How the Bay Area’s Top Salon is Making Red Carpet Beauty Accessible to All
For us ladies, whenever we have an important event that we must look our best (think weddings, galas, etc.), we know full-well that it’s absolutely necessary we invest an entire day to prep for this big night out.
We’ve got to get our nails done, blowouts perfected, eyebrows sculpted, makeup to last, spray tans for fast color, and so on. To squeeze all these beauty services in one day, we’ve got to drive from salon to salon to salon, only adding more time to that prep. If you’re located in a city, don’t forget to factor in time to find parking over and over again. It’s a painful experience, and as women today get busier and busier, we just don’t have time to successfully complete all these services without sacrificing our entire day.
However, for the women of San Francisco, this day-long routine can now be a thing of the past.
Meet the Social Beauty Co.
Ranked the best salon in San Francisco by Allure Magazine, this one-stop shopping experience allows women to fulfill all their beauty needs under one roof. No more traveling from salon to salon to complete all the services you need before a big night out.
The brains behind this brilliant beauty solution? Nicole Tott-Berger and Julia Solorzano, co-founders of the Social Beauty Co.
Nicole and Julia are “beauty celebrities”. Tott-Berger is known for her red carpet-worthy make up applications and Solorzano has been helping women in the Bay Area get long, full lashes (through expert lash extensions) for over a decade. Their fanbase is large and loyal.
With such a following, Nicole and Julia started thinking about how often they felt that their own beauty needs weren’t being met. They understood (as we all do) what an absolute nightmare it was to prep for a night out. Motivated to eliminate this pain point, Tott-Berger and Solorzano opened the Social Beauty Co. in September 2012.
For those that know these women well, their decision to join the entrepreneurial world was of no surprise. Tott-Berger has always had an entrepreneurial spirit. When she was still in high school, she successfully sold soap and bath salts to help fund her future modeling career in New York City. Being her own boss was always the endgame for Nicole, and after learning that her friend Julia felt the same, the two decided to make the leap together.
What has made their partnership so prosperous? They share the same unique approach to the beauty industry.
As Nicole says, “Beauty has always been part of us. In the beauty industry, there are a lot of ‘mean girls’. But, Julia and I are the nice girls. We want to be friends with our clients and we want our clients to be friends with each other. We want ‘social’ to be part of our brand.”
When the Social Beauty Co. opened for business, they didn’t even have a sign on their door. They were receiving enough traffic from referrals, but hadn’t yet expanded to offer all the services they had initially planned.
So, the founders asked themselves, “Do we want to expand or do we want to stay small?” Tott-Berger says, “having made it 2 years, we knew it was time to grow.”
To get the expansion started, the duo hired 6 new employees and added even more services to their menu. However, Tott-Berger and Solorzano were ready to finish adding ALL the services they wanted to include, so the Social Beauty Co. could finally be THE one-stop-shop for beauty. But, how were they going to fuel this expansion? They had a heart to heart and realized, to get where they wanted to go, they needed funding.
“Our clients were starting at the blowout bars and then coming to us. We knew we needed funding to revamp our current space for blowouts and nails,” says Nicole. “We needed to put in a shampoo bowl and a hair station, as well as acquire the items necessary for waterless manicures.”
To make these additions, Tott-Berger began researching online to evaluate funding options, which quickly led her to Fundera. After reading reviews, she immediately knew Fundera was the best course of action for the Social Beauty Co.
“It was very unique from other things I had seen. Fundera was pro-small business…it seemed that they would actually lookout for us,” reveals Nicole.
After making the decision to move forward with Fundera, Tott-Berger was immediately impressed with how easy the website was to understand. But, her most favorite part of the Fundera experience was the help she received along the way. “My customer success rep, Tom, was exceptional. Trying to figure out which loan is best for your business can be stressful. But even when I was stressing out, he always made me laugh.”
Tott-Berger adds, “Believe it or not, I had a very fun experience with Fundera. And, to be honest, as women business owners, we didn’t just feel legit…we felt accomplished when we got funding for where we wanted to go.”
And, sure enough, the Social Beauty Co. was able to find the funding they needed to grow, to add the new services they wanted to their business and continue toward their goal of providing the all-inclusive experience their customers want and need.
It’s companies like the Social Beauty Co. and entrepreneurs like Nicole and Julia that motivate us here at Fundera each and every day. Not only are we invested in helping them find working capital — we’re invested in their growth. To hear how their funding directly impacted their growth is a true inspiration.
I had the distinct pleasure of visiting the Social Beauty Co. on a recent trip to San Francisco to hear their entrepreneurial story first-hand. It was incredible to see how they had put their funding to use. The shampoo bowl and hair station had already been installed.
I was also lucky enough to get a taste of their superior customer experience. From eyebrows, to makeup, to a spray tan…I got the works! And, without a doubt, it was the the best salon experience I’ve ever had (and I live in New York City…one of the biggest beauty cities in the world).
I can now say that, yes, Allure you are right. The Social Beauty Co. is the best salon in San Francisco. We are proud to call such an amazing company and tremendous women customers of Fundera. Congrats on finding funding, Social Beauty Co. We can’t wait to see where you go!
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