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Seizing opportunity at Sozo Hair, Spa and Wigs yields immediate and impressive results


Some salons fully grasp the benefits of the Vish color management system and run with it. Sozo Hair, Spa and Wigs co-owner and colorist Karen Welch saw opportunity–and impressive results–immediately after launch. 

Salon-wide, Sozo slashed color waste from $1.58 per application in May 2020 to a $0.54 average in eight months, with Welch’s own “waste warrior” number down to a mere$0.35 cents in product waste per application. The salon’s reweigh percentage moved from 68% after 30 days to 99% now. Welch started at 90% and now hits 100% reweigh, consistently.


Power, Savings, Profits


Welch has co-owned Sozo in West Chester, Ohio, with husband Mark Welch for 21 years, and in its current location for the past seven. “Upscale but not uptight,” is how she describes the salon clientele. “We have young designers and veteran stylists on board.”

Welch says she saw the power of Vish right away, during the first review of the monthly Insights report the system generates.

“It was an eye-opener,” she says. “As a former brand educator, I was already careful and confident that I didn’t overmix or overapply. I use a bottle, which can create more waste, but was still averaging only $3.69 in total product cost per service at the beginning of our Vish launch,” which officially began in May 2020, upon reopening after the COVID-19 shutdown. Within the year, she cut her personal cost per service rate by almost half, to $1.91 per service. 

Her personal waste-per-service metric improved even more dramatically, down 77% to $0.35. The entire salon downsized total color waste from a $460 expense per month in May 2020 down to $112 in January 2021, a savings of 75%. She’s a whole-hearted believer in using Vish to manage expenses and drive profitability.

“I would have added Vish earlier, but I’m just glad I found out about it when I did, from our Inspiring Champions coach,” Welch says. “Hair color is one of our biggest expenses, right behind payroll and our mortgage, and without Vish, we would not be recovering as well as we have been. It has been a game-changer for us.”


She says Vish has made a huge difference with all Sozo stylists, in reducing color waste and adding incrementalcolor revenue, especially for all the balayage, ombre and toner-heavy services her associates specialize in.


How They Made It Work


What drives Sozo’s success with Vish? “We follow exactly what Josh and Tim suggest,” Welch explains. Josh Howard is CEO and Tim Howard is CIO, and both engage directly with salons to help them grow.

 “Of our nine stylists, all but three reweigh at 100%,” Welch says proudly, but not quite satisfied. “Two of those three are at 97% and I’m working with the other one.” 

Sozo also used their 90-day data to establish product allowance thresholds per service and has their system set up to automatically communicate from the color scale to point of sale to upgrade color tickets as needed.  All color services–and incremental color product sales–are priced to generate a 50% profit margin. 

“One of our balayage and toner-heavy designers had a $10.13 average product cost per service in January–really high for us–but also had $341.21 in product charges we passed along to clients. We would have eaten that expense in the past and lost the revenue. Overall, Sozo had more than $1000 in extra revenue generated through the Vish extra product charge feature in January.

“It’s a no-brainer decision for salon owners,” she says. “It’s not hard to use at all. Most people are more tech-savvy or tech-interested than me. I just believe this system and the extra savings and profitability it delivers can save so many salons. 

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