Beauty Store Business

DEC 2017

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beautystorebusiness.com | December 2017 53 to evolve. Before this all started, we sold very few blades. Yet since the barber industry changed, we now sell thousands per month," Dean says. But the recent growth in the barber industry also meant increased competi- tion. "It's definitely changing the business model we have been comfortable with for decades. Finding new products and getting them distributed properly [is a challenge] given the distribution channels we have today, which are very narrow and difficult to get a new product into," Dean says. He has increased efforts to get Jatai products into more retail stores by reduc- ing retail prices earlier in the year; Dean is also working on additional solutions to help stores boost sales of Seki Edge prod- ucts in particular. To compete with online prices, he says he needs to even out the playing field, and is confident Jatai will increase in brick-and-mortar store sales in the near future. THE NEXT GENERATION Jatai's success may equally be due to its supportive culture. Dean says that he treats the 10 employees that make up Jatai's staff like family, nurturing every- one's talents as best he can. "The culture is a community working together to find the best products that meet our custom- ers' demands, and great service. If I hire good, solid employees, they will bring our Jatai culture to life and give that feeling of 'family' to our customers and our suppliers," he says. Three of his employees also happen to be family: His wife Gloria, vice president, manages payables; his son Kevin, who joined seven years ago, handles operations; and his daughter Vanessa, who came on- board six years ago in a marketing capacity. Vanessa previously worked as a regis- tered dietician, with the hopes of creating an online business promoting her nutritional services; one day she realized that she could be an asset in increasing Jatai's mar- keting efforts. "Maybe it was just because I'm his daughter, but I'd like to believe he thought I could make a positive difference at Jatai," Vanessa says. Over the years, her role has evolved to encompass website management, video production, photography and product development, among other things. Van- essa finds inspiration for new products by studying market trends, reading customer reviews and applying what other indus- tries are doing to the beauty industry. "I take a new product, create a brand look and feel, and then determine ways to bring it to market. I wear a lot of hats, but I like it this way because it means I'm constantly learning and being challenged," she says. Vanessa admits that working with fam- ily has its pros and cons, saying, "It's family, so it's easier for me to express what I feel without feeling like I will be fired. I have a greater ability to try to carry out my initia- tives and ideas. I can turn on my daughter charm and sometimes get my way! But I still feel like an employee. … If any of us get into a bad argument it could easily be carried into family life outside of work if we let it." Kevin adds, "Working with family is not too different from working for some- one else. When I'm at work I don't interact differently with my family versus our other employees. One difference is com- pany expenses feel more personal, as if I'm spending my own money." Kevin, a CPA prior to joining Jatai, didn't have a clearly defined role when he started, but now manages the computer systems, accounting, human resources, purchasing orders, attends trade shows and more. He says, "A lot of days I'm not sure what will come up, and it keeps things interesting." Dean feels it's becoming increasingly difficult to hire quality employees— something that's on his mind right now because he's planning to reorganize the RAZOR-SHARP PRECISION Take a look at some of Jatai's most popular items. 1 Feather Styling Razor: A best-selling SKU used by more than half a million stylists, this razor is compatible with Standard Blades and Texturizing Blades (sold separately); available in a variety of handle color options. Suggested Retail Price: $41.95 2 Feather Artist Club Shaving Razor: Choose a DX model with a heavier weight or an SS model, lighter and ideal for sensitive skin, to give your clients a customizable shave using one of five replaceable blade types (sold separately). SRP: $130 to $300 3 Feather Nape & Body Razor: Specifically designed for outlining and shaving the nape, bikini line or sideburns, this razor with a guard features a folding handle and small blade for accuracy. For use with Nape Blades (sold separately). SRP: $41.95 4 Seki Edge Fingernail Clipper: The stainless steel SS-106 and SS-107 professional-grade fingernail clippers have a high-quality, sharp cutting edge paired with a contemporary design. SRP: $16 to $18 5 Fuji Perfect Paper Dispensers: For a stronger grip and superior saturation, Fuji Paper's pre- folded end papers for perms and body waves are included with the purchase of the Fuji Hands Free portable dispenser that can be worn around a wrist or the Fuji Hands Free counter dispenser. SRP: $9.95 to $16.25 (respectively) "Today, when people think of the Feather Styling Razor, they think of Jatai—and that's a great feeling." –Vanessa Wada Courtesy of Jatai International

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