At the age of 21, Vivian Yeh began working in the family business and never looked back!
Who is Vivian Yeh?
Born in Taiwan, and implanted in the US as a high school sophomore, this wife and mother of three is what folks around Houston call a true leader. Being born in Taiwan, a country noted for its rigorous academic standards, ignited a thirst for learning in Vivian that she just can’t seem to quench.
This attitude has served her in life, as well as in business. She is currently the owner of four thriving salons located throughout Houston, including Josephines’s salon + spa, and POSH. POSH had the honor of being recognized as 1 of 5 “Hot New Salons in Texas” by Elle magazine this past August. As if that weren’t enough, Yeh also owns a management company which spe-cializes in book keeping, accounting, payroll and other admin work for smaller salons. One could say that Vivian has “the touch.”
She’s raised the bar on the salon experience! By creating a chic, modern atmosphere, hiring tal-ented staff, and choosing to be conscious of what products her businesses use and offer, she’s put her salons at the front of the pack.
After years of selling multiple products, Vivian made the decision to convert her businesses to AVEDA concept salons. A decision she says made a huge difference in her customer base, and overall brand.
Because it’s an “all natural, complete line for skin, body, and hair”. AVEDA is recognized as much for it’s high quality products as it is for it’s reputation of practicing environmental leadership and responsibility. “I really love what AVEDA is doing. They’ve helped me grow by providing “support in business and hands on skill training for my stylists” The decision to work with AVEDA played a significant “role in creating a true following.”
What began as one modest 1500ft2 location is now a thriving multi location business providing jobs and opportunities for many Houstonians.
What do you wish you knew then?
“I wish that I had learned the financial side sooner and that I would had been stricter with it. I’ve learned that when it comes to finance you have to follow numbers not guts. Numbers don’t lie.” I also now understand that business is “all about relationships,” I would have built stronger relation-ships with the staff in the beginning.
What is your mission for the year to come? To “reduce my responsibilities,” I tried this last year and “I failed miserably.” Yeh jokes.
What nuggets of wisdom do you have to share with new female entrepreneurs?
1. When it comes down to work relationships… people will test you “don’t feel bad saying no.”
“Be firm, be consistent and the word will travel.”
2. Running a company is not all black and white, you have to be flexible.
3. Treat your staff well
4. It’s ok to fail, “not knowing how to fail creates major stress.” As women we can sometimes play the tough guy. Keeping up with the facade of “tough” is unnatural, this is when you create stress.
5. Vulnerability is not a sign of weakness; people need to see that you are human, you’ll get more support when people can relate to you.
6. “Learn to be uncomfortable, the only way that you will grow is by getting uncomfortable”
What’s the one thing in business that you cannot live without?
“Relationships. Without good ones, no one will work with you or do business with you”
What’s next for you?
More salons! Expanding and creating more Josephine’s, POSH salons, and an AVEDA salon exclusively for men is on the horizon.