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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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Bruce Larson, who operates Bruce Todd Salon in Cape Coral, Fla., found ThermaFuse last August at the Premiere Show in Orlando, where he had gone to look for a brand that was truly exclusive to salons. “I was getting rid of all my lines that weren’t exclusive,” Larson said. He was drawn to the ThermaFuse packaging and to the fact that the ThermaFuse folks weren’t hard sellers. But the business model that makes the ThermaFuse products exclusive drew him in. He has carried them in his salon for just over a year.

Larson’s stylists like them, too. “One thing my stylists have recognized is how supportive ThermaFuse is. It seems like this group is more into relationship building, and my stylists think they’re part of it,” he said. “I think that’s pretty powerful.” Another big plus for Larson is that you can’t find ThermaFuse in every store.

“I don’t want to be just another account. I’ve been in this business for 22 years, and this is a first for me,” said Larson. “I feel like I know them—I do know them! I got to meet Van’s mom!” New Slant on Success

In keeping his products exclusive to salons, Stamey’s customers have seen their profits increase. His determination and sense of purpose are paying off in other ways, too. “We launched in August 2005,” said Stamey. “Today, we have 1,500 salons purchasing regularly from us. We’ve grown quite a bit in a big hurry. It’s very rewarding.”

Stamey grew the family business doing contract packaging for some well-known salon brands, but he says his own brand, ThermaFuse, is for the future. With a lot of creativity and smarts, and a new slant on selling to the professional beauty industry, it has let him be a little more in charge of his own destiny and that’s not a bad position to be in.