Canvas Connections with Rowena Yeager; My false belief, I am nobody.

Canvas Connections with Rowena Yeager; My False belief – I am nobody.
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| 7.5 min read |

We sat down with Rowena Yeager to talk all things business. Rowena is a salon owner, 11 X Top 200 Salon winner, 9-year PBA board member veteran, Founder of the Ohio Salon Connection networking group, and has won numerous industry awards. Today Rowena sits on the Ohio State Board of Cosmetology while she mentors and leads her salon, Studio Wish, down the path of success.

1. Talk to us about how you empower your staff to become stronger and more confident.

Rowena answers this with ease by simply saying lead by example, because well, as a leader “eyes are always on you.” She goes on to talk about how employees are watching how bosses show up to work every day and how they should leave the baggage at the door – because at the end of the day, you want your employees to do the same. “The best way to show them how to is to actually just do and live what they are living. How can I expect them to understand what it means to follow our systems that we’ve created in the salon if I don’t show them?”

A deep personal connection with her staff is also very important when it comes to empowering the team.

We responded by saying ditto and quoting E.M Kelly, “A boss says ‘Go,’ A Leader says, ‘Let’s Go.’


2. You do so much, how do you split up your day?

“Most owners come in with a ‘to do list’ ready to do everything you need to do and then you walk in the door and real-life hits.” Rowena finishes by saying while your “to do list” is important, your staff takes precedence over that list. Number one of Rowena’s to do list every day,  “always being present and available for the staff.” Word of the day – Flexibility.

She starts every day by “making contact with everyone as soon as I walk through the door. I have to say hi to everyone and make sure everyone has what they need.”

You can then find Rowena either meeting with her staff one-on-one or leading monthly staff meetings. During her one-on-one meetings she talks to personal and professional dreams and goals and co-creates an action plan to help each employee achieve those goals.

We love this and recently read a study that showcases, starting your day by interacting with humans sets your day up for success. This one is for all the non-morning peeps – get out there and interact. Trust me, it will transform you and your day.

We also love that she co-creates goals with her staff – because we are all unique. Rowena makes it a safe place where people can be honest and clear with her about their dreams. When we are working towards our own dreams we just work harder. This answer also sounded all too familiar and in alignment with powerhouse leaders Mark Bustos and Manny Rolon. Enough said.


3. Studio Wish has been recognized by the Top 200 Salons multiple times – clearly, you have a winning culture. Talk to us about why you think your team is aligned with your mission and vision.

Rowena starts her year by picking 3 words that resonate with goals. This year’s words are:

Morph, transform, and shift. Sounds like a whole lot of turning things on its head for a fresh perspective. “So when you’re morphing and shifting and transforming things, you’re looking at things from other angles.”

She then starts from the beginning and talks to the basics of nurturing a team that is fully in alignment starts at the recruitment phase. Understanding each unique employees’ motivation and goals while co-creating is part of it but hiring the right culture fit is first and foremost. Rowena starts her hiring process with “a shadow interview,” where the potential employee can see exactly what the job entails and the expectation level. Sounds like a whole lot of transparency.


4. How does emotional intelligence enhance the quality of your career?

“Emotional Intelligence is really living with that person and where they are at with their life instead of expecting somebody to come over to where you’re at.”

Rowena further explains that if someone doesn’t show up for work, rather than assuming it’s because they are “a millennial” [for example], “let’s find out the why – let’s listen to what’s going on in their life.” “She continues by saying “listening to someone and utilizing it to help that person grow, makes a difference in your own life.” So powerful. We all grow together.

She then knocks down a common false belief of “running your business with your head and not your heart.” Rowena challenges this belief by saying, “I have a firm belief that you cannot run your business with your head if you don’t have a heart. So make sure you have a heart first.”

She clarifies by saying that the business side is your knowledge of your numbers, KPI’s, reading P&L statements, “so, you can’t just run your business on emotions and feelings, you have to have the business aspects of it. The hard part is the connection part with your employees who then connect and take care of your clients.”

We respond to this by making a bold statement, if you can’t pull the best out of your employees it doesn’t really matter how good of a business person you are. We also read Brene Brown, Dare to Lead, where we learned that high performing teams are those that feel safe to be themselves – those that feel compassion from their leader and don’t fear making a mistake. Brene also says, that while many of us believe that we are thinkers that have emotions we are actually people with emotions that think. Deep. We as humans connect on an emotional level, so if you want a leader that people want to follow, if you want to build a tribe, then you need to connect on an emotional level. Because at the end of the day, our drive to start a business emerges from an emotion – passion.


5. As a cosmetology school graduate and a mother of a cosmetology graduate, what are some tips you can provide students who have dreams of owning their own salon?

Rowena gushes about how rewarding it’s been to work with her daughter. Her daughter graduated 5 years ago and already her retail sales, service sales, average service ticket are “through the roof.”

While there are so many specialties; extensions, balayage, barbering; it’s important to focus on either cutting or coloring so you don’t get lost. Perfect those – ask why questions, take classes and then think about what to do next in terms of specialties.

To sum it all up, students should know their numbers (retail sales, Service sales), get good at working with people, ask questions, and keep learning.


6. What are the essential qualities that a leader must possess?

One word. “Courage.”

“The courage to try something new.”

“The courage to accept blame.”

“The courage to step into a realm of things that might be scary.”

“The courage to address a situation with a client or an employee.”

“The courage to accept when you do something wrong.”

We stepped in with the definition of courage. It’s not the absence of fear. Courage is knowing that there is something to be feared and going anyway. – still gives us chills.

We also quoted “everything you’ve ever wanted was on the other side of fear.”

Rowena gets excited about what Fear stands for;





She explains how that false evidence (fear) derives from old false beliefs “that developed from the ages of 3-5.” “it’s the story we keep telling ourselves over and over and over in our head.”

I share my personal false belief of, “I am annoying.” Being the youngest and ‘annoying one’ I picked up this false belief at a very young age that carried into my adult life. As an adult, I would avoid calling my friends very often for fear of being annoying.

Awareness is the key to transformation – once you recognize this as a false believe you can change your behavior and adjust – let me tell you, it changes your life. Our wish is that our industry introduces this information at the school level because the earlier you understand this the sooner you can step into your power and soar.

Things get real when Rowena shares her false belief. “I’ll be very vulnerable with you and share what my false belief is, which I don’t share very often, but it’s one of those things that when you share it, it doesn’t make it so big and scary. My false belief is that I am nobody.”

Rowena continues on by telling us that by identifying this false belief she can start to heal and transform that thought and know her worth. “I am somebody! I’m Rowena Yeager!” D*mn straight boss babe. A gentle reminder that no matter how people look on the outside we are all humans trying to figure it all out.


7. What is your ask for people watching this interview?

“Just Be kind.”

Enough said.

Business Growth, Personal Growth, Recruitment, Salon owners