Every salon has a story, which starts with the person who opened it. With Finé Bella, it is no different. We are excited to work with them and even more excited to share their story here. At a young age, Sheri Hancock was looking for a place she could call her home. She found that home at Hair Ease in the Lake Drug Mart Plaza, Avon Lake, OH. She enjoyed her time there as a stylist, but unfortunately, the salon went out of business and Sheri was forced to look for other work. Luckily, she found a salon in the Avon Lake area. The problem was that it wasn’t everything she wanted. With the different jobs that Sheri had worked, she was drawn to being a leader in a salon, and with her experience with previous employers, she wanted to start her own salon. Around the same time, Deborah Smith, Sheri’s mother, had been working 27 years as a nurse and was looking for a different direction. Her mother knew of Sheri’s drive and her idea of being a salon owner. It was then in 1998 that Sheri and her mother were able to open the Cutting Depot, a little spot in a house on York Street down the road from the plaza.
In the beginning, Sheri said, “I didn’t really have any worries. I was just thinking, I have my own salon. I know if I work 40 hours a week, and do this much work, I’ll be able to pay the bills. And just be happy.”
Shortly after opening though, Sheri experienced a crazy chain of events. A few salons in the area closed down, which allowed her to hire employees. Eighteen months into her two year lease at the house, she had to look for a place for her business. Sheri made her way back to the plaza in the same space where Hair Ease once was. It was a scary, new beginning for her and her team when they re-opened Cutting Depot at the plaza. After two years, Sheri’s business grew dramatically. She had acquired 18 total employees. The new growth made things a little stressful.
“I didn’t set systems in place to carry the growth. It got a little out of control. It was all good though. I had really good employees. Everyone was still happy,” said Sheri.
Sheri wasn’t ready for all the changes, and with 18 employees, she didn’t have the space to hold her growing business. Moving down to a large space at the Avon Lake Drug Mart Plaza, Sheri had new obstacles to face. To start, she wanted to give her salon a make-over. Her team had the talent and skill of a higher-end salon and she wanted people to know it when they walked in. It was then in 2004, Finé
Bella was born. In 2013, Sheri’s next challenge came along when her mother decided to retire, so she decided to get more help by hiring Inspiring Champions, a premier salon-consulting business. The agency gave her a new perspective on the business aspect of running her salon. They help stylists improve on their dreams, and although Sheri had created a business that supported her employees, she admits that she didn’t have all the answers to the paperwork side of the business. After taking classes with the agency, she learned more about her profit and loss statements, was able to help grow her employees, and create goals for everyone in the salon, including herself.
At the end of each year, she sits down and says, “I can’t wait to see if we beat last years.”
Sheri’s hard work has created an amazing salon in Ohio. Walking in gives the excitement of a higher-end salon, while still maintaining that small town welcome. With the help from her mom and her employees, Sheri has built the salon she wanted. Now with 35 employees, she has created a close family in her salon. She is able to give them the support they need both inside and outside of the salon. We are glad to shine a light on Sheri and her salon and help them continue to grow in the future.