Salon changes hands; former owner influenced industry

By: Gloria Young Journal Staff Writer
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When she looks back at her 37 years as a salon owner in Auburn, Delores Bothello sees a lot of satisfying memories. “All the things I’ve learned along the way have been by trial and error,” she said recently. “And I feel I’ve created a wonderful business model for success in our industry.” Bothello recently sold The Artistic to employee Stacy Hampshire. “People always used to say, ‘you’ll know when it is time,’” Bothello said. “Stacy started at our salon when she was in cosmetology school as part of the extern program. … We then hired her as an assistant. As time passed, she ended up being education director and editorial designer. She is the person who stepped forward with interest to buy the business. I could see she had the potential to take the business to the next level.” During her three-plus decades as owner, Bothello took her business role beyond the walls of her Lincoln Way salon. She and her husband, Jerry, are actively involved in the community. She’s been part of the Auburn Chamber of Commerce for many years. “I ended up serving on the board and on the membership committee, which was new at the time,” she said. She’s served on the board of directors at Unity Church and as a member of the Golden Sierra Workforce Investment Board. She’s still a member of Soroptimist International and volunteers for peer court. Over the years, she’s spearheaded various community events, including two for moms and wives of the military. After 9/11 she hosted a fundraiser that brought in thousands of dollars for the fire departments in Auburn and Newcastle, she said. In the 1990s she established the salon’s wig bank for cancer patients. “The wigs are all complimentary,” she said. “We cut them and fit them as a free service for people going through chemotherapy.” Bothello has also taken an active stance in promoting the interests of the cosmetology industry. In 2003 she made a video and spoke to Congress on issues of concern. She lobbied for tax credits and in 2002, had a consulting role in the passage of AB2449 for cosmetology licensing and identification for school and booth rental. “It was pretty exciting to do that,” she said. She put her expertise to pen and paper several years ago, writing manuals on business structure and successful salon strategies, which she then copyrighted. “I marketed them in a trade magazine and sold them in the United States and Canada,” she said. The salon and Bothello have earned community recognition over the years. In 2005, The Artistic was named Business of the Year. Salon Today magazine named it one of the top 200 fastest-growing salons in the industry for the years 2003 and 2004. In 2000, Bothello won the Soroptimist Club’s Woman of Distinction award. In 2004, she received the Ronald Reagan Republican gold medal award for business leadership in Northern California and she won a governmental affairs award in 2003 for her work lobbying for the tip tax credit. As a National Leadership Award recipient, she attended a presidential dinner in Washington, D.C. where she saw George W. Bush. “I got involved in governmental affairs because I feel strongly about professionalism, fairness and credibility in the cosmetology industry,” she said. As part of that ethic, she runs an employee-based rather than a booth-rental salon. Bothello takes a lot of pride in her association with Intercoiffure Mundial, an international organization of high-quality salons and an invitation-based membership. “One of the exciting things was being inducted into Intercoiffure,” she said. “My mentor has always been Vidal Sassoon.” She and members of her staff attend Intercoiffure events a couple of times a year and they frequently compete in on-stage styling shows during those conferences. Selling the salon doesn’t mean that she’s stepping down from styling hair. She’ll continue to work at the salon on Wednesdays. “I wish I could tell you how many thousands of heads of hair I’ve done in my 47 years (as a stylist) and all the (employees) who’ve been through the doors of The Artistic and gone on to do great things,” she said. “I’ve never had a job. I don’t know what a job is. I have a career and I have a passion for what I do.” One of her longtime clients is retired Placer High French teacher Ruby Brendlin, who sought out Bothello in 1968 to repair a disastrous haircut from another salon. “I’ve stayed with her through her moves to her own shop Downtown and to the Lincoln Way location,” Brendlin said. “If she cuts your hair, you have no problem with it. It’s all in the haircut. It was a long time before I’d let anyone else cut my hair. Then she was sick one year and I had to let someone else cut it.” Bothello will also maintain a business adviser role to Hampshire at the salon and would like to extend that expertise to others. “Now that I’ve sold a business, I feel my journey could help other people either start or sell a business,” she said. … “There are so many things people should know before they open a business and business structure is very important. I study the numbers. I’m a numbers person.” Hampshire, who has been with the salon for 12 years, is pleased with the opportunity to carry on Bothello’s legacy. The idea for her to purchase the business grew out of the friendship and frequent conversations between the two. “Twelve years ago I didn’t have that intention,” she said. “It was something that just happened — spending a lot of time here and working closely with Delores and building a relationship with her. It seemed right for both of us.” Hampshire doesn’t envision any major changes, but she does plan to get more exposure for the salon through social media and the Internet — “building our website up to where it is really impressive,” she said. “That’s what people refer to anymore.” Stepping away from the business also means more family time for Bothello, who credits support from her husband, daughter Jurhee, son Philip, step-son Stacy, son-in-law Michael and daughter-in-law Lisa for her and the salon’s success. Reach Gloria Young at