Tara Rhodes didn’t exactly choose the beauty business. It definitely chose her, and has been enriching her life ever since.
Tara Rhodes had been a proud small business owner of her own salon for 15 years when she remembered making a promise to a friend. Back in beauty school, she and Tanya Rollins had agreed to partner on a beauty service business, and Tara realized it was time to expand her empire.
Founding Hello Lovely Hair, Skin & Nails LLC, based out of Live Oak, Texas, wasn’t an easy decision for Tara. In fact, she admitted it was a little scary. “It was really taking a big leap of faith, to go big or go home,” she explained. With a lot of hard work, the support of family and friends, and trust in the unknown, it ended up being the ultimate investment — both personally and professionally.
We had the opportunity to touch base with Tara to find out the amazing reason why she chose the beauty industry, the importance of what she does, and how the decision to get FINSYNC through her credit union, RBFCU, has been pivotal in her business’ success.
How did you get into your field and end up owning your own business?
My godmother, who was an aunt of mine, did hair and she got cancer. And I promised her that I would open a shop for her. Thank God that worked out, because at the time I was 12, and I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. What if I was terrible at it? What if I didn’t like it? So God definitely had his hand on it because it ended up working out and it’s been the most fulfilling thing I could ever imagine.
How has owning your own business affected you on a personal level?
I’m super passionate about the relationships that I’ve built. This may sound weird, but hair and all the beauty services ended up being a much smaller part of what I love about my job. It’s really been about building the relationships that have really helped shape my life.
For instance, one of my business partners started out as my client. A former client is now my sister-in-law and I have nephews as a result of that. I feel like this career path and the direction it’s gone has really molded and shaped and enriched my life in a lot of ways, both personally and professionally. Even when I’ve struggled, it’s been so cool to see how it’s all come together.
What are some of the biggest rewards of owning your own business?
I think the biggest thing for us is to build each other up as women. It’s the next stage of our lives and our careers, and we’re really trying to feel empowered and build each other up to show what we’re capable of. We love being able to offer more to our clients and expand the business, and it just feels really good to bite off this much and prove to ourselves that we can do it.
What are some of the challenges of owning your own business?
The biggest thing is there’s no definite. We want to say: ‘We need to bring in this much money by next month,’ but the industry ebbs and flows. So the unknown of planning can be very difficult because some things are out of our control.
When you’re starting a business, the first few months are kind of like jumping off a cliff; you’ve already bitten it off and you’re just hoping it comes to fruition. You’re hoping you’re going to make that rent payment, or that those clients are going to show up. I would definitely say it’s the unknown.
How has FINSYNC helped you with some of these challenges on the financial side of things?
FINSYNC has definitely helped us streamline our payroll. That was a huge worry of ours — figuring out the percentages and the dates. It was a huge weight off of our shoulders to find a company that was super open to helping us with any questions we had, and went above and beyond whenever we had any issues.
So for sure, it’s made it easier having one less thing to worry about. We don’t have to worry about payroll now because we feel like we’re in good hands.
Did you consider any other software prior to FINSYNC?
Initially we were going to use the payroll that came with the scheduling we had, and then it turns out that it didn’t provide half of what it advertised that it did. So we feel really positive about FINSYNC, which came in and kind of saved the day!
What advice do you have for those looking to start their own business?
I would definitely ask other business owners what has worked and what hasn’t, and then really do your research about reputable companies that are going to take care of you. I think the advice of other business owners is priceless, but also just do your research about who provides what and who’s really going to make that happen. And FINSYNC has helped with that for sure.