News & Updates

Meet Gina Rivera of Phenix Salon Suites & By Gina Products

Sherrie Wilson

Today we’d like to introduce you to Gina Rivera.

Gina, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
My family has been in the industry for 90 years, dating back to 1929. As a child, I swept hair off of the floor at my parent’s hair salon. Both my mother and father were hairstylists. From my experience of watching my parents, I developed a deep passion for the industry. I loved the artistry of the craft and witnessing how people felt after receiving treatment. I went to beauty school and was formally educated at the age of 17.

During my 20’s, I met my husband and we were preparing to have our first child. At that time, I was renting a booth in a salon. I went into labor early and while I was at the hospital giving birth to our son, the salon owner called my husband and requested that he bring down the booth rent right away even though she knew that I was in labor. At that point, I was certain that I wanted to go out on my own. I also knew that I wanted to create an affordable solution for other Salon Professionals who wanted to become their own boss.

Shortly after this experience, I opened the first salon that I named after our son Phenix. He is the namesake of our company. A few years later, I expanded and rather than offering booth space, I built a salon with individual suites that could be rented and completely customized. This was the start of Phenix Salon Suites. I currently and have more than 25 hairstylist and barbers in my immediate family, however, I have over 8,000 in my Phenix family.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Like with any business, we have had our fair share of challenges. When we opened our first Phenix, we had over $150,000 worth of mistakes. This was followed by a general contractor who didn’t pay the sub-contractors. Getting started was an intense learning experience that we actually gained a lot of knowledge from.

By our second our location, we had learned a great deal, however, the recession hit. With the recession in full swing, our lines of credit were limited. We had to adjust and work around this. In the early years, we also made large investments in equipment which was often a trial and error process. All of these situations allowed us to grow and improve.

At the end of the day, we became a better company due to the scenarios that we underwent. These experiences equipped us to be able to offer salon professionals the opportunity to build and operate their own businesses at a fraction of the cost. This has been deeply rewarding.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Phenix Salon Suites & By Gina Products – what should we know?
Phenix Salon Suites is a leading company in the beauty industry that is providing salon suites for Salon Professionals throughout the United States. The company’s approach to operating with the Salon Professional in mind has proven to be key to its growth and success. This is attributed to the fact that I’ve grown up with a nine-decade history of family involvement in the beauty industry. I currently have 25 Salon Professionals in my immediate family which has allowed for an in-depth perspective of the requirements for success.

Phenix Salon Suites has over 250 location nationwide and is rapidly expanding throughout the United States as well as, internationally. The company has been named five times to the Entrepreneur’s Top 500 franchise list and has been the recipient of multiple industry awards. The Phenix Salon Suites difference is in truly understanding the Salon Professional and what they go through on a daily basis. The company is also widely recognized for the family culture they have created within their locations and throughout their organization.

What sets you apart from others?
I believe that my family experience in the industry has definitely set us apart. I also believe the family culture we have developed within Phenix Salon Suites has made all the difference for us.

We are all about supporting the Salon Professional. We know what is required for a Salon Professional to be successful, and we constantly strive to improve and serve them at the highest level. We don’t make it about us, we make it about them.

What role has luck (good luck or bad luck) played in your life and business?
For Phenix Salon Suites, it has been about recognizing opportunities and seizing them when they present themselves. As an entrepreneur, it’s important to try things which sometimes are not successful and other times are very successful. You learn and grow from both circumstances. You must try out new things to see if they work and determine if they will be beneficial. Good luck and bad luck is about understanding and recognizing the opportunities as they arise.

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