Michelle Cao
Blossom Salon and Spa
San Mateo, California


Meet Michelle, Owner of Blossom Salon and Spa in San Mateo California and here is her story! 

"Blossom Salon and Spa opened its doors in 2014, but the idea for Blossom first bloomed in 2012. I have always believed that a great haircut can change lives and boost confidence. I see women walking out of the salon with a confidence that can only come from knowing that they had great hair to complement their personality. Who doesn’t love a good blow-dry? With that said, I also see women whose life was made miserable by a horrible haircut. I wanted to build a place where women can come in and confidently walk out knowing that they are fabulous. This February marks the 4th year that we will be bringing beauty and confidence to the women and men of San Mateo, Bay Area.  We currently have 6 stylists with varying level of experience and 2 Aveda-trained estheticians."
Not only is Blossom celebrating their 4th year in business. They are also named one of The Bay Area A List Top 10 Salons! How exciting is that? As you read our interview below, you will learn how much they love being an Aveda salon, and how taking a direct approach in coaching her team has made an impact on the growth of her business. As always, we hope this interview will motivate you, inspire you, and encourage you, to continue to share your love and passion for the beauty industry. Enjoy!


1.      What has been one of the hardest things to overcome since becoming a salon owner?
The most challenging thing that I have had to overcome and continued to experience is identifying the right people for my team. My vision for Blossom has always been to guarantee an exceptional experience regardless of the technician. I want clients to come to our salon without worrying about the quality of the services. Maintaining that quality of service means having to provide a lot of feedback and guidance to my technician; some technicians appreciate the feedback, but there are always those who take feedback more critically. I have learned to give feedback as more of a project which we can all work on together, instead of something that the technician has to change by themselves.

2.   Tell me about your mentor and the importance of having a mentor in this industry.
I never had a specific mentor in the past. I grew up seeing my mom working every day and taking care of myself, my grandmother and 6 of my other siblings. We were not wealthy by any standards, but my mom always taught us to be positive, kind, honest, hard-working and always search for new things to learn. I am where I am today because of the support from my children and also the values and ethics that have been taught to me by my mother. I opened my business to create a good platform for all those who need a mentor and are dedicated to their career. A mentor is so important especially for those who are just starting their career, because the beauty industry evolved so rapidly that sometime a misdirection may be detrimental.

3.   What piece of advice would you give to other salon owners who are also just starting out in the business?
My advice to new salon owners is...be resilient. It takes time and a lot of patience before progress can be seen. Of course, there will be times when you feel like everything is impossible, but know that your limit is where ever you set it to be. The right team will come together eventually and you be glad that you have struggle.

4.   Describe your leadership style and the importance of being a great leader? How do you continue to motivate and inspire your team on a regular basis?
I am naturally a straightforward person and this translates itself into how I choose to communicate with my employees. I don’t shy away from giving my honest opinion, whether it’s services or behaviors. I value critiques and feedback, and I believe growing with them is essential in developing yourself. That being said, a great leader in my opinion is someone who’s honest to everyone around them and have the ability to help everyone achieve their maximum potential.

 5.  You are an Aveda Salon. What made you choose the Aveda line for your salon, and how it has helped you grow your salon business?
I chose Aveda because I fully support their plant based products and environmentally conscious production. Beauty does not have to come in the expense of the world we live in. Those who use Aveda or are looking to be more environmentally conscious, love to come to an Aveda salon because they know that the products are high-quality and the technicians are well-trained.

6.   What are 4 things salon owners MUST do on a regular basis to grow and maintain a successful salon business?
Keep everyone on track, provide encouragement to those who have earned it and feedback to those who need it, have a clear vision of what you want because a distorted vision has no clear path.


Nina Tulio