2019 Global CEO Excellence Awards

50 CEO MONTHLY / GLOBAL CEO EXCELLENCE AWARDS 2019 Jun19405 Multi-award-winning Urban Betty Salon is a hair salon company that provides hair cutting and coloring services as well as facial waxing andmakeup services. To celebrate her success in this year’s Global CEO Excellence Awards we speak to the Founder and CEO Chelle Neff and invite her to tell us, in her ownwords, the secrets behind her phenomenal success. Best Hair & Beauty Business Leader - Central Texas Spread across two salons in Austin, Texas, Urban Betty was established to fill a gap in the cosmetology market for salons that combined quality treatments with a supportive and transparent internal culture. Chelle provides us with a fascinating insight into how she came to create this revolutionary firm. “Personally, I began my journey as an entrepreneur by first being an employee in the salon industry. I knew from a young age that I wanted to do hair. At the age of sixteen, I was offered the chance to enroll in Cosmetology school at my high school. During my junior and senior years of high school (1993-1995), I attended half days of regular classes and half days of Cosmetology school. When I received my license in 1995, I started working behind the chair at Supercuts. I slowly worked my way up the ladder to higher end salons. “During the early part of my career, I identified a common problem at each of the salon companies that I worked at: a lack of open communication between management and staff as well as no transparency on the breakdown of hairstylists’ earnings. This past experience inspired me to open my own salon company so that I could create a workplace for hairstylists that had systems and structure, as well as provide stylists the ability to break down their earnings. “Finally, I plucked up the courage to open Urban Betty by first working in a small suite at the Gallery of Salons as an independent contractor. That was my initial stepping stone to running my own business. After five years of being in my own suite, I took the leap and opened my own brick and mortar. I named it Urban Betty. Betty is my first name, and I’m named after my grandmother. I had one contractor that worked for me in a space that could house over 10 hair stations. “After 6 months, I had my first employee. Six years later, I had about thirteen people working inside the salon company; half were employees, half were contractors. We moved into a space that was double the size of what we had been in. After a few months, I phased out my contractors and evolved into a 100% commission-based employee salon company. Now fourteen years later, we have two locations with over 50 employees, and I am incredibly proud of how far my business has come.” Today, Urban Betty is a haven for stylists seeking an unconventional workspace and clients seeking the highest possible standard of service and quality treatments. Chelle discusses her leadership style and how she uses this to drive all of her employees to understand and implement her vision. “To ensure my team works to the best of their abilities and feels supported, I lead by example and provide a unique environment in which stylists can flourish. As a CEO I prefer not to micro- manage people. Instead, I like to do things and teach others while I am doing them and then get out of the way. “As part of my focus on creating a great space to work at Urban Betty, I make sure that everyone in my organization understands my vision by having a Code of Honor. It is a set of 10 simple, powerful rules that govern the internal behaviour of our salon company. These rules determine how we treat one another. They are what people are willing to stand and defend, and be accountable for. They are what will keep the team moving when the pressure is on and help me work towards my vision.” With the future stretched ahead of her, Chelle has exciting plans to expand Urban Betty and continue to challenge the established norms in the cosmetology market, as she proudly concludes. “Looking ahead, my core focus is to continue to open more locations and create an Urban Betty product line. I am open to franchising my brand and continuing to evolve it into a company that consistently sets the standard for the salon industry.” Company: Urban Betty Name: Chelle Neff Address: 1206 W 38th St, Ste 1107, Austin TX 78705 Web: www.urbanbetty.com Chelle Neff, Urban Betty