Alan Forrest Smith – The Salon Punk – Non-Conformist, Salon Business Expert and Human Being
God, I’ve been doing this stuff a long time now. Thankfully with some cool results worth screaming from any rooftop about.
So … my first hairdressing experience was when I was 10-years old. When everyone had long feathered cuts I stuck a poster of Ziggy Stardust on the back of my kitchen door and demanded my mother cut it. She did and when I went o school the next day pretending to be David Bowie I got beat up!
Maybe that was the start of the hairdresser within me.
Then came 1977. I saw the Sex Pistols on TV. They were on a show named, ‘so it goes’. No one would cut anyone’s hair like Jonny Rotten so I decided I would cut all my pals hair as it looks easy.
Once I cut my pal George’s hair into a mohawk and coloured it blue. His mother was so mad I had to climb out of his bedroom window and jump from a drop of around 10 ft. or so. I survived but now I was getting a bug for the hairdressing industry.
I walked out of school and became a gardener. I did that for 4-years until I got fired. After that, my mother decided that I should use my haircutting skills and get paid for them.
I hated college but did it all the same. I finished with distinctions so that was a feat for someone that hated and left school at fifteen.
After a few salon jobs and a lot of salon firings, I eventually opened my own salon in 1989. By 1991 I had my second salon. By 1994 I had my 3rd salon.
I took my salons from start-up to the No.1 position a town of 35 salons.
I faced every issue, every problem you can dream of asleep or awake. Staff walk-outs on mass, plumbing failing, huge debts, endless staff fights, stealing and of course the glory of being able to get off the shop floor and build a huge five-bedroomed farmhouse in its own land.
Eventually, I decided to sell my last salon in 2003 due to demands from a new accidental business I had been building from my office.
Every time I advertised my salons I almost always got a request from a local business. That request was to ask who was creating my advertising.
Once they found out it was me I was asked if I could advise and help them build their businesses. That’s what I did.
One thing led to another.
I had also got involved in early web businesses through my early version of salon punk that was called hairee.com.
That led to endless invites to speak and present. From 1000 Russian hairdressers in Latvia to over 500 salon owners in Sydney Australia and then at least another 8-10 times around the globe speaking, teaching and working with businesses.
Years since then has taken me to many places including spending a few weeks living in an Amazonian tribe to spending 3-months living on the Californian coast in Santa Cruz trying to work out life.
Most recently my work in the hairdressing industry is very active with very personal one-on-one mentoring that is absolutely bespoke to each and every salon.
One very recent salon owner went from their average £2,200 per week to just under £5,500 per week in just 28-days with my salon mentor extreme. I love it. I love the fact that sharing this creates happier people and gives back to humanity even if it is on a small scale.
Also recently I was thrilled to get an email from another salon owner that put 150 new clients into his salon in just a week or so using my best-selling SX-21 salon business manual. This helped him to grow his salon, grow his business and create a happier environment so his own life would improve. Again a wonderful thing to create that happiness with people.
Today I live in between Manchester, U.K. and Tbilisi in the Republic of Georgia (next to Turkey and Russia) with my darling wife Tamara.
Since selling my salons I have always been involved with hairdressing salons at many levels. Apart from the hairdressing industry I have worked with literally hundreds of new businesses, old businesses, corporate businesses, startups, struggling and business that just demand more. Most of this work is done through my other site at www.OrangeBeetle.com where I built a strong reputation as being an experts-expert in more results and response.
Salon Punk is a child I adore. I love helping salon owners create happier places to work and service their community. Hopefully mostly bullshit free despite my over-the-top emotions at times.
Hair is the most wonderful of things. It can create a smile or enrage tears. I will never underestimate that power.
So to finish here is a few things you might not know about me.
- I lost my front teeth at the age of ten when I fell over whilst wearing a large brown paper potato sack.
- I saved a mans life on a beach in Spain. He had drowned and I pulled him out, gave him the kiss of life and he came back to life!
- I proposed to my wife in bed and said to her… ‘shall we go buy a ring then book a flight to New York. She asked why and I replied… ‘marry me’. She said ‘yes’ (thank god!)
- I once saw a vision of a giant whilst with a Shaman in the Amazon forest in Ecuador (TRUE).
- I once lost everything I ever owned in my life through a catastrophic divorce as recent as 2010. I was broke, homeless and looked like death! By mid-2010 I had designed a new life that looked exactly like I wanted it to look.
- I used to worry about what others thought but eventually realised they were all thinking the same thing. I discovered that the only person I should worry about was myself. If I was fine those around me would be fine.
- I love motorbikes.
- I love tattoos.
- I love my wife.
- I love life.
That’s it … for now anyway.
Alan Forrest Smith, The Salon Punk.
Pps, Here’s my other websites for you if you’re interested.