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Setting the Industry Standard for Culture, Coaching and Income with Chelle Neff @urbanbetty

April 24, 2020


Beauty Means Business Radio 

Chelle Neff of @urbanbetty  

Chelle Neff is the owner of Urban Betty in Austin TX. Urban Betty is one of the most wellknown salons in Austin.  Urban Betty made Inc’s 5000’s list of the fastest growing privately held companies throughout the country and was one of the only hair salons to make the list. Urban Betty was named one of the top 200 salons in the US by Salon Today 9 times, from 2011 – 2020. Chelle has been in the industry for over 20 years and in 2016 was named as Entrepreneur & Startup of the Year by Austin Under 40.  

Nonetheless, Chelle openly proclaims, “My entire business was built on making mistakes.” She speaks candidly about the devastating moments she’s had to get to where she is today. In the early days, being a seasoned industry expert, but not seasoned business owner – Chelle walks us through the highs and lows and the key characteristics she holds true to that has helped her build her business. 

And even with all these successes under Chelle’s belt – her biggest success is arguably the loyal team she built from the ground up. Chelle is a culture leader and leans into being open and transparent with her team. Especially during the current global crisis: COVID-19.  

Chelle credits much of her growth to her willingness to seek outside support. She has a life coach of 13 years, a salon coach, and she is a member of Summit Salons and the High Performance Salon Academy. 

In 2014, she had to make a pivotal change when she hit what she says was her rock bottom and how Summit change her business practice and allowed her to control costs, encourage employees to earn raises, rotate chairs and completely switch her profit around, and reach a whopping $3.6M in revenue and 63 employeesChelle openly credits that Summit saved her, and if she were where she was 6 years ago, she would have been one of the salons closing during COVID-19 

Chelle gives tactical tips on how to build more than just a salon, but a network and a community that is thrilled to be on the journey with you. Urban Betty’s salon sets high standards for the industry in terms of culture, coaching and income. Where the average hairsylist income is $60K and 20% of her staff makes over $100K. 


  1. Find someone who holds and unbiased outside perspective who is willing to call you on your BS, whether that be a guru, therapist or business coach. 
  2. COVID-19: Openly share with employees so they will know 1) they are going to have a place to come back to, and 2) this is what it costs to run a salon. Which resulted in full support from her salon during this difficult time. 
  3. People want structures, systems and a vision of knowing that if they work for you – in 4 years, here is where they can be. 
  4. If there is any sort of award, something to apply for – put your name on a list, just do it. 
  5. Your salon is a reflection of you. If anything is wrong in your culture it starts with you. 

Handsome App is a free professional network for the beauty and barber industries to build a digital portfolio, find career advice, education and jobs.   

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