Assistance provided by the Wyoming Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network can take many forms, from answering start-up questions to providing marketing advice for growing enterprises.
When Saxen Branham decided to open His & Hers — a full-service salon and barbershop — in Torrington, one of her first challenges was figuring out what options were available for financing her business. Initially, she contacted the Goshen County Economic Development Corp., which put her in touch with John Privette, regional director for the Wyoming SBDC Network.
John helped Saxen develop a business plan, including financial projections, which she was able to use when applying for a micro-loan from the Wyoming Women’s Business Center. The program can provide loans up to $50,000 to start or expand Wyoming businesses.
“John was a tremendous help to take my idea and develop it into a business plan that allowed me to obtain funding and realize my dream of owning my own shop,” she said.
From time to time, John still drops by the shop for a haircut or just to check in.
“It’s great to see an entrepreneur take their talents and create a new business and support the community of Torrington,” he said.
Saxen’s business opened in June 2018. Since then, she said, the shop has thrived. It now has a staff of five people and offers a range of services, including hair cutting and coloring, facials and microderms, and nail art. The shop is open six days per week and provides specialized services to both men and women.
“There are a lot of salons in Torrington, but there wasn’t any salon and barbershop,” she said. Except for Eastern Wyoming College – where Saxen is an instructor – His & Hers was the first salon to offer skincare services. The shop is also the only local salon to offer “microblading,” which is a semi-permanent tattooing technique used for eyebrows.
“I don’t work up at the college very much just because my shop is so busy,” she noted.
A Variety of Services
Nancy Vonburg has been supporting His & Hers since the day Saxen started. “I was there for her opening,” she said.
Nancy visits about every two weeks for hair care and nail services, and she always feels right at home. “There are a lot of young people in there,” she noted. “Being an older client, I don’t feel out of place.”
Since opening the doors, Nancy said the salon has been busy – so busy it’s sometimes difficult to get in. “I’m very impressed how young Saxen is and how well she’s doing,” she said.
Ashley Albaugh is particularly a fan of Saxen’s nail art, which she has been enjoying since long before His & Hers opened.
Ashley said one thing that sets His & Hers apart is how Saxen paints nails. “Most places just do the gel polish and do the stamps, but she paints all her designs free-hand.”
Saxen can create designs for holidays like Christmas and the Fourth of July, and for just about any special occasion. When Ashley’s daughter was involved in a regional volleyball tournament, Saxen decorated Ashley’s nails with a volleyball design.
“She can do it all,” Ashley added.
For her part, Saxen is grateful to the Wyoming SBDC Network and the other organizations that helped her make His & Hers a success.
“A big ‘thank you’ to everybody who helped make my dream come true,” she said.