Pam Reflects on 20 Years of Business
As Gordon Salon celebrates 20 years of business this July, we are thrilled to highlight Pam Gordon herself as our spotlight stylist for this month! Pam and Tony have been co-owners of Gordon Salons for 20 years, but have been husband and wife for even longer.
After Tony joined his dad, Jerry Gordon, in the beauty buisness, Pam knew that she was also interested in the beauty industry, and the pair knew they wanted to work together. Pam started beauty school in 1994, when she was pregnant with Michael, her second child. Pam and Tony shared a vision to make careers for people in the beauty world. It is very common for hairdressers to be at salons for only a year or two, but Pam and Tony wanted to change that. Their dream became a reality in 1999, when they opened their first Gordon Salon location together.
Anyone who has started their own company knows how difficult the process can be. At the same time that they were starting their business, Pam and Tony were balancing the responsibility of having young children. “It was important for us to learn from each other. We knew we had to dig deep within ourselves and continue to build a solid relationship foundation to make it work”, she adds. The solid family foundation behind Gordon Salon is a huge part of what makes it work, and has largely contributed to the success of the Salon’s over the last 20 years. As of today, Gordon Salon has expanded to four locations, including three on the Northshore and one in a beautiful neighborhood called Lakeshore East in downtown Chicago.
In addition to family, education is a huge part of Gordon Salon’s foundation. One of Pam’s main goals as a salon owner is to provide an environment that foster’s continuing education. She loves to encourage them to take a multitude and variety of hair classes as well as various business, graphics, financial, customer service, makeup and skin care classes. The Gordon’s love building new areas of growth from within. Many Gordon Salon team members also become educators, leaders, managers, inventory specialists, graphic/marketing specialists, and mentors within the salons. Pam finds it important to keep in mind how hard it can be for new stylist as they transition into this industry. She makes sure they remember “that they have chosen a career that is filled with creativity and that they don’t need to set limits on their growth.” This is one of the main reasons that Pam continues to take classes and be a student, because she knows that she has a responsibility to set a lead example.
The world of hairdressing is so unique, and all hairdressers have their favorite type of services. For Pam, her favorites include creating beautiful color and working with texture services. Pam is always researching new services and products, making sure that they fall within Gordon Salon’s strict standards. Pam only brings in products and services that she is confident in their quality. Pam knows that the health of her guests is a top priority, so Gordon Salon only uses products that are environmentally friendly and safe for people to use.
Pam chooses to call her clients “guests” for a special reason - it changes how she appreciates and approaches them. A guest is someone that I want to give special attention to and value that they help us build our business. She wants to treat them as she would want her family to be treated. This is why creating an amazing experience with sustainable and healthy products is of upmost importance. She remembers wise words from her grandmother, “Life is good and is filled with people that have things to teach and experience with you everyday - so make sure to share yourself and your love with others. Your world becomes bigger when you are your authentic self.” Her grandmother’s message is a huge part of who she is as a stylist.
As previously mentioned, the foundation of family is a big part of what has brought success to Gordon Salon. Pam is blessed to have both her children, Jessica and Michael, working full time as apart of the Gordon Salon team. Outside of the salon, she loves spending time with family including her 3 dogs and 2 cats. The Gordon’s will use any excuse they can to have full family celebrations. Pam has loved creating a place here in Chicago to make it simple for her family to all be together as much as possible throughout the year. Pam’s mom has recently moved close by, so she is thrilled to have the opportunity to be with someone that means so much to her. She attributes a lot her success to her mom, stating that “she definitely shaped who I am as a mom, a boss and a person.”
If you would like to see Pam for services, she is available at our Wilmette location on Tuesday and Saturday mornings. You can also find her behind the chair on Thursdays at Gordon Salon in Lakeshore East.