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A New Slant Salon Hair Care

By: Karen A. Newman
Posted: August 29, 2008, from the September 2006 issue of GCI Magazine.
ThermaFuse CEO Van Stamey

ThermaFuse CEO Van Stamey

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The packaging and point-of-sale materials make ThermaFuse easy to sell. HeatSmart Complex is technical, and stylists want to know how it works and “How do I sell it?” said Stamey. “I give Joni Rae the credit for the stuff that shows.

“You need to make your package such that the customer wants to pick it up. If you don’t pick it up, you darn sure aren’t going to buy it”, said Stamey.

Independent Focus

The salon industry has changed a lot since the days when Stamey’s father was starting out in the business. The growth of chain salons, a strong distributor system and burgeoning retail channels all served to change the business for independent salons.

“Independent salons are still the majority of the business, and yet they seem to get the fewest choices,” said Stamey. “I wanted to create a brand that focuses on the independent salon,” he said. In so doing, he is trying to create a diversion-free brand.

Stamey’s salon-direct model has resonated with independent salon owners—including Emery Nicoletti of Metropolis—The Salon, Tucson, Ariz. He likes the packaging and the product inside, too, but the salon-direct business model is especially attractive to his business. “The thing that impresses me the most is that a lot of manufacturers out there say ‘We’re committed to the salon. We’re here for you.’ But their products are bar coded. Bar codes first and foremost are for diversion,” said Nicoletti. ThermaFuse products carry no bar codes.