Laura Campillo is the owner of The Chicago Buzz Barber Shop. Located in Chicago’s Loop, Laura and her team specialize in the latest trends in men’s haircuts and styles, grey blending, women’s haircuts and more.
Just ½ a block north of the Willis Tower, gentlemen and ladies seeking a quick and sleek haircut or style can come to the salon before or after work, or even on a lunch break. Laura and the Chicago Buzz team combine advanced techniques with a traditional salon experience.
What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?
Being a business owner had always been a dream of mine but never did I think I could actually do it. Without a college education, the idea of running a business overwhelmed me. I have been cutting hair since I was 19 years old.
I knew how to grow and establish my business behind the chair, but the idea of taking over an entire salon was daunting. However, when the opportunity to take over the salon came up I felt that I needed to take the leap and do it. I didn’t know how I was going to accomplish this but I felt it in my gut that I would do everything I needed to succeed.
I took over The Chicago Buzz after working as a stylist for 10 years. The previous owner was retiring and wanted to sell the business. I knew The Chicago Buzz hadn’t met its full potential and the only way to reach it was to have control and buy it – it was something I felt I had to do in order to help the business continue to thrive.
Tell us about your business.
Located in the Loop, 2 blocks from the famed Willis Tower, The Chicago Buzz is a community-centric fixture offering a traditional barbershop experience with a modernized twist.
Servicing business professionals in the area, as well as other local Chicagoans, our team works to create a quality experience that can fit into our clients’ busy schedules.
Our services include men and women’s haircuts, shaves, blowouts, coloring, and styles.
Are you currently running any promos/contests/giveaways that you would like our readers to know about?
We are currently offering first-time clients $10 off their initial service in addition to offering Moroccanoil masks for 25% off.
At The Chicago Buzz, we frequently offer free giveaways and promotional items for our clients. We have created everything from free combs, pens, product samples and merchandise with our branding.
The salon’s biggest accomplishment is being successful in the Chicago Loop for 20 years. With all the changes in the city over the last two decades, it can be hard to keep a business thriving for this long.
Community is important to us, though, and we are proud to be celebrating our 20th anniversary of serving our city.
Where is your business based?
The Chicago Buzz Barber Salon is based in the Chicago Loop just half a block north of the Willis Tower
What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?
When I took over The Chicago Buzz, one of the first things on my list was to get the salon up to date on technology.
Bringing on faster internet for customers, updating our website, and shopping around for online accounting software were top of mind.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?
In our industry, the best way to raise awareness and gain new customers is through our existing clientele. Word of mouth has always been the driving force of new clients coming in.
Our team focuses on delivering exceptional customer service because we understand that customers who have a great experience in our shop will refer their friends, family, and colleagues.
Social media is also a great platform for raising awareness that we have utilized.
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
Losing both parents before taking over business was one of the biggest challenges I have faced. One of the other big challenges early on was losing one of my busiest stylists while I was on maternity leave.
Additional challenges that come with running a business is having to let go of negative employees and focusing on creating a good team of people.
How did you overcome these challenges?
I accepted early on that not everything is going to be smooth sailing; it’s what you sign up for as a business owner. My positive attitude has helped me overcome all the negative things that I encounter.
The difficult times are going to happen in business and in life, but I look at them as opportunities to learn and grow. I keep a gratitude journal that is key to helping me stay positive.
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
My sons are the reason I do everything in life, they keep me motivated. I know they are learning from me and I try to be a good role model for them. I stay motivated because I love what I do and am always working on being better.
How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
Not only is The Chicago Buzz a great salon, but it is also an art gallery. We support local artists by displaying their artwork and proceeds of sales to 100% to the artist.
We also have longevity in the market, as we are nearing 21 years in business.
What is the best advice you have received recently?
The best advice I have received is not to overwhelm myself with trying to learn and understand everything, just surround yourself with people who do. Have a great team of lawyers, accountants, and advisers to help you along the way.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
Lead by example. Establish your non-negotiables; make them clear to team members and hold yourself and them accountable. Always have a positive attitude even when times are tough.
What are your favorite business tools/resources and why?
Our online booking feature is my favorite business tool. It allows the client to schedule with us when they think about getting a haircut, not just when we are open for business. The online booking feature allows us to fill our books before and after hours.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
“No-Compromise Leadership” by Neil Ducoff.
What are you currently learning about for your business or looking for help with?
Professional improvement based classes and learning are always happening at The Chicago Buzz, from product knowledge classes, to how to improve our business sessions. This is crucial to keeping our team successful. We currently are holding in-shop haircut classes where we teach each other how to be better at our craft.
What are your goals for the next few months and how are you striving to achieve them?
My goals for the next few months will be to work on my time management and do a better job with social media accounts. I hope to achieve this by delegating some of my responsibilities and hiring a manager.
What social media outlets do you use? List them below.