.elle.elle.salon.

Dani Berkowitz

Hi, Candice! Thank you so much for joining me for this convo. It is so nice to connect with you one on one, and to talk to you about your GlossGenius experience, and also about how your personal professional journey has come about, and specifically, how you've managed inventory in your experience.

Candice Whitman

Thank you so much first for having me, I really appreciate it. So yeah, my name is Candice, and I'm from Peoria, Illinois. I've been a stylist for almost 20 years now. And I've kind of done everything in the industry from floating around salons in my early beginnings, to working in the corporate world, and now in owning my own salon and being back behind the chair myself.

So I started that journey back about four years ago and I was very happy that right about that same time, along came GlossGenius. And I was able to partner up with them kind of in the grass roots of everything and get things going with my business. And at the same time, I was growing right alongside GlossGenius, so it's been kind of an honor to grow alongside you guys there.

Dani Berkowitz

So let's take it back. I'd love to know your story, what were the early days like before GlossGenius and before you really found your success at all you do now.

Candice Whitman

So it was a wild ride. It was not the easiest of roads. I know a lot of people who do very well, they come out of beauty school, and they just kind of hit the ground running. I was a hard-headed, I-know-best stylist who was a hot mess, and just kind of you know, showed up every day hoping that the clients were going to just fall into my chair. And I had a very rude awakening that that wasn't what was going to happen. But unfortunately, it was not an awakening that took place very quickly – it took me a lot of years and understanding how the business works, why clients choose me, what I needed to be in order to serve my clients well.

So yeah, up until then I kind of floated around from salon to salon always kind of blaming, 'Well, there's no traffic at this salon,' or you know, I don't like the management there, or they're just not my vibe, or whatever the case may be. I did a lot of that in my early years, and started booth rental kind of just as a hobby. I was in a relationship and I just wanted something to do a couple of days a week just to get out of the house, and so that's what I was doing.

I was recruited into the corporate world, where I became a salon manager and a salon business trainer. And so then I started working with and coaching a lot of professionals and I really think that was my awakening moment. More so than anything else it was understanding that everything that I had gone through up until then was empowering me to be there for somebody else and show them how things can be done so much easier.

And that really is why I love being a salon owner and a coach and an educator for GlossGenius is because I hope that somebody gets to hear my story and maybe take away something that makes their life a lot easier so that they don't have to go through that many years of the worry, and the doubt, and the frustration, and not being able to pay your bills, and just kind of floating around not really having a purpose out there. So I hope somebody gets to take something away from that.

Dani Berkowitz

I can't imagine someone hearing your story and not being impacted by it. It's kind of a hero story, it sounds like, and I think practice makes perfect. And in my experience working with GlossGenius Educators and Ambassadors, I have been extremely impressed with how tough and like the grit that each one of you has to hustle and do what you love doing the most. And through the hurdles of client relationships or the hard days, it's what your conviction is that keeps you going. So it's really amazing, I love to hear that. When did you make that transition to working for yourself and what was that like?

Candice Whitman

So I was going through a lot at the time. I left a bad relationship and I left a bad relationship with two small children. My son, who was not yet diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum, so he was missing a lot of milestones and things like that. I was a single mom for the first time and all that I had was this job that was more of a hobby than a job. And so I went to the corporate world just kind of as a means to an end and I loved it there. I learned a lot in a very short amount of time, but I was going through so much with my kids and my own personal life and I needed to free up my life, I needed to be able to be a mom, I needed to be able to kind of create my own hours.

And I thought, if I can teach stylists every day how to be successful, there's no reason that I can't just go out there and have that same success, and also have the freedom to do all the things that I need to do and be the mom that I need to be to my kids. So that really was kind of the driving force – it was my kids, it was my life, and my mental health honestly, to be just completely transparent with that – I needed that slowdown and that grounding again.

Dani Berkowitz

At the point that you did become your own boss and took that leap – because that's what it was – was that before or after you found GlossGenius?

Candice Whitman

So I made that leap on a whim. It was against everything in my good nature but I was like, I need to do something for me, and I need to do it now. And so I put in my notice and left, and I went out and just became a booth renter renting a chair in someone else's salon. And I had no real clue how I was going to do it because I wasn't really actively doing hair behind the chair when I left. I had maybe 20 clients that were mostly like friends and family and things like that. But I just really tried to spend all my time that I wasn't working in my business working on my business.

And so I started doing that and it started growing, and I was trying to keep up and I found myself back in that same state of mind of like 'I can't keep up with this pace.' And that was why I had left the corporate world – because I needed that slowdown. So I told myself I would not do that again. And I was struggling to keep up, you know, with my text reminders and confirming appointments with clients that I had coming in, with keeping my notes because I'm not the most organized person by nature. All of those things were just kind of starting to weigh on me after a bit.

