What do you get when you combine an uber-talented hairstylist and a supportive sister who was determined to help her sister follow her dreams? You get The Bird House.
Voted as one of the top hair studios in New York City by New York Magazine, Brooklyn Magazine and Time Out NY, The Bird House was founded on the belief that we all have an emotional connection to how our hair looks and feels. Its founders, Brooke Jordan Hunt and Nicci Jordan Hubert, have become so successful because they are dedicated to providing a start-to-finish experience in an unhurried atmosphere with a precise attention to detail.
After outgrowing their first location in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, they decided to move to a bigger studio in Gowanus. Now, they have a team of experienced stylists that help their clients fall in love with how their hair looks each day. This week, we sat down with the Jordan sisters to learn more about their journey with this chic, modern and highly-sought out hair studio.
Q: What prompted you to open The Bird House?
Brooke had originally been working out of a very tiny, closet-sized studio, and yet had gained a pretty huge clientele. The two of us realized that we should “make it official.” Brooke is so incredibly talented, not only with hair but also with showing love to her clients - so we knew if she had a better space, we could give her clients a better experience and continue to gain more of a following!
Q: What has been your biggest challenge as a small business owner?
The hardest part, by far, is managing staff. Everything from dealing with conflict, to helping them achieve their goals, to managing hiring/firing. It’s a never-ending challenge, but it's totally worthwhile.
Q. What has been the most unexpected experience about starting and owning The Bird House?Just how much we’ve grown! When we opened, we NEVER expected we would grow to the place where we are now. Our studio is always full and we’re currently in the process of expanding and tripling the size of our space. We’re blown away.
Q: What advice would you give to other people looking to make the jump to entrepreneurship?Have a partner. Brooke and I can’t IMAGINE doing this without each other. Owning a business without a partner is like trying to do the waltz without a dance partner. The fact that Brooke and I are two different people with unique talents but the same goal, makes us stronger and able to support each other. It’s hard and exhausting owning a business, but when you have someone to lean on and to share the work with, it’s a million times better. Not just two times, but a million. Brooke and I are constantly thanking each other for being each other’s partner. We feel beyond grateful to have each other.
Q. Where do you get inspiration for how you run The Bird House?
So many places! Our staff give us amazing ideas and inspiration all the time. We love their insights. We have also gleaned inspiration from everything from clients to books to podcasts to other salons and even TV shows. But we also trust our own instincts, as well. We consider our vision solid but our methods liquid. In other words, we know the kind of salon we want to be, but we are flexible in how we achieve that.
Q. We LOVE your Instagram page and included you in our article, Get Inspired by 10 Booker Customers Who Are Killing it on Instagram. Do you have any tips or tricks on how to use Instagram effectively?
Thank you! That means a lot, because we are always in the process of figuring out its best practices and improving our methods. Some of our strategies include being sure to see the person in the picture as a fully-formed human being, not just a hair model. We love telling their stories and their hair journeys - we love showing their faces as often as we can, to show their beautiful selves. We know how fundamental our hair is to our identity, so keeping that in mind with our Instagram posts means we can show our clients as people with emotional hair journeys.
Want to check out The Bird House's Instagram? Click here!
Q. How do you learn what your customers want? How do you get their feedback? Has there been any insight from customers that helped you meet their needs better?
With Booker, we send an automatic email after every appointment asking clients for their feedback. We sincerely want it. We want to know where we went right and where we went wrong so we can constantly grow and improve. We absolutely listen to our clients and take their feedback VERY seriously.
Q. You're considered the top hair salon and Brooklyn and have been featured in Time Out New York, Brooklyn Magazine and New York Magazine. How do you set yourself apart in such a competitive city and industry?
Honestly, we don’t entirely know. What we do know is that kindness is our highest value. We’ve been to too many salons where pretension is palpable and where clients are seen just as clients and not as people who feel deeply emotional about their hair. That being said, there are also TONS of amazing salons! And of course, we’re biased, but we think we do beautiful hair. :) So although we believe that our kindness and pursuit of excellence sets us apart, we also know that a huge part of it is luck and magic. We absolutely attribute our success to magic.
Q. What do you see for the future of The Bird House, and your industry generally?
Our goals for the future are to grow with the culture -- to be constantly aware of what people are looking for, and what makes people feel good about themselves.
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