Some of you already know me well, as we have shared stories, friendly conversations and cares together over the last 11 years. To others of you, reading this may be our first introduction and I look forward to the day we meet in person within the walls of Garbo or the world at large. I welcome you all to this blog post and to hopefully the many others that will continue in the same vein, as I explore what it means to Build and Maintain a Business from the Heart. My name is Jonathan Jones, and I am the Director of Garbo Inc. (aka: Garbo A Salon & Spa, Garbo A Salon). It is story time! As a young child, I had a great uncle that ran a little barbershop in Ballinger, Texas. His quaint little 5 chair barbershop in a historical downtown district, complete with old brick roads, was a place of memorable joy for me. I was born in Austin, Texas, growing up just 20 miles Northeast in the little farm town of Hutto, Texas, population 634. Quarterly at a minimum, my family would make the four hour drive from Hutto to Ballinger to visit my Great Grandmother and the rest of the family. Our visits always included a trip to the family barbershop to clean me up with the best haircuts. My mother was military and never let my hair get too long as a child. I can remember the smells first and foremost when I think of the old barbershop. Walking through the doors, you are instantly met with the radiance of boot polish, barber elixirs, shampoos and shaving creams. The shop had a 2 seat shoe-shine station in one corner and each chair was always turned away from the mirrors during service to allow the customer to view, through an all glass storefront, the beautiful historic town and people out and about shopping. My great uncle insisted on experience. He went above and beyond to provide exactly what his guest needed within his realm of hair care and personal care knowledge. I was treated to this type of experience, even though I was family and he could have let the experience go without fault and provide just a haircut. Consistency in that experience was important to him. Every guest, every time; including me. From the moment you walk in, he has his attention on you. The aromas in the air blend. He welcomes you to one of his chairs. He doesn’t just cut hair. He doesn’t just trim beards or give shoe shines. He provides his craft for full service before letting the guest leave happy back into the world. He converses and builds relationships with those in his chair. He helps them relax and unwind and enjoy the moment. That is his magic as I experienced. That is the magic of a well run business from the heart that I would later come to understand. Services at his barbershop included a complementary neck and shoulder massage; provided with the coolest machine I remember in my youth. A glove like device strapped to the back of the hand of the barber provided a vibration which would massage your shoulder and neck stresses away. The shampoo that followed was always my favorite and the precision of his haircuts was impeccable. The service always concluded with a piece of Juicy Fruit chewing gum, but maybe that part of the experience was just for me. I remember the sense of pride he took in his craft and the level of service he provided, the heart he put into developing relationships. He was so much more than a barber, to so many including me. The reason I lead with this story, is because that was my first memorable experiences provided by the beauty industry; an industry that I can proudly say I have now been part of and loved for the last 11 years. My Great Uncle displayed heart and built relationships and trust as a foundation of how he did business within his community. He made lasting friendships and acquaintances and helped many people feel their best. The way he approached business was from a place of heart and love. When I first came to Garbo and met Marsha Power, a story for the next entry, I found a company and a leader that were based in principles of Love, Consistency, and Integrity and an establishment that when entered, filled you with welcoming warmth, the radiance of the blended aromas of Aveda and newfound memories of joy within the walls of a beauty salon waiting to be made. Beyond that was the heart and drive at Garbo to serve extraordinary experience and build relationships with longevity with those in our community as part of the philosophy and founding vision of Garbo. I was ready for a new journey when I met Marsha, and Garbo came at the right time. I was ready to learn to run a business from the heart firsthand … to be continued.