Alumni Profile: Trina De Busschere, co-owner of the Lemon Tree Salon & Studio

ImageFrom an early age, Trina De Busschere always had a passion for the beauty and fashion industry. Growing up, she “found herself always wanting to have ‘her’ hands in people’s hair and found hairstylists fascinating”. After graduating from MC College Saskatoon in 2001, Trina worked at a local hair salon for 7 years, where she developed a large clientele and obtained her Journeyperson Certificate. Between 2006 and 2010, she was hired as a Color Educator for Joico Vero color to teach color classes in salons and cosmetology schools across Saskatchewan, and got the opportunity to work with platform artists across Canada.

Upon graduating from MC College, Trina knew that her ultimate career goal was to be a salon owner: “with my experience and love for the industry over the past 10 years, I took everything into consideration and knew I could create and run an exciting salon in Saskatoon”. In 2010, Trina and a former colleague, turned their vision into reality and opened the Lemon Tree Salon & Studio.

When asked what she enjoys the most about being a salon owner, Trina stated that she “loves coming up with marketing strategies, educating myself…and motivating my team on a daily basis. Pulling out people’s talents they may not even realize and watching them grow is something that I love to see and that is what keeps me going on a daily basis.”

As a stylist, educator and a salon owner, her biggest eye-opener was when she became an entrepreneur, “Until you are a salon owner you will never know how much is involved. From considering employee livelihood…,financial decisions and so much more”.

Her advice to current and prospective MC College students is that “this industry is truly your oyster”. She says that there are endless opportunities for an exciting career in this industry, from salon ownership to travelling the world as a platform artist. “With extreme dedication, hard work, drive and passion you can truly make your dreams become a reality! Always believe in yourself, always be open to change and always continue to grow and you will be successful.”

For more information about Trina and the Lemon Tree Salon & Studio:

Entrepreneurs in the Hair Industry

Around 30 years ago, we began to see the first chain salons open. There was a general concern amongst salon owners at the time, that this would mark the end of the independent salon…Fast-forward to today and both chain salons and independents co-exist within our industry. Chains may have taken up to 50% of what was once all independent salons, but the industry will never completely change to corporate run salons. That is because our industry is filled with entrepreneurs. And speaking as one myself, we don’t work well for others.

I may take some flak for this but I believe the true strength of the hairstyling industry is not in the artistry (although that is our tagline). The true strength is the entrepreneurism…our ability to create a business and a life that is satisfying both financially as well as artistically.

For the past 20 years at MC College, we have surveyed our graduates. Asking them “Why” they chose a career in hairdressing. The top 2 answers were always “creative and artistic freedom” AND “the ability to be self-employed” . The largest demographic of students at MC College right now are the 18-25 year olds, also know as the Millenials. This group is often characterized as the generation most likely to set up their own business than work for large companies.

This is all good news. Not just for the Hairdressing industry but also the economy. Small businesses are the backbone of any nation’s economy, they keep people working, money changing hands and taxes flowing.

It is for these reasons that MC College in Edmonton has partnered with MacEwan University to create a Salon/Spa Entrepreneurship program. For the past 2 years we have been offering all Hairstyling students enrolled in the Edmonton campus 40 hours of instruction at MacEwan University. This 5 day program provides students with instruction from a MacEwan Business Professor on the specific needs to open and run a salon and the students leave with a draft business plan. But what the program really does is provide potential entrepreneurs and future salon owners with a roadmap to success.

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