It all started at Paul Mitchell The School - North Haven, where I graduated at the top of my class and took every opportunity given to me. After graduation, I worked at some of the top salons, then took a leap of faith and opened my own salon in 2014. Gina Bianca Hair was designed to provide a high end experience to all. I wanted to create a place where every day people could have an extraordinary experience and be able to just think about themselves for a few hours. GBH quickly became a successful and busy hair salon in Southington, CT and developed a stellar reputation. As a hairstylist of almost ten years and a business owner for close to 5 years I decided to make some huge changes in the last year and became an independent educator full time. My education program has impacted the industry in many ways. I feel as though my honest and upfront approach to education, business building, PRICING and salon friendly color/cutting techniques have changed the game for many artists. I have always wanted to teach, and my ultimate goal is to be a business educator for our industry as I feel the way our industry is moving, we will need far more business education than is offered.
What were the biggest initial hurdles to building your business and how did you overcome them?
Nothing happens overnight. The biggest hurdles were building credibility and remaining consistent. I have spent hours upon hours creating amazing content and sometimes it’s a flop. I always just keep going, keep posting and keep sharing information as much as possible to build trust with my audience and have become a strong voice in our industry by doing so. The hurdle would definitely be patience and consistency because it’s easier to give up and move to something else. I have never given up and always believed in my education, brand and vision.
What books are you currently reading? And your recommendation for entrepreneurs to read?
At the moment I have been taking a break from my constant audiobook binging and have been embracing some new podcasts I have been into. I love how accessible all kinds of education are. I have branched out into listening to podcasts from other industries to get inspired in new ways instead of divulging in our industry 24/7 I believe many other industries have so much to offer as well. Sometimes when we get stuck in a box and comfortable, we can’t grow. I have been trying to expand my mindset outside of that box. As far as recommendations for reading, I love Dave Ramsey, Grant Cardone, Tony Robbins, Simon Sinek for authors and also will always enjoy a good hair brained podcast!
Did you ever deal with contention from your family and friends concerning your entrepreneurial pursuits? How did you handle it? What would you do differently in hindsight?
I have always had an amazing amount of support from my family. My boyfriend is my biggest cheerleader and always pushes me to the next level. I don’t have many friends because of my busy schedule, but do make time once per month to hang out and relax with the friends I do have. The people I surround myself with are always on my level or doing better. I strongly believe if you are the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.
What would you say was the single most influential factor in your business success?
DRIVE. I would have to say I have always been a driven person and am always looking to the future. It is my biggest strength and biggest weakness I am afraid. I sometimes focus so much on the future that I don’t appreciate the now. Although I need to stop and smell the roses, I am proud of the drive in which has pushed my business extremely far forward!
What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started as an entrepreneur?
Have a balanced personal schedule and wake up earlier. I love to sleep late and I wish I kept up good working out, sleeping eating habits sooner. Its always a struggle when its not a habit so I always urge people to take care of themselves! Thats my next mission is to take care of myself as much as I take care of my business!
What advice would you give to an upcoming entrepreneur locally and internationally?
It’s lonely at the top & trust no one. You don’t need a lot of friends you need a lot of mentors.