And so I was like 'There's got to be a better way!' And I looked around just like in the app store, of all things. I started looking around in the app store, I was like 'Please let there be this magical scheduling system' or something that I can use that will at least send out text reminders. If it can at least do that, I'll be happy. And I downloaded a couple of different apps and tried those out. The first one that I downloaded was okay, but it wasn't my brand, I'll say that. We're in the business of making people pretty and it wasn't pretty or easy, it wasn't any of those things that I was looking for. So I really wasn't too thrilled or excited about that. Any features that I needed, that I was excited about, all of a sudden cost extra, so that was kind of a mess.

I tried another one out and I liked it at first but I needed some help with putting everything in there. And I remember getting onto the website, and it told me to call the 1-800 number. So I called the 1-800 number and it told me to go onto the website. And I went round and round and got no answers and no help. So here I was in this world of being out there on my own for the first time, like not only as a mom, but as a business owner, and then just being completely lost and alone in that moment. And so I was like 'You know what, let's try one more.'

So I tried another app and immediately not only did I find a beautiful website that was easy-to-use, my clients didn't have to download anything – and I know that about my clients that if it's easy for them to do, they'll do it. Once it ruffles the feathers a little bit, they just won't do it. So I love that it was super easy for them to use. It had everything that I was looking for in an app at the time. And yeah, so that was what brought me to GlossGenius and it's been awesome, like I said, since then to watch it grow as my business develops, they're also developing. So I don't ever have that struggle of 'I need more' because there's always more coming.

[CTA_MODULE]

Dani Berkowitz

I want to actually go back to what you mentioned about the corporate world and how you realized that it wasn't really for you and you had to create that boundary in order to maintain balance in your work and personal life. What did you take with you that you apply to your business today?

Candice Whitman

I think boundaries for one, like you spoke about. Before, I was getting emails at all hours of the night, texts at all hours, and when I started receiving that same thing but just from clients instead of your management teams or whatever, I was like 'This is the same thing.' I don't want that anymore. I don't want the chaos. I don't want the craziness in my life anymore. I want to be in charge of my own schedule. I want to have work be work and home be home, and have that separation there for myself and for my kids.

Dani Berkowitz

And is that where you learned the basics of inventory management, or is that something that you had to once again find self-education for?

Candice Whitman

Both. I really started that inventory management there working in the corporate world, because we focused very heavily on retail there. I started learning the basics of merchandising and inventory, and just processes and systems, and how to drive your team and manage your team well in those moments, too. So that's kind of where I started it. And then going out on my own, I really kind of took that turn there that was less about selling what was offered to you and creating my own opportunities.

Dani Berkowitz

So when did the wheels start turning for Candice's own line of product?

Candice Whitman

So back probably two years ago I would say, I had taken some courses online about retailing, because I knew that was the next step for my business. The first step was just get clients in my chair, just have a full book and get clients in my chair and keep them coming back. And then the next step was really more so around retailing and over the course of really delving into all of that I discovered private labeling in those courses. And just the excitement that that kind of brought to me from not only being able to mark up your products more and have more of a profit, but I was so excited because I was really cherry picking products from all different lines before. And I'm like 'Here, this hairspray is great, but the shampoo is not but use this from this line and that from that line.'

And I really wanted to have something that was more cohesive. And at the same time, I was really learning about branding and trying to focus on who I am and who my salon is as a brand. I wanted to give that to my clients, I wanted them to have something that was great that they knew that they could enjoy, whether it was the shampoo – they didn't need three different lines – it was all there and all-in-one.

Dani Berkowitz

Well your launch was just a few weeks ago: How has it been so far? Have people been really excited about it and reacted to it? I mean, I need to order my own.

Candice Whitman

I have been so pleased since it began. You know, even from my stylists at the shop, I've back-barred all the products so that they can use it. And I've loved seeing that excitement in them because I've worked really hard on this and so it's nice to see when somebody appreciates your baby there wherein somebody says 'Hey, you've done a great job with it.' It's nice to see that whether it's with my stylists or my clients who are now trying it for the first time and sending me texts and things, you know, like 'I love it.' 'This is the softest my hair has ever been.' And people are so supportive – they are just blown away that you can do that, you know that you can private label, a lot of them don't even know that's a thing.

Dani Berkowitz

When you input inventory into GlossGenius, do you use any other software in addition to GG or are you using GlossGenius solely to manage, scan, and process those transactions?

Candice Whitman

So the whole product selection on there was super easy. That's what I wanted when I was really focusing on retailing. I wanted something that would be easy for me, because I wanted to keep track of it, I wanted to know all of my numbers, I wanted to grow this thing. And I knew I couldn't do that without all of the tracking and having it be easy-to-do so that I can actually log it and track it because it's not easy. Yeah, being able to put everything into GlossGenius and having it keep track of how many products I have on hand, or what my cost out of pocket was for that product, how much profit I've made on it, what my best sellers are when I go to reorder product – that way I know if I need to order more than I ordered before. All of those different things, the reporting that goes along with it, all of those things really are the things that I was looking for. 

