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Being intentional in practice and presence



A bad dye job is hard to hide, which is why Yelp reviewer Jenn R. made it her mission to find the best salon in New York City for her first balayage—a hand-painted highlighting technique with a natural result. She was immediately taken with the photos on Shear Bliss NYC Salon’s Yelp Page and the business’s overall 5-star review.

“Lana had the best reviews,” Jenn said. “I had actually never colored my hair before. This was a whole new experience for me, and I was super nervous about it. But I reached out to Lana and she was so warm, knowledgeable, and willing to listen.”

Lana Kurayeva is the co-owner of Shear Bliss NYC Salon and a board-certified haircolorist with 25 years of experience. She co-founded the salon in 2004 with her partner, Christine Motroni, and has built the business around excellent communication and education.

“We’re constantly educating,” Lana shared, referring to both staff and clients. Her goal is to create a comfortable atmosphere where her staff can be creative and share ideas that will help everyone grow their craft. She also wants each client to leave the salon feeling satisfied with their experience. Sometimes this means gently educating those in the chair about which hairstyles will complement their features and hair texture best.

“20 years ago, clients would come and say, ‘What do you think would look good on me?’ and just go along with it.” Lana said. Today’s clients are more particular. They come with well-researched ideas about styles, treatments, and products, mostly thanks to social media. Oftentimes, they’ll bring in pictures of hairstyles they want, but an expert eye can tell a different style or color would suit them better.

“What they bring you is the idea of what they see on someone else,” Lana said, who always tells her staff to listen and not push their own ideas onto the client. Rather, stylists listen, provide expert feedback, and work with each client to produce a high quality result they love.

“Just taking [their] money will bring that client only one time on a chair,” she shared. As many business owners know, one disappointing experience can lead to disappointment with the whole business.

To build trust, Shear Bliss offers a two-week adjustment period in which clients can come back to tweak their style for free. It takes only a few minutes for the stylists, and the client leaves 100% satisfied with their look and the value they received.

“If something bothers you, don’t hesitate. Reach out. People come back to us and travel from all over the country, no matter where they are, because we take full responsibility for what we do.”

Nothing speaks louder than spinning the salon chair around and seeing a client’s face light up under the perfect hairstyle. Maybe it wasn’t the picture they brought in, but now they’re a picture all of their own.

Staying in business for 18 years is no accident. Lana and her team follow these steps to stay intentional and successful:

  • Trim down offerings to increase quality. The fewer services you juggle, the more you can focus on your expertise and highlight your strengths. High quality will keep loyal customers coming back more than variety.
  • Use social media to reach your customers. Establishing and maintaining an online presence helps draw customers to your business. Post photos of your work on a regular basis, keep your profiles current (e.g., open hours, special promotions), and engage with potential customers who reach out to you with questions.
  • Build trust through authenticity. Listening to customer needs, addressing complaints, and providing honest feedback are key to fostering loyal customer relationships and ensuring long-term success.

Photos of Shear Bliss Salon NYC on Yelp; editorial by Emily Moon & Kristi Lindahl


These lessons come from an episode of Behind the Review, Yelp & Entrepreneur Media’s weekly podcast. Listen below to hear the conversation with Lana and Jenn, or visit the episode page to read more, subscribe to the show, and explore other episodes.

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The information above is provided for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice and may not be suitable for your circumstances. Unless stated otherwise, references to third-party links, services, or products do not constitute endorsement by Yelp.

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