Chamber member Bee Khuu, Master Hairstylist and Founder of A New Chi Salon & Spa located in McKinney, shares her business insights.

What inspired you to start your business?

Doing hair has always been a passion of mine. From cutting, coloring, and updo’s for special events and bridal party, I love the art of hair. Making clients happy and confident from working on their hair was an inspiration for me to open up my own salon.

What services or products do you offer?

A New Chi Salon & Spa offer a variety of salon and spa options. We provide hairdressing services that are customized and designed for each individual client’s specific hair type, the shape of face and personality. Our spa services are from various skins facial treatments, that is customized to each individual needs or concerns to full body waxing and Massage therapy.

We used Aveda products which are naturally derived from flowers and plant essences to connect beauty and well-being to the environment that we live in. We care for our clients who come to A New Chi Salon & Spa to have a healthy and pleasant experience.

What is unique about your business?

Our hairdressing services start with a relaxing scalp massage using an oil composition than to a refreshing relaxing shampoo, followed by a haircut and design of our clients choice and ends with an aroma hot towel (for men’s cut, style for women’s cut.) With Aveda’s naturally derived amazing hair colors, you will enjoy healthy looking color, lots of shine, fade resistant and damage-free hair.

We are proud to be associated with Aveda using top-notch products which will allow you to redirect the positive energy flow back into your body with our customize services for your hairdressing services, spa facial services and our massages therapy spa services.

A New Chi is a place where our clients could step in and immediately feel all their stress and troubles melt away, where one would feel refreshed, rejuvenated and full of new energy.

How does your business give back to the community?

We donate our services and provide silent auction basket full of our naturally derived Aveda products to schools, churches and around our communities. A New Chi builds a lifelong relationship with our senior clients and visits them in their nursing home.

What obstacles did you have to overcome to get where are today?

My family had to overcome multiple barriers to our new life in America. In the Hmong culture, Hmong women should marry at a young age to work in the home and not attend college. If you graduated from high school you have reached the education that you need so the next thing to do is to get married and raise a family. I was married at the age of seventeen to Hien my husband of 24 years.

In 2009 during the recession, my husband was laid off from his job. We relocated to McKinney, Texas in hope to build our life back up. We were out of an income for some months and were really struggling to make ends meet. There was an opportunity to purchase a salon called Classic Cuts on Eldorado. We were able to get a loan from our family to help with the purchase.

I worked seven days a week more than ten hours a day trying to make enough for expenses and building the salon business back up. I did this for seven years. It was a very difficult and stressful time for me. On top of managing the salon business, I still had to hold on to my responsibilities as a mother to my children. We had no family or friends that we can turn to for any help with our relocation to McKinney. There were times where I had to put a sign on my salon door “Will be back” so I can run out to pick up my kids at school and hurry back.

A New Chi Salon and Spa was born in Feb 2016 but it was not a smooth road getting there. There were many obstacles that I had to face before we were able to get to where we are today. The struggles and discourage of getting a business loan to begin the process, from dealing with the construction contractor who was very unprofessional in his work. He was not following agreements on our contract. I was being charged extra for things that were listed on our contract and completing work in areas that I was still waiting for his reply to confirm before starting the work. The contractor started the work on the building and along the way decided to stop and was not available for reasoning and discussion. The finish out was delayed for six months. I was able to finally find a new construction contractor to finish out the final completion but it ended costing me extra from my original finish out budget.

During this stressful time, I ended up getting Bell’s palsy which is a muscle weakness on one side of the face. I was in so much pain and hated the way I was looking; I just wanted to be alone. The Bell’s palsy makes it very difficult for me to eat and drink. I still had to continue working and would stop in between clients to ice my face to ease the pain a little.

What methods have you used to grow your business?

Networking with other local businesses in McKinney.
A New Chi Salon & Spa website
The quality of our services shows through our client’s word of mouth.
Postage mailing within the surrounding area of A New Chi Salon & Spa location.

What is the secret to keeping happy customers?

We provide our services from our heart, so it’s come naturally that we take care of them like our family. We listen to their needs, making sure they are happy and encourage them to freely communicate with our staffs of any concerns or questions they may have. We follow up after each new client’s service by sending out a thank you note.

Who has been your greatest inspiration?

My greatest inspiration is my father. This takes me back to my father’s life tip: “No matter how small your progress is you must acknowledge all of it. Celebrating the little wins, accomplishments, shifts and gains is important to building the life you love.” It was his courage and determination to never give up for my nine siblings and me to have the life we have today as we learn and discover our new life in the United States.

What is your most/least favorite thing about your business?

I find the most challenging in the beauty industry is for beginner service providers to have the patient to build up their clientele. There are many great cosmetologists out there that give up right when things are about to turn around for them to be successful. Once you build up your clientele they will be loyal to you for a long time. The profession in the beauty industry is a never-ending learning curve. It is a continuous career building process and should never look at as just a job.

Where do you see your business going in the future?

I see that in the future we will continue to grow; people will know what A New Chi Salon & Spa is all about, our services and the quality of our services. We want to be the place for a bridal party, girl’s spa day and couples spa day. We are looking forward to continuing to provide our services to new clients to experience a new energy at A New Chi Salon & Spa and continue to care for the clients that we had a relationship with.

To what do you attribute your success?

Success comes in so many ways, success is when my team are happy, enjoy coming to work and given their 100% plus to our clients; success is creating great haircuts for first time clients who have been searching for a haircut that no one was able to do or current clients who are looking for a new look. Success is the long-term relationship that we continue with our clients. Making our clients happy is a great success; they are the number one success in our business. Success is determination, patience and continuing education of never-ending learning.

How are you involved in the chamber and what is the effect on your business?

I attend networking events like Links, New member’s breakfast, WAM events, New business showcase and Ribbons cutting. This helps me connect with other local business owners.

What’s the best advice you would give a new chamber member to get the most out of their membership?

Make the time to be involved in all events. It gives you the support you need to grow your business, making new friends and be connected with the community.