Nina Tulio is a salon consultant who is well-versed in all aspects of salon management, marketing and revenue growth. She can quickly identify the areas in your business that need attention, and will be sure to provide you with a solid solution. In 1996, Nina began her career as a hair stylist. She quickly became a salon manager and then a district manager for a chain of 8 salons in Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania. Impressed by her business acumen and talent for managing multiple salons, the chains’ owners invited her to join them as part owner and manager of a chain of salons in West Palm Beach, Florida.
In 2006, she went to work on her own dream. She moved back from Florida and hit the ground running. Nina founded a successful organic hair and beauty salon in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Her boutique salon, focused on helping her clients be their beautiful best. In October of 2016, Nina sold her salon after 11 successful years in business. She is excited for her next venture in consulting and growth management. It is extremely important to Nina to share her experience and knowledge with other salon owners and stylists. More importantly it is her passion to inspire and encourage others to grow not only professionally, but personally.
What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?
I love to inspire other people. I love to watch people grow and watch them set goals and achieve them. I am fortunate to be in an industry where I can also make people feel beautiful from the inside out. I owned a successful natural/organic based hair salon for almost 11 years and am running my second business now. I also worked behind the chair as a stylist. The look in your clients’ eyes when you turn them around after their new cut and color is just priceless. But I also knew my I had a bigger purpose.
I thrived off motivating and inspiring my team. Leadership is something that is deep in my soul. So, after 11 years, I decided to sell my hair salon and start a consulting business to continue to coach salon owners to become salon leaders and stylists to become business savvy behind the chair. This is such an exciting new journey for me. I am truly honored to work with, coach, and share my love and passion for this industry.
Tell us about your business.
My business is called 1N Agency. It is a growth management agency designed to coach salon owners and stylists to their next level of success. I wanted to create coaching programs and webinars that would target areas of growth for both stylists and salon owners. After being in the industry for 21 years, I have seen so many salons come and go. One of the challenges for salon owners is that, although they are talented behind the chair, they just don’t have the tools to understand what it takes to run a business and lead a team of people. It’s unfortunate, but there isn’t a school per se for salon owners. I want to provide not only the tools and the knowledge, but a platform to create more leadership within the industry I am so truly passionate about!
Are you currently running any promos/contests/giveaways that you would like our readers to know about?
Currently I am running a promotion for personal coaching. Sign up for 1 month of coaching and you will receive 1 hour of complimentary coaching. I also feature 1 stylist and 1 salon owner each month with a full blog interview. I love creating these blog interviews because they are real life stories about real life stylists and their journey to success behind the chair. These blog features are designed to inspire and encourage other stylists in the industry.
- LVB Citizenship Award Finalist
- Dec 2016 – Lehigh Valley Business
- LVB Business of the Year Awards
- Citizenship of the Year Finalist
- Woman of Style 2016
- Aug 2016 – Lehigh Valley Style Magazine
- Ambassador Award EIBA
- May 2015 – The Grater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce
- 40 Under 40 Lehigh Valley Business 2015
- Apr 2015 – Lehigh Valley Business
- Lehigh Valley’s Finest – Cystic Fibrosis Foundation 2012
- October 2012 – Lehigh Valley Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
- Board Member and VP of Programs for the Women’s Business Council – Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce – 2013-2016
Where is your business based?
My salon was based in Allentown, PA but I have since moved to New Haven, Connecticut. What’s nice about my business is I can coach people across the country – thanks to modern technology.
What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?
My first step to my consulting business was spending time doing research, doing my homework and due diligence on the industry and its needs. Even though I have been in the industry for 21 years, things are ever evolving and changing constantly. I wanted to be sure I was going to provide a message that would resonate with new and seasoned salon owners and stylists.
Secondly, I wanted to come up with a name. This was important to me so I could cultivate a clear, solid, and sustainable brand and message. My business is solely based on social media platforms and word of mouth. I knew I would have to create a solid brand along with great content to get my message across to thousands through these social platforms.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?
Hands down social media. I went from a business where I built most of my business face to face at local networking events. To now, learning how to connect with clients solely on social media. Facebook ads are my best friend at this point! Also, word of mouth is another great tool. Once you have clients that love you, they will tell everyone they know and start sending you referrals.
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
Time management and work life balance have both been a challenging for me. I feel like when I have a deadline, I try to cram everything in on the last day instead of setting up a schedule. Also, I will work 12 hours a day, which I realize is not healthy. I am a bit of a perfectionist, so I will not quit until everything is just perfect. I am still a work in progress!
How did you overcome these challenges?
First I set up a calendar with a to-do list. I have post it notes all over my office to keep me organized. Secondly, I make sure to take time out a few days a week to go to my yoga class. I also try to shut down after 7PM. My husband is good at reminding me to take time off as well.
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
I believe I am a positive person. And I also believe everything happens for a reason. I am a person of faith. I feel that no matter what happens to me, or what I go through, God will never let me down. When things don’t go as expected, I am not disappointed because something better is in store for me. I also read self-help books and positive quotes on a regular basis. It’s important to fill yourself as much as possible, so you have enough to give to others.
How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
I truly feel there is a coach for every person out there. It must be the right fit. What is different about me is that I have lived through the successes and the challenges of being a salon owner and stylist. I can totally relate to everything my clients are going through. Because of that, I truly put my heart and soul into each person that works with me.
I just want to inspire people. I want someone to look at me and say, because of you I didn’t give up. No matter how successful you become. Be authentic, stay true to yourself and always remember where you came from. People like to do business with people they like and trust.
What is the best advice you have received recently?
The importance of patience. This is something I have been working on for years. One of my dear friends said to me. “You can’t expect everyone to know about your business overnight. This takes time and it takes patience. Slow and steady wins the race. Continue to put out great content, work hard, be yourself, and all will happen organically, and at the time it’s supposed to.”
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
What you think of yourself is far more important than what others think of you. Don’t be distracted by outside noise. Stay focused, and keep your eye on the big picture. If you want to be successful not only in business but in life, do these 5 things:
- Do something you are passionate about
- Work incredibly hard
- Be kind
- Stay humble
- Give back to your community
I know I make it sound so simple. But in my eyes, this is a true recipe for success.
What are your favorite business tools/resources and why?
A big part of my business is hosting live webinars. I started using Webinar Ninja a few months back and I love it. I also use MailChimp for my email marketing campaign. Also, FaceTime makes my life so much easier. Since I have coaching clients across the country, it allows me to connect with them face to face. It makes it more personal.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
A dear friend sent me a great article called, “The Brilliant Career Advice from Deloitte’s CEO in one sentence.” I love this article because she talks about personally coaching her team and how she grew her company by doing so. I also just read “The Leadership Challenge” by Kouzes and Posner. Such a great book!
What are you currently learning about for your business or looking for help with?
I am always searching for the latest and greatest on social media, not only for myself, but also for my clients. It is ever changing, and I want to be sure I am up with the trends to continue to help them grow their business. Also, keeping up with new salon software and its benefits, so I can share this with my clients as well.
What are your goals for the next few months and how are you striving to achieve them?
My goals for the next few months is to spend more time in salons teaching stylists and salon owners how to grow their businesses. I also want to do more speaking engagements. My goal is to travel around the country, sharing everything I have learned from my mentors about growing a salon business and the importance of leadership within the industry.
What social media outlets do you use? List them below.
Linkedin Nina Tulio
Hashtags #1nagency #salonowner #hairstylist #businesswoman #beautyblogger
John Michael Seda says
Great article! A lot of factors needed to be taken into consideration and careful planning to be able to have a successful business. Thanks!