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To Grow, Cut

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  • | 11:00 a.m. March 9, 2018
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To earn a big accolade, one area business had to make a lot of cuts. Not in budgets or employees — haircuts.

Boutique Out East Salon & Spa in Lakewood Ranch was recently included in the 2018 Salon Today 200. The industry publication celebrates salon success and includes a listing recognizing 100 salons nationwide that experienced the most sales growth.

Other salons in the region that made the growth list include Avenue Hair Design in Venice; Cutting Loose Salon in University Park; Gordon Salon in Highland Park, Polk County; Monaco Salon in Tampa; and Whole Salon Group in Oldsmar.

Shelly and Mark Gutowski, who own Boutique Out East, saw a 41% increase in sales, from $266,000 in 2015 to $375,000 in 2016, Salon Today reports. This is the first time the salon — open since 2010 — made the list.

Gutowski attributes her 10-employee salon's success to strong growth generally in the area, in addition to Boutique Out East's customer service.

When customers enter the salon, employees offer tea, coffee, soda and snacks. They also start a conversation and consultation, including educating customers on what products to use and how to style their hair. Gutowski tells Coffee Talk Boutique Out East differentiates itself in this way, instead of starting the service without asking the customer any questions. “We really try to give the guest what they want,” she says. “We try to 100% please that guest.”

The salon also hires a coach who comes in once a month to train employees, which Gutowski believes has helped employee retention.

Gutowski has one location now, but hopes to expand someday. “I'm passionate about teaching people how to build their business,” she says, “and be the best for their guest.”


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