Fostering Community: 2023 Spirit of Franchising MVP Award
Name: Austin and Lisa Campbell
Units: 18 Sola Salon Studios
Family: Married, 2 children
Years in franchising: 17
Years in current position: 17
Austin and Lisa Campbell are the 2023 Spirit of Franchising MVPs (Most Valuable Performers), awarded for extraordinary and enduring performance, growth, and community giving. (Note: This profile is with Austin Campbell only.)
Austin Campbell, who has been expanding his Sola Salon Studios business—despite the challenges of recent years—is an admirable example of how to infuse advocacy into business success. During the Covid pandemic, he was forthright with officials about beauty professionals’ ability to safely operate. He also supported the creation of an educational community center for Sola professionals, relevant beauty product companies, and educators to host classes and events. “We named it the Sola Creative Space,” says Campbell, “and it’s free to the Sola community to hold networking events, art classes, business classes, and personal gatherings.”
In addition, Campbell found a way to help others when he and his wife spent time at San Diego’s Ronald McDonald House. “We wanted to help other families and discovered an opportunity when we saw an empty salon space there,” says Campbell. “We renovated it and made the salon functional again, and our Sola San Diego partnered with the local Ronald McDonald House to open a studio inside.”
All this aligns well with Campbell’s basic ideas on how to conduct business. “I strongly believe that a successful business should be deeply rooted in its local community and actively contribute to its growth and well-being,” he says. “Engaging with the community not only benefits the individuals and organizations we support, it also helps to foster strong relationships, establish trust, and build a positive reputation for our company.”
How have you raised the bar in your own company? My marketing manager and I went to the Capitol in the thick of Covid-19 to peacefully lobby on behalf of the industry—fighting for our beauty professionals’ rights to be open during the pandemic and safely operate.
What innovations have you created and used to build your company? We created an educational community center for Sola professionals, relevant beauty product companies, and educators to host classes and events. We’ve named it the Sola Creative Space, and it’s free to the Sola community to hold networking events, art classes, business classes, personal gatherings, etc. It also serves as a podcast room.
What core values do you think helped you win this award? I have always striven for excellence in every aspect of my business. From providing exceptional salon suites and amenities to delivering outstanding customer service, I have set high standards for my team and myself. Upholding integrity is crucial to me as a business owner. I believe in being honest, transparent, and ethical in all my interactions with my clients, beauty professionals, or the community. I also understand the importance of collaboration and teamwork in achieving mutual success. I have fostered a culture of collaboration among the beauty professionals in my salon community, encouraging them to support and uplift one another.
How important is community involvement to you and your company? Community involvement is very important. We strive to give back as much as possible. I strongly believe that a successful business should be deeply rooted in its local community and actively contribute to its growth and well-being. Engaging with the community not only benefits the individuals and organizations we support, it also helps to foster strong relationships, establish trust, and build a positive reputation for our company.
After our daughter’s CHARGE Syndrome diagnosis following her birth in 2013, we stayed at the local San Diego Ronald McDonald House. (CHARGE is a genetic syndrome that requires specialized treatment.) We discovered an empty salon space, which we renovated and made functional again. We partnered with the Ronald McDonald House to open a Sola Studio inside, where professionals volunteer to provide complimentary haircuts and other beauty services to families staying there. This studio is the only one like it in the entire country. It’s our way of providing families with a little respite during times of adversity.
Our team also is partnering with the local children’s hospital foundation to raise money to create a CHARGE Syndrome Center at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego that will provide concierge support and care for families who have a child with our daughter’s genetic syndrome. We also sponsored the inaugural CHARGE Into The Future gala in April 2023 to benefit the CHARGE Syndrome Center at Rady.
Key accomplishments: We are extremely proud to provide Sola Salon suites to more than 700 independent salon owners in the area.
Next big goal: Our team is looking forward to opening our 20th location. Located in Carmel Mountain Ranch in San Diego County, it will be the biggest Sola Salon in the country with 75 independent suites.
What’s your passion in business? My passion for business revolves around empowering beauty professionals and fostering a thriving salon community. I am deeply committed to providing a supportive and inspiring environment for independent beauty professionals to pursue their dreams, build their businesses, and achieve success on their terms.
2023 goals: Our plan is to keep on growing annual revenue.
Vision meter: Where do you want to be in 5 years? By this time next year, we plan to have 25 open Sola locations across the county with the goal of continuing to grow in San Diego and beyond.
What are you doing to take care of your employees? We offer beauty professionals marketing support, price advising, and strategies to help grow their businesses.
Share this Feature
Comments:comments powered by Disqus
- Multi-Unit Franchising
- Get Started in Franchising
- Open New Units
- Featured Franchise Stories