the struggle to find a great hair salon is real. Throw some non-toxic values into the mix and you’ve got yourself a near impossible endeavor. What first drew us through the doors of LA’s Spoke & Weal salon years ago was their reputation for using cleaner color and non-toxic products. What has kept us (and so many TCM readers) coming back time and again is the team that brings each look to life.
Pro stylist, Jon Reyman is the man behind the brand and his personal values are woven through the organization — and literally written on the walls of the salons. Reyman has worked with some of the most influential names in fashion, from Oscar de la Renta to Carolina Herrera, and is the lead stylist for an average of twenty shows during NYFWeach season.
Now with locations in LA, SF, Chicago, Boston, Nashville and NYC, Jon’s revolutionary salon concept is making non-toxic haircare more accessible everywhere. Inspired by his ethos in business and in life, we asked Jon to share insights from his inspiring professional journey so far. Check out our full What I’ve Learned series here and get inspired with Jon below…
Stylist + Salon Founder Jon Reyman:
What I’ve Learned So Far…
On business + Management: I discovered that the evolution of culture — change management — is extremely important. Our mission is to create a culture. When we started, our culture felt like a complex, cohesive thing. What I didn’t expect was that we would be changing regularly to meet the world of today and the people of today, each day.
We discovered what the people in our organization need. This also changes! For example, our key members during year one need very different things in year five.
On Success + Failure: I learned things can be messy and successful. When we’ve failed, we’ve failed forward. I dove into this operation with some business theories…but when reality hit, we failed forward. We were able to move through challenges and kept moving. We quickly (and sometimes slowly!) abandoned our bad ideas for better ones.
What I brought to the table in my partnership team is that something is always better than nothing! I do not get stuck trying to perfect a thing. Get over it and put it out there. Start; then refine.
On people + Relationships: I did not foresee it to be so challenging to empower people. Prior to Spoke & Weal I thought everyone had a voice and may not have a chance to speak it. A big part of my career is based on creating space for my message and my voice. I coached team members into finding their voice so they could express it. My worst nightmare is shutting people down or muting people. That doesn’t mean I don’t say no—but I make sure people feel heard!
On Internal Growth: There was a time when I did not know my power and my value. My partners and teams helped me realize my own power in a new way. I’ve worked outside of the company as a consultant for several years—partly to help sustain our growth and keep us afloat. The power I have for facilitating fantastic opportunities to expand our business has been groundbreaking for me.
On self-care: I knew when we started I would be really busy for the first five years of business. I had to let go of self-care a little during our opening years. I was really good at taking time for myself before Spoke & Weal. I was in therapy, did yoga, and got acupuncture and massages several times per week. I abandoned my routine for a while, but now I am back to it. If you are going to open a business and grow it, you are going to let some personal things go. With that said, maintaining exercise, therapy, and healthy eating is a must for my sanity. I will no longer let those go.
I also learned about my limits and how to set healthy boundaries. I’m a fairly extreme guy. My team and our business pushed me to the edge, to a place where I was forced to say “stop”. The cool thing is that we can stop, pause, and take a day. The world is still turning.
On creating clean products: I’ve been concerned about what I put in my body since I was in college. Before hair school, I was heading to law school; justice was heavy on my radar. I decided that I wanted to align with brands that are doing something of value about the issues of health, environment, and social justice. It was a no-brainer for me: if clean is an option, I’ll take it. I eat a plant-based diet and I have a pack of bamboo utensils on me at all times. I do my best not to create a mess within or outside of myself, which is quite challenging in the world today!
Favorite LA health spots: Kreation, Gracias Madres, Cafe Gratitude, Erewon—LA is healthy-eats heaven. But I am very open to recommendations as I am a creature of habit and haven’t gone too far because of it.
Favorite NYC health spots: ABCV, JaJaJa, Double Zero. Also, Le Botaniste right by the Soho Spoke & Weal location—the plant-based tuna salad is insane.
Favorite current hair trend: One-length bobs and fashion colors always look sharp. A fashion color on a sharp one-length bob will shoot well, show well and looks great.
Favorite Recent shoot/show? I just did a thing with Dyson for Bazaar that was an amazing experience. Also, I shot with the twins AMIAYA with Tim Saccenti for King Kong Magazine that was very cool.
Advice to fellow business owners: Don’t create a business that you don’t want to work for. If you can’t work for the place you create, well, that’s weird.
What you hope S&W contributes to the industry: We want to shift the industry into a more clean and professional version. We are not successful because of celebrity clients or because we serve champagne. I want to be known for what we do—not who we do. We’re about hard work to achieve excellent results in your hair that you can see, and we value transparency. We are a huge group of pros working together. There is nothing like us. We all want long-term sustainable and valuable careers.