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BUSINESS SUCCESS STORIES

Honey Salon

Rebecca Barr has been in the hair industry for 14 years. "I have always had a passion and have been good at styling hair; however, the inspiration to get into the industry didn't arrive until I was living above a hair salon in Madison. I really enjoyed their environment and wanted have that for my career," Barr said about her beginnings in the industry.

After attending the Aveda Institute, Barr began her career as employee or Independent Contractor at salons and has continued to do so ever since. Her furthest destination was in Hawaii, where she worked at a resort and would travel around the islands for weddings. However, it was in Eau Claire that her career really took off.

Barr approached Western Dairyland, first through their "Business Plan Basics" seminar, and then through one-on-one counseling with a Business Development Specialist.

Barr had always had the ambition to own a business and knew she would appreciate the independence and freedom to use her creative license and connect with the city more. One example of her creativity is the way she set up her shop: by using vintage salon chairs and making a lot of the other décor and furniture by hand.

"Western Dairyland gave me the extra support I needed to take that leap into self-employment and running my own business," Barr said. The Western Dairyland staff assisted Barr with her main concerns of creating a legal business structure, and by seeing the possibilities of financial success through establishing financial projections.

Barr really felt that the Business Development Specialist was able to put her concerns at ease. She knew she had all the industry tools to be successful yet wanted the extra assurance. "It was really nice to have another person walk me through the steps, and that helped me gain more confidence moving forward," Barr said.

Honey Salon LLC has been open now since February 2014. A lot of Barr's clients from past salons have made the transition to Honey Salon and her new client list is growing. She credits her success to having the ability to spend more time on specific ventures, such as offering alternative hair colors that are ammonia free, which are healthier for clients and herself. She also promotes local artists, plans to add a boutique, and will bring in other vendors who promote healthy lifestyles.

Overall, Barr's experience with the Western Dairyland Women's Business Center has been positive, and has proven that her work experience has set her up for business ownership. "The experience in the field really helped once I got to the point of going on my own," Barr said. Her final advice to aspiring entrepreneurs was, "I knew I could do it, and others can, too. You'll be happier for it!"

To book your appointment at Honey Salon go to www.honeysaloneauclaire.com, or call (715) 864-9571.

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