Today’s Notable Young Entrepreneurs are Tegan Mierle and Jonathon Burford of Good Day Hairshop, a new generation of salon inspired by street style and digital influencers. Here’s what inspired them to launch their business and where they see themselves in five years…
Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell.
We’re co-owners of Good Day Hairshop, a new generation of salon inspired by street style and digital influencers. We offer wearable trend-driven hair tyles that are defined by actual people, and not just industry trade shows or magazines. We’ve also developed our own line of Good Day styling products (such as the Unicorn Soft Hair series) sourcing sulphate free/paraben free ingredients and scented with essential oils. It was super important to create really great products, but also have fun with it and have unique packaging.
Why did you start working at your company? What was the inspiration for this career route?
There’s really a need for new type of salon in Toronto that sits in between the high-end and the alt or ‘anti’ salon. Having worked in the digital beauty and lifestyle industry, we noticed that few salons were paying attention to the new generation of digital influencers. YouTubers, bloggers, and Instagramers are quickly becoming the new breed of celebrity. At Good Day we are committed to staying relevant, pulling inspiration from our Tumblr and Instagram feeds – we hate the idea of giving everyone the “Rachel”… unless that’s what they’re looking for.
What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
I think the best part of our jobs is that we get to use our wide skill sets. There are few office jobs that let you tap into that. Growing a small business and a brand really makes you pull from every part of your brain. As designers it’s obviously exciting for us to define every visual part of the shop and the products – but working with a team of super talented hairstylists who get our vision is so satisfying.
Another incredible aspect of our day-to-day operations is the satisfaction of making our customers look and feel great. There’s something so transformative about getting your hair done; you really see the shift in the before and after.
I’d say the biggest challenge for us is figuring out where to focus our energy. We have so many aspects of our business we want to grow so we always have to force ourselves to prioritize what we want to accomplish first.
What is one sign that you’ve seen over the years to suggest that your work/life balance is off?
I wouldn’t say our work/life balance is off, it’s actually pretty good! I think that’s more because we both really love what we do, and we chose a career path that we were passionate about. We’re also 29, so we’ve learned that it’s not productive to work 24/7. Sometimes it’s better to take a break and clear your head so you can have better focus later.
We try to make going to the gym and eat healthy a priority, although we’ll admit it doesn’t always happen.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
We wish we had a crystal ball. If we had to guess, we see ourselves growing the business by expanding locations as well as developing additional products in our line. Over the next few years we’d love to work with even more people who inspire us on and offline. We’ve found that our best work has come out of collaboration.
What is one major challenge that you’ve had to overcome in your career? How did you overcome it?
I think one of the biggest challenges we have had in the past is being young and starting a business. Jonathon started a clothing brand at 17 years old and Tegan co-founded an interactive agency at only 23, so it’s hard for people to wrap their heads around it when they find out how old you are when you’re a young person in any industry. One thing that we love about being an entrepreneur in your 20s is that you’re open to taking risks, learning, and have an open mind.
What does success look like to you? Does Money = Happiness?
Success to us would be creating a memorable, unique and timeless brand. We want our customers to connect with the shop and our products, and for every one of them to enjoy the experience and take something positive away from it. Also, giving as many people as possible great looking hair, whether it’s through cuts and colours, our product line, or sharing social content, would definitely mean success to us.
Money definitely allows for opportunities and freedoms that wouldn’t be available otherwise but that doesn’t always equal happiness. To us having money means we would have more opportunities to build new businesses, or invest in other ideas we have. For us, being productive makes us happy.
What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
I think our most memorable milestone was all the positive reactions from people who connected with the vision of our brand when we first opened the shop. We had intuition that we were solving a problem, but you never really know. So it was awesome that so many clients understand our vision and really connect with it.
Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
I think the advice totally depends on the type of young professional. If it’s someone not totally sure what they want to do career-wise, I always recommend experimenting with as many different things as possible. The worst thing to do is sit around waiting for things to happen. The internet is also a great resource; there’s platforms such as Treehouse and Lyynda where you can learn so many new things.
People who want to start a business, I always tell them to make sure they have a product or service that is unique and people will want. It’s important to consider that being an entrepreneur should be a by-product of having something unique to offer. I don’t think it’s a great idea to be an entrepreneur for the sake of being an entrepreneur (you’d be surprised how many people think this way).
Another tip I think is very important is to be confident, yet always stay humble.
Where is your favourite place to wine/ dine in your city and why?
There are too many to mention in Toronto, and we LOVE food. Some our favourites are Lisa Marie, Terroni, 416 Snack Bar and Parts & Labour. We are both hamburger connoisseurs and our favourite is the burger at Marben. Also, Tegan goes to Collette on a daily basis to get coffee and pastries.
When you’re not working how do you love to spend your “Me” time?
For Tegan, she likes to dance at Toronto’s City Dance Corps but also likes to watch TV in her finest pair of Roots sweatpants. Jonathan does yoga three times a week and refinishes mid-century furniture.
Where is your favourite place to travel? Why?
We love a beach vacation; basically anywhere that is sunny, has wifi, and cold drinks works for us.
If you had to choose a theme song, what would it be?
Break the Rules by CharliXCX – we’re not as rebellious as we think we are, but this song defines how we feel in our minds.
If you weren’t doing what you’re doing, what would you be doing?
It’s really hard to imagine doing anything else. We both love design, technology, beauty and hair, so if anyone can think of anything else that combines those things let us know.
Do you support any charities one(s) and why is that important to you?? If so, which
Tegan is a volunteer with Ladies Learning Code and Girls Learning Code, an organization empowering girls and women to learn computer programming in a supporting environment. We think it’s very important because without technology (and computer programming) these platforms wouldn’t exist for all of these digital influencers to share their content and ultimately create their livelihood.
What to you is notable?
To us someone who is notable is someone who is extraordinary at what they do, is creative and strives to do great things with their life whether it’s through their careers, families or communities.
Blackberry, iPhone, Android, or Other?
Motorola Razor with bluetooth headsets… naturally.