This week, Laura and Heather are joined by Sarry Yono, owner of SHY Hair Studio. Shy Hair Studio respects the difference between each customer’s unique and creative style, and works to adapt both into your life. At SHY Hair Studio they focus on your individual beauty and aesthetic needs, with their undivided attention and commitment and welcome all clients as friends. Come see why and experience why SHY Hair Studio feels like a refreshing at 1528 W Montrose.
“You’re a person, you’re here to get a haircut, and that’s all. Let’s get to know each other.”
– Sarry Yono
Listen to Episode 79 with Sarry Yono!
Here are some references from Episode 79 that you may want to check out:
- Sarry born and raised in the Detroit suburbs and moved to Chicago in 2013. He is first-generation in the US, as his parents were born in Baghdad, Iraq.
- He has always loved the beauty industry, and after Paul Mitchell beauty school, moved to Chicago with the dream of starting fresh and starting new after being in school as a psychologist. He’s been a hairstylist now for 10 years.
- SHY Hair Studio opened on Montrose four years ago, because he wanted to work for himself, and noticed Chicago clients need physical salons instead of, for example, working out of his own house. Prior, he used to be in Lakeview, and then at Robert Jeffrey in Andersonville (5142 N Clark) before opening his own business. Sarry also opened his own salon so people can come and feel heard and loved, and make a personal connection.
- Sarry has worked with certain clients for going on six years, and used to work in Toujours, which was in the Transistor space (5224 N Clark) before it was Transistor. He sees some clients so frequently he knows their life stories well and vice versa.
- The business name SHY are Sarry’s initials – Sarry Hassan Yono. It’s a play on “Chi,” but he chose SHY because it’s more personal, and funny because Sarry is anything but shy!
- Sarry opened SHY Hair Studio in just six days! He took a look at the location, called the landlord and took a tour, and liked the space right away and took on a one-year lease. He didn’t have much of a plan, but just went for it. He had clients booked from his previous location and got it going in less than a week.
- Sarry loves to change up the feng shui in his salon, and also brings his beloved dog Lola with him to work. People come in to see her just as much to see him!
- Since Sarry is our first hairstylist on the podcast, let’s talk about hair! Some of Sarry’s services include keratin treatments and Brazilian blowouts. He believes in embracing texture, and helping to make it easy to style. Keratin and Brazilian treatments reduce blow-dry time as well as 100% of frizz. He also does body waves, which are similar to perms but provide more of a wave instead of curl. Waves are a popular request during summer. He uses natural and vegan products, which allows clients and stylists to receive treatments safely without worry of chemicals going into their bodies. Sarry is the sole stylist, which allows him to really put his client first.
- Sarry’s salon is a safe space for everybody, meaning it is a gender non-conforming salon. He cuts hair by length, not by gender. He doesn’t want people to have to identify a gender when calling to make an appointment. Sarry mentions this is also a smart business decision because it allows for prices to be reflected on length. (We all have probably experienced the price difference between “men’s” and “women’s” haircuts, even if the lengths were the same.)
“Something that I’ll never sacrifice is my clients. My business creates a safe space for everybody. I am a gender-non-conforming salon, which means I cut hair by length not by gender.”
– Sarry Yono
- Sarry really takes pride in being as inclusive as possible – whether it’s 30 minutes or an hour, he strives to find a way to connect. Often times it’s over food – a way many people bond. He approaches everyone with positive energy.
- Connecting with people comes naturally comes naturally for Sarry. He is also a certified yogi through Corepower Yoga. He was encouraged by a client to get back into yoga, and this helps him to connect his body and mind. Especially during a busy day in the salon, focusing on his breath helps him to stay calm and centered. He loves teaching because it allows him to connect with people from all different walks of life, and currently teaches two yoga classes a week. He also recently became a reiki healer, and infuses his shampoos and conditioners with what he affectionately calls “reiki love.”
- Does he ever have a cross-over of clients? Yes! And he uses an online booking system to be efficient, but to also prevent walk-ins salon as much as possible. He wants everyone to have dedicated time specifically, and not take away from their experience by having to pause for walk-ins. He does everything himself, from ordering products, answering the phone, to laundry.
- In the future, he wants to be in the public eye more and branch out by hiring staff, expanding into a wellness center that offers yoga, massage, and spa treatments all under one roof. Wouldn’t that be wonderful for the city, to have such an inclusive, welcoming space?
- One way Sarry opens the door for customers to feel open to change is to always ask, “What are we doing today?” Even if they get the same style every time they come in, he never wants them to feel stuck, and gives them an opportunity for change. It communicates that he cares and listens.
- Sarry joined the Chamber, recommended by his friend Margo who told him about #AlwaysAndersonville: The Podcast. He called the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce, joined, and loves that things like this podcast and other marketing efforts put him in front of so many other businesses. Day one of beauty school he learned that you have to put yourself out there, an idea he remembered when he joined the this Chamber.
- Sarry’s advice to up and coming entrepreneurs: “you just have to go for it.” Don’t hold on to the past, and dedicate your time and effort to your business (or whatever it is that you want). If you’re not happy and want to create change, just remember that people love to hear a great story and want to support it. Go for it. The biggest step is taking a risk, and it’s stressful and a lot of work, but it’s worth it. At the end of the day, do you want to live “coulda woulda shoulda” or do you want to put yourself out there?
- When asked which Andersonville business he would trade businesses with for a day, Sarry enthusiastically answers: Calo (5343 N Clark)! They are his favorite in the entire city. He loves Italian, loves the atmosphere, the management, and the personalized customer service he receives there sets them apart.
- Keep listening to the episode to hear more about soft waves and the evolution of the perm!