In 1999, Claudine Simard and Isabelle Morel were stylists in a salon in Repentigny. They dreamed of starting their own business. “I loved my work, but I’m entrepreneurial and I need a constant challenge,” said Claudine (left). Some of her customers have been with her since she first learned the trade, almost 30 years ago. In 1999, Isabelle was just completing a management course, thinking that a recent knee injury meant the end of her career as a stylist. “It was the ideal time for us to start a business,” she added.
The pair went into business together just before the new millennium. Métamorphose Coiffure wasn’t always on Rue St. Paul in Repentigny; it originally opened in a smaller space. However, their clientele expanded so rapidly that, within two months, they had to hire staff. Soon, they outgrew their space—the salon and the parking—and it was time to move close-by and expand so that they weren’t constantly turning new customers away.
What’s the secret to their success? In addition to their passion for the trade, Claudine and Isabelle describe each other as perfect business partners. Their strengths are complementary. While one deals with suppliers, the other handles the paperwork. The partnership works so well that each can focus on what interests her most, without having to constantly consult the other. In other words, they trust each other.
Their success goes further: Claudine and Isabelle now have three employees. This means that they can enjoy a better work-life balance. “We were ready to reap the benefits of our success. We’ve been working flat out for 20 years,” said Isabelle, laughing. They still work hard, of course. This is what enables them to work for themselves and decide how they use their time.
It is well known that the life of a stylist can be quite physically demanding. Despite this, neither Isabelle nor Claudine would think of switching careers. They love their careers and their clients way too much.
“Finding the right stylist isn’t just about the haircut. It’s about finding the right person. And when you do, you stay with her!”
Both are proud that they have customers who come all the way from Shawinigan, Grand-Mère, and Drummondville.
“We love our customers and we are really attached to them. When we don’t see someone for a while, we really miss her,” Claudine explains. “One of my customers first came to me for her prom. Then I did her hair for her wedding and now I cut her children’s hair. That’s a real sign of confidence,” added Isabelle.
For Claudine and Isabelle, owning their own salon has been rewarding on so many levels: artistically, socially, and personally. And it feeds their entrepreneurial spirit.
Claudine, Isabelle and their valued clients have certainly debunked the myth that friendship and business do not mix.Find Métamorphose Coiffure’s listing on the Shop Small Biz directory!