Enjoy Local, Support Local
Since our establishment in 2006, Team Chais has been committed to supporting small businesses in Tampa Bay. We understand the struggles that entrepreneurs often face when first launching their concept, we’ve been there too. That is one of the reasons we’re dedicated to being Tampa’s go-to resource, promoting all things local. Whether it’s shopping, eating, or spending, it is our goal to pour back into the city that makes us so proud! Staying active within our community allows us to celebrate our own uniqueness while we assist to make our city a desired destination. Team Chais is on a mission to shine some light on some of our favorite local businesses to show why they are a great addition to the city of Tampa.
Last week I visited The Chelsea, the recently opened hair salon in South Tampa. I met with the owners, Ryne Gallien and Maggie Poole, to learn their take on the efforts put into starting up and operating a business. Stacey Chais treated me to a blowout with Ryne, so that I could get the real experience of one of the many services offered at this fabulous new salon. I asked both owners a series of questions, while Ryne tended to my hair, to uncover the challenges as well as rewards that come with business ownership and their plan to make this new adventure a successful one.
The Chelsea name, inspired by the neighborhood in New York City, opened in April 2019. It is the first business the two friends have ever established, and together they two have collaborated their separate talents, Maggie the master colorist and Ryne the master stylist, to operate this new salon. Keep in mind that these highly trained, licensed professionals didn’t acquire their skills overnight. The two started in a salon in Hyde Park where they began their training and built their clientele. From that point forward the two spent time at the Aveda Institue, salon booth rentals, climbing the ladder of apprenticeships at Level Salon, and eventually at the Vidal Sassoon Academy in London. By this point the two had their clients, including shared clients, a strong friendship and most importantly a shared vision; it was time to take their levels of expertise into their own environment.
As expected of building a new business, there were risks along the way that made the reward seem unachievable. Planning, obtaining licensing, forming an LLC and finding the right space were just a few of the obstacles Ryne and Maggie had to overcome to turn their shared dream into a reality. They credit the success of their space to the support of friends and family, who graciously lent a hand with construction and planning, and their attorney who assisted them with negotiating and the rental agreements. Sitting down with Ryne and Maggie I asked what hardships to realistically expect when forming a business. They both agreed that you can almost always anticipate to go over budget, as the costs of construction, furniture, equipment and decor can quickly add up (so don’t buy everything at once!). They went on to state that having a well thought out plan along with financial stability can help to mitigate the fear of unexpected costs. Lastly they mentioned to utilize your connections to obtain proper advice from other business owners and observe what does and doesn’t work for other business models, to mimic the good and learn from other’s mistakes.
My last question to them regarding their business start up was, “were you ever scared of failing?” I was pleasantly surprised that the answer was an immediate “no!” Ryne portrayed to me that matching the mindset that it will simply all be okay to their new responsibilities and remembering that you can’t just start at the top or become successful overnight helped them to remain confident and encouraged. They even mentioned that the only fear they’ve encountered has been assuring that their employees and customers are happy (and maybe that they keep the lights on). That answer alone clearly shows that their obvious love for their employees and clients seems to keeps their spirits high and stress levels low!
The next time I get any pampering done to my hair, I will be walking through the door into The Chelsea. The relaxed environment inspired by New York art and decor, excellent service and friendly staff led to an incredible experience! I now understand why Stacey Chais visits The Chelsea every week! I loved the opportunity to sit down with Ryne and Maggie to learn the in and out’s of building and growing a business. If you haven’t already had the chance to swing by The Chelsea, head on over to say hello- you are in good hands!