Dani Berkowitz

What kind of advice would you give someone who was opening up their salon for the first time?

Candice Whitman

I think with retailing, one, it's knowing your market. Knowing your clientele that you serve, what their price point is that they're looking for, what types of products they're looking for. Two, really doing your homework and your research around all of that. And then, three, I would say really spreading that word and creating that excitement. Using GlossGenius, when I launched my product line, I was able to every couple of weeks or every week up until the launch, start creating that buzz and that excitement through email messaging, through text campaigns, so all of my clients were really excited.

By the time my products hit the shelves, they came in and were ready to make their purchase, because they already knew what all my products were, they knew what the cost was, they knew the features and benefits before it even hit the shelves. So I love that, using GlossGenius, I had that power to kind of create that excitement and drive that buzz a lot sooner than I normally would have without it.

Dani Berkowitz

Can you tell us a little bit about how GlossGenius has impacted your business?

Candice Whitman

So my story with Gloss really started out being that single mom who left with two laundry baskets full of stuff in the middle of the night, and starting my life over – and that was a very scary place to be in. But with Gloss, I've been able to grow my own business, grow myself as a business owner – I'm doing the things that I couldn't do before. I couldn't keep track of client notes and do all of those things because my mind is just always so scattered in a million different places. And Gloss really helps ground me, it'll send me the text message that says 'Hey, write down the note for so and so.'

So I'm doing all of those things now that I wasn't doing before and it's really given me my life back in terms of being able to be there for my kids and having that schedule to where I can, creating the boundaries with my client, feeling like a professional. I think that's something we didn't even really touch on. But you know, when you're getting those 'Hey, girl, I want to go blonde' at midnight, that's not a professional moment with your clients.

And I feel like from the get-go, my clients, they see my booking site, it looks professional, they're able to book everything through it and do things there. And it just has that really professional experience from the start to the checkout with my awesome, cute little card reader – my clients see me as that professional now. And I think that made a world of difference in kind of rebranding and reshaping who I was as a stylist, as a business owner, all of those things.

Cute little story: My daughter actually just ran for student council and she was writing her questionnaire about why she wanted to do it, why she wanted to do student council. And she said 'I want to be a business owner one day, and I'm hoping that some of this will give me those leadership skills so that I can be a business owner one day.' And I had no idea that that was something that she was interested in. I said 'Really, you want to own your own business one day?' And she's like 'Well, yeah, mom. I figured if you could do it, like, I could do it, too.' And I was just in tears because there I was that single mom, sitting in your car, you know, when your baby's in the back? Like, how am I going to make this happen?

And then to see my kids say something like that and recognize that I put the hard work into it, and to know that they're capable of all of those things, too. Like, sorry, I'm getting a little choked up over here, but to see all of that, it just, it hit me in the feels there at that moment, and it still does, obviously, when I think about it.

[CTA_MODULE]

Dani Berkowitz

So I want to dive a little bit deeper on what you mentioned around community. I know you're a GlossGenius Educator, and you have been for a couple years. Tell me about your experience as a community member of GlossGenius, and I would love to hear more about what you were mentioning about not feeling alone.

Candice Whitman

Sure. So I think in the early days, GlossGenius wasn't even really around my town, like no one had really even heard of it yet, around here at least. And I went to the Facebook page and I remember seeing people ask questions on there that I had never even thought about for my business because they were in a different place than I was. And being able to sit back and take all of this information in that was just being shared with me, or being able to be that person, you know, if somebody else was looking for advice about something that I had gone through. 

And I thought what an awesome opportunity for that community and that engagement, and whether it's through social media, or whether it's just through other people that I've met who use Gloss – now we have people locally around here who use GlossGenius – and we all kind of have like a little group chat there where we'll ask each other questions. 'Hey, is there a way to, you know, do this or do that with the app.' And it's really nice that you have other people there who are doing the same thing that you're doing but maybe doing it in a different way, and we're able to kind of share that with each other. 

And then also, like I said, the team there at GlossGenius, I've never downloaded an app and then have the experience where they were like 'Hey, what else would you like for our app to be doing?' Usually it’s – I tell my kids this all the time – you get what you get and you don't throw a fit, right? And so instead, it's really having that app that's working hard for us, just like during COVID and how quickly GlossGenius worked to be able to get those gift cards out so that people could purchase gift cards with us. I've never had that kind of support with any other app that I've downloaded. Pandora has never reached out to me or anything as of yet, you know? So it's been amazing to have that kind of community with the stylists and also with the team there at GlossGenius.

Try GlossGenius free for 14 days!

Follow Us

Join Our Genius Newsletter

Get the latest articles, inspiring how-to’s, and educational workbooks delivered to your inbox.

Run your business the smart and stylish way with GlossGenius

Start free trial

No credit card required.