How did you get into the shared salon suite industry? 

After more than three decades as a hairstylist, I ventured into the suite-concept salon industry, driven by a desire to create the perfect working space for the final phase of my career. With a wealth of industry knowledge and ten years of experience in two different suite concept salons, I knew precisely what was needed to cultivate an environment where beauty professionals could flourish. Thus, Utopia Modern Salon Suites was born. The overwhelming demand for suites in our area validated my vision, prompting me to consider expansion beyond our three local locations through franchising. As we embark on opening numerous units nationwide, I’ve discovered a newfound passion for the business aspect of the vibrant and thriving beauty industry. Collaborating with entrepreneurs and providing a supportive environment for beauty professionals to thrive as independent business owners truly ignites my enthusiasm.


What’s New in the Business or in the Franchise Model?

In the salon suites business and franchise model, several trends and innovations are emerging. Technology integration is enhancing the client experience and streamlining booking processes. Flexible membership models are accommodating varying needs, while some concepts are expanding to include wellness offerings. These changes reflect an evolving industry focused on meeting the diverse needs of beauty professionals and clients alike.


Where do you See Opportunities or Challenges for the Franchise/Business Moving Forward? 

Moving forward, opportunities abound for salon suite franchises/businesses. Market expansion, both domestically and internationally, offers room for growth as demand for salon suite concepts continues to rise. Diversifying services by incorporating wellness offerings or specialized treatments can attract a broader client base and increase revenue streams. Leveraging technology to enhance client experiences, streamline operations, and improve marketing efforts provides a competitive edge in the market. Additionally, offering franchise opportunities allows for rapid expansion and scalability, tapping into the entrepreneurial spirit of beauty professionals seeking independence.


However, challenges persist for salon suite franchises/businesses. Increased competition in the market necessitates differentiation and innovation to stay ahead. Finding suitable locations with adequate space, parking, and visibility at affordable prices can be challenging, particularly in desirable markets. Recruiting and retaining talented beauty professionals to fill salon suites is crucial for success, requiring effective marketing and competitive leasing terms. Moreover, adhering to regulatory compliance, including licensing, zoning, and health regulations, can be complex and time-consuming, especially in multiple jurisdictions. Navigating these opportunities and challenges requires strategic planning, adaptability, and a commitment to delivering exceptional experiences for beauty professionals and clients alike.


What is your Goal for the Business Moving Forward? 

Moving ahead, our vision for Utopia Modern Salon Suites is two-fold. Our primary objective is to expand nationwide, solidifying our position in the salon suites market while ensuring consistency and integrity across all our locations. Additionally, we are committed to maintaining our reputation for responsive management, a distinguishing factor that sets us apart from other salon suite franchises. Furthermore, it’s equally crucial for us to be recognized as the salon suite franchise attracting the most successful beauty professionals. Not only do we attract top talent, but we also prioritize helping them cultivate success, fostering growth, and experiencing entrepreneurship. By staying true to these goals, we aim to continue delivering outstanding experiences for both beauty professionals and clients, driving growth and prosperity for our business.


Talk to us About Training and Support, How Do You Deliver with Utopia? 

We pride ourselves on offering comprehensive training and ongoing support to our franchise partners from the moment our partnership begins. Our training program kicks off with in-depth sessions at our company-owned locations and corporate headquarters, providing you with hands-on experience and valuable insights into our systems. During the buildout process, our team comes to you, guiding you through every step and ensuring a smooth transition. We assist in recruiting beauty professionals as tenants and offer continuous support in problem-solving as challenges arise. Once your business is up and running, we remain accessible for any further assistance needed. Additionally, we host annual training sessions where all franchisees gather to share the latest industry news, innovative ideas, and updated training materials.


Define your Franchise Model:

A. Training and Support Model?

Our training and support model is designed to ensure your success at every stage. We guide you through the buildout process, assist in opening and fully leasing your salon, and teach you the day-to-day operations. We include comprehensive, step-by-step instructions on handling tenants regarding recruiting, onboarding and maintaining. We provide continuous support to help you thrive.


