by Ben Schooley
Pam Wiese, owner of Tres Bella Salon has not only set the bar high for the service she and her team provide to their clients, but she has also created a salon that is engaging and professionally challenging for her staff as well. Her desire for an equal footing when it comes to her stylists has enabled Wiese and her team to create one of the area’s most popular salons, and one that is poised for even more success.
Opening Tres Bella Salon just off Main Street in May of 2009, Wiese was no rookie when it came to the salon industry. And she was ready to put that knowledge to work. She begins, “’I’ve been in the industry for 35 years. I’m originally from Illinois and followed my husband’s golf career from Dallas to Austin to Houston and ultimately to here. I always wanted to open my own salon, and we felt like we were going to be in Boerne long enough to actually do it. I had learned so much from the other salons and the other places I had been and I took that knowledge and had a plan for how I wanted to do it. I wanted something more about the guests and about a team and not so much of the ME, ME, ME environment.”
However, there were growing pains as Wiese and her team sorted out the best plan. “We opened as a booth rental, thinking that it would be the way to go. From there we went to commission, and we realized it was still too competitive, and we began to look for something different. Now we are team-based. The goal is to make the guest happy. No more competitive edge – as we grow, the team grows. Their career grows as the business grows and we have a common goal. I wanted people to have a career. Vacation pay. 401K. Education funds. This is our core structure and is very unique to us. They are paid an hourly wage – no commissions – everyone’s hair gets made beautifully, we’re not trying to up-sell clients services or sell you product you don’t need. We just provide the absolute best service we can, and we do so as a team.”
While the pay structure and culture is rather unique, Wiese’s training and certifications are what she credits with the level of service that Tres Bella Salon is providing. “We have skill certifications – it doesn’t matter if you’ve been a stylist for one day or one decade, you don’t get on the floor until you’ve passed them all. We don’t want to focus so much on how busy one person is vs the other – sometimes one girl is helping the other one to grow so we all lean on each other to grow their books and to be busier.” With this level of service, the Salon also is enjoying its new location off Old San Antonio Rd. “We moved here in January of ’19. We’ve had tons of new guests, the best parking, new everything…we have private rooms for skin care so it’s been a great move. We are super sustainable also and recycle 90% of our waste. We only use products that are good for our bodies..from our skin to hair care…why not give them something better for their bodies?? Several of our busiest months have been here. We had lots of new guests and lots of new referrals from folks that have found us. We’re really trying to work on the facial room along with a great skin care line from Italy. We’re always growing with people so we’re always looking for more members, our hours are longer with 8a-8p every day so things just continue to expand.”
Debbie, Lu, Courtney, Molly, Angelica, Dana, Megan, and Aubrey (the entire team) have embraced initiatives beyond simply their client counts. Wiese continues, “In April we do Sustainable beauty month and we rotate community vs worldwide groups. Last year we made a cookbook and made money for the Cibolo Nature Center. We work closely with the Chamber of Commerce, and we have donated to virtually every school in town. The Kendall County Women’s Shelter gets a discounted rate. We do try to pick one person each year that helps us pick the group we are going to help each year.
We donate all the hair to a group that soaks up oil spills so we never throw away your hair! The recycling thing is a big deal for me. It was super exciting for me to see how much of an impact a little salon can make in our world.”
It’s clear that the motivations for Wiese and her team are not simply financial. A diverse group of women, they are focused both personally and community-wide. And it has kept them grounded and goal-oriented. Wiese finishes, “If i’m going to do something like this and have a salon, I want something that is good for all – from the customers to my staff to my family. For my 35 years in this crazy business, I remain super passionate about the industry. I love seeing someone right out of school and they’re rocking it so much and learning so fast and they’re bringing new trends and keeping me younger, too. We’re good here, and we’re happy. It’s a great place and I’m just so grateful and we don’t need to be the biggest and be all over the world with many locations – we’re just going to do good where we’re at, and this is where we’re at. And not a day goes by I’m not thankful to be in this location with this team, doing what we’re doing.”