Tara Axson, LM Hairstyles, Stoughton, MA
Tara Axson’s first career was engineering, but it failed to bring her joy or any enthusiasm for going to work each day. When her mother passed away in 2008, Tara realized that life is too short to simply exist--she wanted to really live. She has a passion for helping people understand their unique beauty. “There are so many people walking around thinking poorly about themselves. My goal is to help clients know and understand that beauty lies within and to celebrate and enhance it.” She wanted to start her own salon to help her clients and help other stylists improve their business practices and professionalism.
“A Challenge from the Start”
In Spring 2014, Tara took the first step to transform her longtime dream of business ownership into reality by signing up for CWE’s 10-Week Business Planning program, which was being offered in Mattapan as part of CWE’s recently launched Community Classrooms program. Tara’s enrollment in the 10-Week Business Planning program was a true eye opener that showed her that serious planning and researching was needed in order for her business launch to be successful. She learned about creating a business mission and vision, business planning, finances and marketing. She took the time after graduating from the program to fine tune her business plan, work on her credit rating and sources of funding.
It did in fact take Tara more than 4 years to finally be able to raise the funds to invest in her business. She subsequently reached out to CWE in July 2018 to be paired up with a consultant who could help her firm up her financial projections. Over the course of the next 2 months, she met with CWE consultant on a regular basis and was able to get a better grasp on items such as cash flow management, revenue projections, diverse revenue streams and pricing, among others. She also met with a volunteer lawyer to help her understand her lease terms.
Tara officially opened her beauty salon on October 9, 2018. She currently has 2 employees. Since her opening, she’s been steadily increasing her clientele while establishing relationships with the surrounding community of neighbors and other local businesses. As a result, more and more people have been noticing her business resulting in increased traffic and sales.
At this point, Tara is most grateful for the remarkable business advice, mentoring and support received from CWE staff and consultants. She’s also thankful for donations both physical and monetary she’s received from family and friends as well as her church family through prayers and them being a large part of her clientele.
Her advice to others who want to start a business:
- It is vital to make connections and have genuine relationships with your neighbors and local businesses.
- It is as equally important to have time to work on your business as it is to work in your business.
- Owning a business is not just about the product you sell, but also how to manage your employees in such a way that they want to make your vision come alive.
- Take a business class and get a mentor to inform and support you.
530 Washington St.
Stoughton, MA, 02072
Special thanks to CWE volunteer writer, Deb Thomas.