What makes Atelier different from 90% of the salons in Calfornia?

What makes Atelier different from 90% of the salons in Calfornia?

Did you know that only 10% of the salons in California have stylists that get State Disability Insurance, are covered by Worker’s Compensation insurance or have the opportunity to get employer sponsored health care or retirement?  These employees also get half their Social Security deduction paid by their employer.

That’s because only 10% of the salons in California are employment-based.  This is important to us, because if one of our employees is injured on or off the job, they would receive some compensation to help them through a tough time.  This is the kind of salon that our founder, Karie Bennett, opened in 2002.

Employment based salons ensure that all income is claimed, all taxes are paid.  Atelier employees even get sick pay and can receive a 401k with a company match.  Many non-salon businesses don’t even offer that.

Read a bit about it in this article, “Steps for Building A Salon Culture Where Stylists Thrive”, excerpted from Salon Today magazine, February 25, 2016 issue. (Thank you to Salon Today for choosing Atelier to feature in your article)

When Karie Bennett, owner of two Atelier Salon locations near San Jose, California, set out to open a third location with her business partner, Rob Willis, she bought an existing salon with employees that were all independent contractors. For her business plan to work, she needed to convince them all to stay with Atelier and convert to a traditional salon environment and commission pay.

Bennett was nervous about meeting the staff and showing them the value of working for Atelier. So before giving them a presentation she did some research.  She and Willis went to the Professional Beauty Association’s site to research renters versus commission. They calculated different scenarios for the different business plans and found that each time employees benefited from working for Atelier rather than being an independent contractor. This was because Atelier pays taxes, credit card fees, takes care of benefits, overhead and other expenses. Bennett and Willis were able to easily convince the independent contractors to stay on because they made it clear what they would gain as Atelier team members.

Read more about how Bennett and Willis worked through this transition in Aveda Means Business’ article, “Buying a Business: Converting Booth Renters to Team Members.”


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Atelier literally means "artist's workshop", which explains our approach of combining superior education with creative vision to bring out your authentic beauty, while enhancing your best features to suit your lifestyle. At Atelier, you are our greatest work of art.