We had the good fortune of connecting with Laurie Helmick and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Laurie, what’s one piece of conventional advice that you disagree with?
The concept that making a profit is the most important part of owning your own business has never resonated with me. Neither has the concept that an owner should make the most money in the business. I am a firm believer that if you build it they will come. By that I mean pay employees well, treat them as partners in the business, put them first. Encourage and spend your time focusing on their careers, their needs, their education. They will than be successful, and the owner will, too. It has worked very well for me. We have been in business for 23 years, and put 25 million into the economy in sales. Less than 1% of salons can say this.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Luxe is a full service 10 chair hair salon located in Lower Downtown Denver. We have been in business for almost 23 years. I have worked with my partner, Jody Martinez for 30 years. My longest relationship! What sets us apart from others is I am a business person, not a hair dresser. I leave that to Jody. We approach the hair business from a business perspective and a professional one. I got where I am today because I have always sought out strong female mentors. I have always gone the extra mile in learning the business, using best practices, helping others in business. I have stayed very involved in my community, and a big supporter of non profits. I would say it was pretty easy. It just kind of flowed. Ive never had a walk out, and still keep in touch with people who have helped me in the process. The biggest lesson I have learned for 20 plus years is you must be flexible to survive. You must adapt to the changes that happen in the world and with employees. Id like the world to know that you build a respected and successful brand by hard work, treating people equally and fairly, handling the business honestly and financially truthfully, and believing in yourself, and the people you choose to work partner with.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
A walk around Washington Park after breakfast at Snooze, than a walking tour of Lower Downtown, with a tour of the old buildings that make up much of the neighborhood, Lunch at Avelina close by, than a cocktail at the Cruise Room in the Oxford Hotel. Spending a couple of days in the mountains in Summit county with a hike up Grays and Torres, an easily accessible fourteener off I-70. Lunch in the historic town of Breckenridge, back to the condo on Lake Dillion to relax. A road trip back to Denver going through Rocky Mountain National Park and the highest road in North America Trail Ridge Road. Stopping in Estes Park for lunch on Main Street. Coming back to Denver and taking a tour of all the Brewpubs that make Denver famous. The Wynkoop, Breckenridge Brewery,,,,,Stanahan’s Distillery…….
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My shout out is to Dana Crawford, who developed Larimer Square. She allowed me to manage the Oxford Spa and Salon and Health Club into a multi-million dollar business using my business and managerial abilities. She taught me how to have good business relationships with our bank, the registered neighborhood organization, The LoDo District. She inspired me to network locally in Denver, and nationally in the industries I represented. She helped me become aware of the importance of historic buildings and neighborhoods. She was a true pioneer as a woman and a force in the city of Denver.
Linkedin: Laurie Helmick
Yelp: Luxe Salon