On this episode of The EnTRUEpreneurship Podcast, Our Chief Strategy Officer Wes Fang speaks with Chelle Neff, Owner and CEO of Urban Betty Salon in Austin, Texas. Urban Betty, whose 50 employees work across two locations in the Austin area, has recently been recognized by Inc. 5000 as one of the fastest growing privately-held companies in America. With a branded product line on the horizon and other locations being considered, this salon is truly on the ground floor of its sky-high potential and is set for take-off.
On the podcast, Chelle speaks candidly about the difficulties of being an entrepreneur — especially an entrepreneur coming out of a difficult home life. Chelle shares some fresh advice on how to keep your passions intact when those same passions become your job, along with other great tidbits and takeaways for entrepreneurs of all types. The story of Urban Betty is a remarkable one, and Chelle’s determination to succeed in the face of struggle is truly a thing of beauty.
THE ENTRUEPRENEURSHIP TAKEAWAY:
“I still, every day, question if I’m really good at anything. I think that’s a normal place to be in.”
“I’m going to try and do this, and I’m going to try to do it better. I’m still learning every day.”
“I tell people, ‘Thank God ignorance is bliss,’ because if I knew now all of the things that would be ahead of me, I probably would have chickened out. But I’m glad I didn’t know.”
“I’m going to quit being scared and just dip my toes in the water. Things tend to manifest when I think that way.”
“It’s all going to be okay. There are no mistakes. Just trust yourself.”
“Somebody once asked me, ‘Did you get a lot of support?’ And I was like, ‘No, I came out of a lot of adversity.”
KEY TOPICS DISCUSSED:
2:04: Chelle discusses how her own entrepreneurial journey started by working her way out of adverse home conditions in West Texas.
4:36: Chelle shares how, over the years, she has protected her hairstyling “hobby” from feeling too much like work as it has become her career.
8:33: Neff walks through her journey from salon to salon and how these jumps ultimately led to the establishment of her own operation.
10:35: Chelle describes the unique events leading up to the creation of the Urban Betty brand and, ultimately, the opening of her own hair salon.
14:39: Chelle walks through the opening day of her salon and the anxiety of not having enough cash to make ends meet.
16:08: Neff describes the satisfaction of seeing her salon vision come to life but also the stress involved with being one of two employees, running a full-fledged nail salon.
18:22: Chelle recounts times — even recently — where she wondered if she’d chosen the right path but shares examples of negative circumstances that turned out positive, including one where her bank account went from -$2,000 to $50,000 in three months.
23:45: Chelle explains how her salon’s employee model differs from that of most other salons and how this model works to her benefit.
25:29: Chelle describes the turning point where she realized that she can focus on growing the company, rather than cutting hair.
37:16: Chelle shares some recent accolades won by her brand, casts vision for the future — including a new product line and the story of how that started — and shares some advice for all entrepreneurs.
Urban Betty Salon