Salon Spotlight On Core Salon in Randolph, New Jersey


Just like an editor selects the best stories for the front page of a newspaper, Art of Business is intentional with the brands, education, and services we deliver to our salons.

Michelle Parkes, Salon Owner at Core SalonNobody has taken this advice and curation to heart more than Michelle Parkes, Salon Owner at Core Salon in Randolph, New Jersey, and Educator for Beth Minardi Signature Shades hair color.

“I’ve never received support like I do from Art of Business,” she said. “They want to see their salons succeed and do well.”

That means a lot coming from Parkes, an industry veteran with more than 20 years of experience. When she speaks, she speaks from experience as a stylist, educator, and salon owner, as well as her time working with distributorships.

With all of her experience, Michelle knows that starting a new venture isn’t always about being 100 percent prepared, but rather having a nagging feeling that you could do better. It’s also about outside sources—like a distributorship—seeing the potential and providing the critical support to ensure success.

Her salon shelves are stocked with non-diverted products like Unite, Davines, Cezanne, Eufora, Reuzel, and Evo, all of which provide excellent support on top of the support that Art of Business provides, most evident when it comes to education.

“My team gets excited with an Art of Business class. Their time is valauble— but they know it’ll be worth the investment.”

We’re learning from Parkes’ example, too. When she opened her salon, she had to make deliberate choices to run the successful business she has today.

“When making choices for your business, it has to be good for the salon, good for guests, and good for employees.”


Everybody is friendly, from the moment the guest checks in at the front desk, to the refreshments, the consultation, the time in the chair, and the shampoo bowl. The services are also executed in the same way. For example, the shampoo, which is a spa-like experience, is the same whether it’s done by Rebecca or Ashley.

“It’s almost like the TV show Cheers. The culture we have here is homey and comfortable. Everyone says hello. They greet the guests by name.”

With every new brand, we have a product knowledge class. It’s mandatory for everyone, from front desk management to assistants and stylists of all levels. We even test the front desk and assistants on product knowledge. A week after the class, we’ll often do a lunch-and-learn session where we break into two groups and go over product knowledge once again, jut to completely ensure thorough knowledge and consistency.

Training and Onboarding

“First, I needed talent to execute the services, so I hired stylists with following. Then, after I established a base I started home-growing my own talent. Now, I often hire apprentices fresh from cosmetology school. It’s simpler to integrate them into our culture and train them the Core Salon way.”

Core Salon in Randolph, New Jersey
Customer Service

“Our online presence is five-star. If it’s not, I’m on top of it. We do surveys as a way to gauge guest satisfaction. Anything under a five is unacceptable, so I make sure to communicate a guest’s experience with the team.”

Meetings and check-ins are invaluable ways that teams can communicate goals and brainstorm ways to drive the business forward. If everyone is on the same page, it’s a lot easier to scale the company, as everyone knows the end picture and can take small steps that add up to big results.

“Art of Business has one-on-one meetings with me to my grow my business. They look at my numbers and come up with promotions and ideas. Kristi my sales rep is amazing. I love her to death. She comes in and says, ‘What can I do for you?’ They aren’t just about maintaining, either. They help the salons grow by giving them opportunities. One of my team members, Laura, is now a brand ambassador for Eufora because of them.”

We respect the craft of hairdressing and see it as a career, just like Parkes does.

“When I became a stylist, nobody showed me a career path. Now, I show my team the growth they can achieve and give them what I never had, and Art of Business inspired me to do that.”

Core Salon captures every ounce of knowledge from their team. When the assistants and front desk staff are ready to move up, Michelle states that they will have the chance to leave their legacy and train the new talent coming in.

“Art of Business gives the salon a path to help them grow and be successful, just like I give our apprentices a career path.”

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