Moving Ahead

Well I've spent all this time researching two important aspects of the business I am building. One is what areas I want to focus on and the other is marketing, both online and hardcopy.

I have thought long and hard about the areas of hairdressing and styling that I enjoy and feel most comfortable in and they are: styling, coloring of ladies' hair and wigs for smachot (simchas) and for every day – which takes me to wig revitalization and every day upkeep, as well as repair and eventually selling a line of wigs.

After much back and forth, I have landed on a company name. It's interesting, but Yochi Designs (or is it Design?) is taken by someone in the States with a Jewelry line. Nice line. In any case, marketing issues has kept me up nights. Not really, but it sounds good – and has kept me going.

Where to begin with marketing: the obvious areas are the simple online community groups such as Five Towns and Janglo/Tanglo which I will do the second I open my 'tikim' in Mas Hachnasa, Bituach Leumi and Ma'am.

Then there is the next ring: 'simcha sites' both here and in abroad, who deal directly with, well simcha issues. These are of course broken up into two: free and not free or free and free, with better exposure if you pay a certain per month/per year fee. The simcha sites are frum sites, so I keep my target audience focused.

I am already (almost, I assume) listed in Dapei Zahav under Wigs. It's free for one listing. A representative is supposed to call me about multiple listings and even about site design costs. Funny, the representative that called me today, asked if I wanted to speak to a female rep about the site, I guess she felt that if I dealt in wigs I would only speak to a woman. In any case….

The next ring is printed media – my target newspapers are Makor Rishon and Sheva – which will need a heft budget, but I believe, will have the return I am looking for in the long run. I believe I need to publish in both for at least six months to see a worthwhile ROI.

Just this week I have taken up the challenge of my site. Looking at other stylists and sheitel macher sites, seeing what I like and don't like. Trying to see the site from the view point of my target audience – the ladies I would like to work with on a very long term basis. After looking again and again at sites, I have finally formed a good site map in both Hebrew and English and am again looking at quotes for the site and hosting.

The url name I want is available – so that's good. Ok, I doubt there are thousands of Yochi Eisner's out there looking to open and sheitel and hair design business.

The issue of the gallery of pictures suddenly changed today. I have a 'book' of pictures produced from the styles I created throughout my styling classes. Yesterday I did background color checks with my husband to see which was the most pleasing. Which by the way is the mottled yellow of the living room. But as I discussed the issue with my daughter – I realized that with the amount of effort I need to recreate all the styles I learned and more – why not find a live model "bride" and recreate the styles on her and then have pictures of gals (and not of an admittedly ugly doll head) to upload onto my site. Obviously I'd pay the gal for her time – it would take some time to do this, but the effort would be worthwhile in all aspects. All I need is to dress the gal up in a pretty white top and get going. Now the search is on to get a model here in Hadera and get cracking.

Leaving high tech for high style

After years in hi-tech, I am moving in an entirely different direction. During the last few years, I played with the idea of changing careers, but never took the plunge. This year, just after Chanukah, I grabbed the opportunity and began to study to become a sheitel macher - hair design, cutting, styling and dyeing – wigs and ladies hair. And here is the rest of it.

It's funny but the smell of hair spray - even as a kid - was intoxicating. I have vague memories of teasing my grandmother's friends hair, back in the Bronx - how old was I then?

While the idea of hair styling and cutting was something 'others' did and the idea of actually becoming a sheitel macher was totally absurd, I loved to watch (and learn) while other people cut and styled hair. Through the years I've had a fascination for all of 'my' sheitel machers and watched their every move intently.

In my teens and early twenties, I cut anyone's hair that would let me. I cut my own kids hair until the day I called it quits and let the 'experts' have a try.

Now I am out of the hi-tech world and its madness. No more racing around and losing sleep to create technical documents and marketing materials for a product with a self-destructing shelf-life of three weeks.

Now I work with women. I work with one of their most precious external assets – their hair and their looks. Beauty may be only skin deep and שקר החן והבל היופי – but let's be serious, we are all concerned about our looks. Studies have shown that good looking people have a better chance at the 'better jobs' and are more likely to get raises. We have to stop fooling ourselves, we need it all - smarts and looks - and now it is my turn to work on looks.

Through the years I have been the kotel and therapist for many friends. Now, while I shampoo, crème rinse, cut, style (tease, pull, comb, brush and in general, torture), dye and fit, I can listen to so many more women and let's be honest, get paid for it.

One of the services I look forward to giving is helping women change their appearances. Not in the 'Oprah 20-minute makeover' approach, but in the "let's discuss who you are today and where you want to go and HOW YOU WOULD LIKE TO LOOK" approach. Taking each women on that journey and listening to what she wants.

I am converting one of my spare bedrooms into a 'heimishe' salon, where women can come to have their hair done, have their sheitel renewed, buy a new sheitel and talk. I will also go to client homes to style hair for simchas.

I know the level of service I need, want and desire and know I can give that level to other women.

I have the plans in front of me and I am now beginning the journey to my own future.