B. What is the Fee Structure?

Our franchise model’s fee structure includes a one-time initial franchise fee of $40,000, which covers the cost of initial training, support, and the right to operate under our brand. Additionally, there are ongoing royalty fees of 6% of your gross revenue, which support continued access to our brand, systems, and ongoing assistance. We also require a contribution to our national marketing fund to help promote the brand and drive customer traffic to your location. Furthermore, there may be additional fees for specific services or support, such as technology or extra training sessions, as outlined in the franchise agreement. This structured fee approach ensures that you receive comprehensive support while contributing to the overall growth and recognition of our brand.


C. Territory Definition?

Our territory definition ensures that each franchisee has a clearly defined, exclusive area in which to operate. This territory is typically based on specific geographic boundaries, such as zip codes, cities, or counties, and is designed to provide ample market potential and minimize competition among franchisees. The size and scope of each territory are determined by factors like population density, demographics, and market potential, ensuring that every franchisee has the opportunity to thrive within their designated area.


D. Day in the life of a Franchisee?

During the build-out process and tenant recruiting, working as a Utopia Modern Salon Suites franchise owner is a full-time commitment. For 3-6 months, you can expect to manage the build-out, market the available suites, and handle prospective tenants. This involves setting appointments to meet with potential tenants, answering their questions, assisting some in setting up their new businesses, and getting them onboarded and moved in.


Once the salon is open, a typical day involves a brief visit, which can be as simple as a walkthrough of the salon. This includes checking all common areas for cleanliness, stocking bathroom and beverage bar supplies, and greeting tenants and their customers with a friendly, welcoming encounter.


Marketing the business via social media is an ongoing task, as you will be promoting your salon as well as all the beauty professionals working there. Additionally, you will need to handle bill payments regularly and address both minor and major issues that arise promptly. Another essential part of the job is seeking and planning networking opportunities, promotional events, and engaging with the community to ensure your salon is well-known among beauty professionals and the public who visit them.


What does Your Franchisee Do in the Business Every Day? 

A typical day for a Utopia Modern Salon Suites franchisee involves ensuring the salon’s cleanliness and welcoming atmosphere in the morning, followed by engaging with prospective tenants to discuss suite options and assisting new tenants in setting up their businesses during the afternoon. Throughout the day, social media promotion helps to attract customers and build community awareness. Handling any immediate issues, participating in community networking, and managing financial responsibilities round out the day’s tasks, ensuring the smooth operation and growth of the franchise.


Who is the Ideal Franchise Candidate for the Utopia Modern Salon Suites Franchise? 

The ideal candidate for our franchise is a current or former beauty industry professional who deeply understands the needs of beauty professionals. He or she exhibits strong business sense, making informed decisions and demonstrating a comprehensive understanding of business operations. This person is coachable, seeking guidance when necessary, and excels in organization and responsiveness. Personality-wise, he or she embodies kindness, maturity, approachability, and exceptional interpersonal skills. While conflict resolution isn’t a primary focus, this person is adept at handling any issues that may arise with finesse and diplomacy.


Success Stories and Failures with Franchisees? 

As we’ve just embarked on our franchising journey, we’re yet to accumulate stories of either success or failure. However, I anticipate remarkable success owing to the simplicity of our business concept and the ongoing trend in the beauty industry towards suite concept salons, where beauty professionals increasingly embrace entrepreneurship. Potential pitfalls could arise if the salon owner fails to consistently promote the salon and its beauty professionals through advertising and community engagement. Drawing from observations of other franchise unit failures, the most significant risk lies in unresponsive management. Thus, if the owner or their operating manager fails to promptly address tenants’ and customers’ requests and concerns, the business may falter.


What Goals Do You Have for the Utopia Franchise Model in the Future?

In envisioning the future of our franchise model, my goals encompass several key areas. Firstly, I am committed to integrating robust systems that offer ongoing educational materials and resources, ensuring continuous support for our franchisees and their tenants. Secondly, I aim to provide business funding opportunities, empowering tenants to kickstart their ventures upon joining our community. Additionally, I aspire to offer dedicated, cost-effective resources tailored to foster the growth and prosperity of our tenants’ businesses and financial well-being. Ultimately, these initiatives are designed not only to diversify income streams for our franchisees beyond rent payments but also to forge deeper bonds between franchisees and tenants, fostering a thriving and interconnected salon ecosystem.


To connect with Kristin Kienzle directly, connect on LinkedIn:


To learn more about the Utopia Modern Salon Suites franchise system, visit the corporate site: