My father started in the professional beauty industry back in 1968 when he opened a small beauty supply store. Since then we saw the industry grow from several small neighbourhood salons in every region to an industry where you would find several salons, spas, and nail boutiques on every major intersection and plaza throughout Ontario. The professional beauty industry has grown at such a fast pace, since our inception we have grown from a small business of 1 employee to an organization of 50 employees.

However, over the past several years we began to see gradual changes in the industry where we had flourished over the past 50 years. Too many salons and spas opened and expanded too quickly over the past 20 years, which resulted in an over saturated marketplace. As a result, there became a shortage of trained, experienced stylists available to hire. The average salon went from a staff of 4-6 skilled stylists to a staff of 1-3 inexperienced stylists. To make things worse, the results of the real estate boom began to filter in and the average cost to rent retail space went from $10-$20 a square foot to $30-$40 a square foot.

The cost of staffing and real estate has practically doubled in the past 20 years yet the prices salons charged barely changed due to the fear of losing business among the fierce competition. As a result, many salon owners were no longer making a profit running their businesses, were still feeling the struggles and pressures of operating their establishments and were deciding life would be easier and more profitable to shut their doors and go rent a chair from somebody else or work from their home.

I had daily conversations with experienced salon owners who loved the hair industry but were now frustrated because they could no longer make a good living practising what they loved to do. As a result, in 2014 we decided to rent a location twice the size of our original store and construct beauty suites attached to our store to fill a new demand which had been created in the market. Our new concept gave business minded individuals an opportunity to be self-employed, to continue practising their passion without the overhead and management of running a traditional business. Hence the birth of Professional Beauty Suites.

Ken Cohen
President & Founder, Professional Beauty Suites