Hair salons small business week

How beauty professionals protect their business investment

The battle to protect their business investment has become a serious concern for small business owners in the present world. From natural disasters to terrorist attacks, and from recessions to epidemics, we live in a world where risk has to be constantly managed.

Ona Diaz-Santin Celebrity Stylist at 5 Hair Salon

Ona Diaz-Santin Celebrity Stylist at 5 Hair Salon

Beauty professionals and salon business owners are not an exception. Even if you think most of these terrible events might not affect your business, as a small business owner –and I know this from my own experience–, you have to be constantly on your feet. If you do not show up, money does not show up!

Protecting their investment as well as their source of income is essential for small businesses whose families depend on them. Although beauty salons and spas are a relatively low risk business, there are always opportunities for something going wrong. A cut in an ear caused an infection or someone tripped in the salon with a hair blower cord? From these small events to major fires, flood or storm damage, they can cause great distress and also interrupt the income their family is counting on.

Ona Diaz-Santin and Luis O De la Hoz at the SHCCNJ event

Ona Diaz-Santin and Luis O De la Hoz at the SHCCNJ event

“Data shows that 92 percent of the businesses in the USA are micro-business. The importance of the beauty salon industry dominated by people from Dominican descend relies in the fact that they have created a space of opportunity for thousands of hires by these salons,” said Luis O De la Hoz, SVP Lending Team at The Intersect Fund at the event Lunch & Learn for Beauty Business Professionals organized by the Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey (SHCCNJ) and held at Lola’s Latin Bistro in Metuchen NJ.  “If one of every three small businesses in the nation would hire one more employee, the US would face full employment,” he said.

Carlos Medina, President of the SHCCNJ also made opening remarks, “We are more than 70,000 Latino small businesses in the state of New Jersey and we contribute more than 10 billion dollars to the state economy every year in every industry. Beauty salons and spas are just one of these industries. The SHCCNJ recently got a grant to provide technical assistance to small businesses in central New Jersey,” he said. “So keeping this wealth and opportunity coming in is essential to the prosperity of our communities.”

Present at the event was Ona Diaz-Santin, Celebrity Stylist and Creative Director at 5 Salon & Spa in Fort Lee, NJ. “As our industry grows, we have to become more aware that protecting our business is essential. Everybody at the event was eager to listen to the information and although not everybody shared about their own needs or situation, you could tell people found it informative,” she said.

Protection for this type of business is not cost-prohibiting according to Carlos J. Capellan, Agent at State Farm Insurance, the company sponsoring the event. “Dealing with chemicals or hurting someone unintentionally might be part of the picture but other unforeseen events could also happen. We also offer coverage from workers’ compensation to retirement and income replacement plans for the small business owner,” he said.

Carlos Capellan, Luis O De la Hoz, Juan Zaldivar and Carlos Medina at Lola Latin Bistro

Carlos Capellan, Luis O De la Hoz, Juan Zaldivar and Carlos Medina at Lola’s Latin Bistro

Ona was also thrilled about meeting the other 50 or 60 beauty salon owners and professionals in attendance. “This is an unusual opportunity to see them all, and I wanted to announce our beloved project, ‘Pelo! Pelo! The Film’, a documentary about Dominican-owned salons’ stories, their owners and clients,” she said.

“With our wonderful producer and director Tracy Grant, winner of the Harlem International Film Festival Mira Nair Rising Female Filmmaker Award, we are collecting interviews with celebrities and friends regarding Pelo! Pelo! The Film and their personal stories about hair, Latinas in business and Dominican salons,” she explained. “We are producing a film that reflects not only the struggles and origins of this industry but also, the success stories of those who made it with little resources, hard work and a lot of creativity. We also want to become ambassadors of our Latino culture through the world, for it is so exciting and engaging!” she concluded.

Pelo! Pelo! The Film crew conducting interviews (photo courtesy |

Pelo! Pelo! The Film crew conducting interviews (photo courtesy |

About Pelo! Pelo! The Film:

Documentarian Tracy Grant, director of “I Remain” and celebrity hair stylist Ona Diaz-Santin, create a stylish, progressive documentary film that places the spotlight squarely on the Latina female entrepreneur and immigrant.

Dominican hair salons are big business and Pelo! Pelo! (Hair! Hair!) tells the compelling stories of diverse stylists who own, work in or manage lively salons in the United States and the Dominican Republic. Narrowed down from over fifty interviews in NY, DC, MD, GA and FL, the film traces their roots and travels to the colorful, culturally rich Dominican Republic – the backdrop of the film.

La documentalista Tracy Grant, directora de “I Remain” y la estilista de celebridades Ona Diaz-Santin, crean un documental progresista que pone en el foco la mujer empresaria latina e inmigrante.

Los salones de belleza dominicanos son un gran negocio y Pelo! Pelo! narra las increíbles historias de diversos estilistas que poseen, trabajan o administran salones en los Estados Unidos y la República Dominicana. Reducido de más de cincuenta entrevistas en NY, DC, MD, Georgia y Florida, la película traza sus raíces y se desplaza a la colorida y culturalmente rica República Dominicana – el telón de fondo de la película.



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