A day in the life of... a beauty salon franchisor | Global Franchise
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A day in the life of… a beauty salon franchisor


A day in the life of… a beauty salon franchisor

Vanessa Yakobson, 55, is the CEO of Blo Blow Dry Bar

Franchise focus

Having “elbowed” her way into the company, Vanessa talks about the challenges of a CEO.

I was first introduced to franchising in 2001, my husband and our business partners started a children’s hair salon concept in the Toronto market. It was originally all corporate locations, and then they began to franchise.

My job entails setting the strategic direction of the company and inspiring people to rally around and move toward the realization of that strategy and vision.

I got my job when I ended up working on a special project with the Blo team. While I was there, I had the opportunity to gain greater insight into what was going on and what the potential was for this business. I sort of elbowed my way in there.

What I love most about my job is the people at the office, our franchisees, and the people who work for them, and knowing that this business creates this wonderful opportunity for franchisees to realize their entrepreneurial dreams.

The most difficult part of my job is the challenge of dealing with so many different people who are geographically dispersed and have their own stores.

The philosophy that I like to live by is to regularly check in with myself and ask myself, from both a personal and professional perspective, ‘Am I doing what I want to be doing? Is there anything I’m not doing that I’ll regret later?’.

My professional strengths come from being a general manager. I have my MBA and I have lots of varied experience, so I know a little bit about a lot of different things. As CEO, that has served me well – I can talk the talk with every department.

The most overrated virtue is having to know it all. It’s perfectly okay for senior leaders to not know everything and to feel comfortable asking someone to explain or clarify something they don’t understand.

The hustle

From her morning routine to her idea of the perfect night, we took a sneak peek behind Vanessa’s schedule.

I get up by 6:45 am. Sometimes a little bit earlier if I’m trying to fit in a workout.

My morning routine is to drink coffee, read the newspaper and work out at least a few days a week. I might quickly check a few emails or texts, if anything’s urgent, then I check my schedule and hit the road.

My set working hours I would say are around nine-to-five. But as an entrepreneur, you’re always working.

I don’t have anyone I need to get organized, I’m very fortunate. I’ve got grown kids and a husband who are all very independent.

It doesn’t take me long to get ready for work, I’m pretty efficient. I learned a few tricks of the trade along the way.

I reach the office between 8.00 am and 9:15 am. I don’t have a uniform, but what I wear is something I think about. I love fashion and buying new clothes.

I always want to be comfortable because I spend a lot of days sitting at a desk. But I’m in the beauty business so, I do want to wear beautiful clothes that are on trend.

My perfect evening is dinner with my family and then relaxing with a great show on TV or a good book. Or a half hour session on my guitar and then in bed by 11 pm.

I usually leave the office by about 5 or 6 o’clock. It takes me 10 minutes to get home after I leave the office. When driving home, I usually use that time to call my kids, mother-in-law and friends to check in with them. It’s the only time I get to connect with people outside of the office.

If I can’t get to sleep, I try not to think about work; a little bit of meditation to relax me and put me back to sleep. If all else fails, a couple of minutes with a book.

Get to know…

Going all the way from Vanessa’s idea of success and what she values the most in her friends to the most adventurous experience in her life, we get to know the woman behind Blo Blow Dry Bar.

My least favorite chore is having to tidy up the kitchen after dinner when I’ve had a long, tiring day.

Exercise is a part of my routine, at least three days a week, sometimes four or five.

In my friends, I most value a sense of fun, joie de vivre and authenticity.

My idea of success is doing something that brings great satisfaction, something that enables you to have a feeling of accomplishment.

The closest thing I have to a role model is my husband, not because I always agree with him! But he’s always my sounding board. He has great insight, and he’s been successful in so many ways.

The most adventurous thing I’ve done is probably taking up cycling, which ended with a big crash that scraped me to pieces and kept me at home for two weeks. So, that was the beginning and end of my adventurousness!

I don’t have a biggest regret, because I try not to put myself in a position where I will regret something. To me, the worst regrets are the things you didn’t do.

If I could change one thing about myself, I’d like to be more organized and plan the next day the night before.

When I was little, my dream job was to be in business, running a company.

The talent I’d most love to have would be to be a great singer and guitar player.

My proudest achievement in life is raising three amazing kids.

My motto in life is ‘It’s not what you’re dealt with in life, but how you deal with it that counts’.

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