Ana Coronel, Identity Salon by Ana

Ana Coronel, Identity Salon by Ana

Ana Coronel, Identity Salon by Ana

Website

Organizations: Roger’s Park Business Alliance

Services Utilized: Secure Licenses, Buy or Rent Space, Improve Marketing, Join Accelerator, Establish Online

Ana Coronel had a multi-decade career as a hair stylist and colorist before going out on her own to open Identity Salon by Ana in Chicago’s Roger’s Park neighborhood in 2022. “I was looking forward to this when I graduated from school twenty years ago,“ Ana said. “My dream came true.”

Ana says she named her salon “Identity Salon” because she wants her clients to be empowered after their time together “to feel like they can do anything.” In addition, Ana wants to celebrate the uniqueness of each individual client and work with them to accomplish the vision they have for themselves. Ana specializes in “creative color” like vivid red, purple, and blue, as well as the unique applications of color, all of which she showcases on the “before and afters” on her Instagram account.

Ana worked with Rogers Park Business Alliance to learn everything she needed to open a salon as new business owner. She started in the GROW/PROGRESANDO program, a business fundamentals class offered in both Spanish and English. “[RPBA] helped me a lot because there were a lot of things I didn’t know,” Ana said.

When asked about their collaboration, Alexia Guzman, Bilingual Business Advisor at Roger’s Park Business Alliance shared, “To highlight the importance of what we could do, it comes from [Ana] having the talent. She knows the beauty industry. We work to collaborate with her through formalizing that idea, so she can focus on doing what she actually likes.”

Ana enjoys the creativity that she is able to put into her business. She values being able to make her own hours, especially the flexibility to spend time with her daughter. Marketing her business though, is much harder than Ana anticipated. “I thought that maybe if I just start with Instagram, if I have my own page, that more people were going to start making appointments with me,” she shared. “But it wasn’t like that.” She has been learning more about digital marketing including “Google My Business” and the importance of customer reviews.

Roger’s Park Business Alliance can assist entrepreneurs like Ana who are looking to improve their marketing. “Right now she’s participating in our ‘BAT program’ which is ‘Business Accessibility Toolkit,’” Alexia said. “Ana has been working with a consultant on a storefront redesign and a collaborative marketing endeavor to work on solidifying [her] brand loyalty and reward system.”

When asked about the future of her business, Ana says she looks forward to growing the salon with more stylists. She loves spending time at the salon, and she hopes to expand her offerings by learning from her customers.

Develop Your Idea – Identity Salon

What is the problem you were trying to solve?

“A place where people could feel comfortable. A [salon] where they feel good, that offers a good vibe.”

What is your product?

“Haircuts, products for the hair, hair coloring, hair removal, and hair extensions.”

How did you price your product?

“[By taking into account], my materials, my products, and my time.”

Who is your ideal customer?

“[Customers between] 35 and 50. [Mostly] women. Most of my clients like telling me their life story. They’re really open with me.”

How did you make your first sale?

“The first client was walking by [my salon]. That was the first or second week. I got nervous actually. I tell my clients, ‘Please give me a review if you are happy with my services.’ So on ‘Google My Business’ when people search for [salons in the area] I can be one of the first ones [listed].”

 

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