“…hard work, treating people with respect, and being kind.“
Leanne Citrone is co-owner of the favorite Beverly Hills salon Andy Lecompte. After years as a successful stylist and building her own clientele Leanne successfully transitioned to the business side of the chair. We recently had the opportunity to ask, what is her secret?!
How would you describe your job? What is your title?
Co-owner of the Andy Lecompte Salon, I split my day between cutting hair and running the Salon. My title? Good question, maybe multi-tasker 😉
Are you primarily a hairdresser or a business owner? Or do your roles jump back and forth? How do you juggle your multiplicity of roles?
My roles definitely jump back and forth. Clients always come first but I do have to get a lot of things done in-between. I always try to have an hour at my computer at the beginning and end of the week. I like to know what I need to accomplish in the coming days.
You are known for naturally beautiful, effortless, healthy hair, and cuts that grow out beautifully. Do you feel like this reflects you personally? If so, how?
I hope it reflects my personality!!! I think I’m a bit more all over the place than that… I do love beautiful simple shapes. Depending on the person I do feel like there are people who look amazing with whatever they do to their hair and their look. Then there are the people who look the best just trying to look their simple best!
When did you open Andy Lecompte Salon? What was your path to getting there? In reflecting back, what do you think were some key factors to the salon’s success?
We opened the salon almost 10 years ago. Andy and I had worked together since we both moved to LA in the late 90s. It seemed like the natural next step to open a salon together.
As for the salon’s success: hard work, treating people with respect, and being kind.
When you opened the salon with Andy Lecompte, how did you split the responsibilities? What element(s) of the business did you rule? How has your approach to running a business changed over time?
We have a really great balance. Our strengths are completely opposite which has always worked out really well. I run the Salon day to day and Andy spends a lot of time traveling, but he’s always just a phone call away.
You have high-profile, loyal, clients. What has set you apart as you grew your clientele?
I think your clients grow with you. I love the relationships I have with my clients. I have done some of my clients since I was an assistant. It’s so nice to build true friendships with people.
Has pop culture or social media affected your customers salon habits? Or has it changed the type of customer you have?
There are people who really build their business with social media and then there are people who hardly use a social platform. I don’t believe one is better than the other. At the end of the day if you are good at what you do hard working and nice you will be busy no matter what.
What is the most difficult thing about starting a salon?
I loved the process of opening the salon. It was not easy and we had a lot of challenges but it was worth it. No matter what people told us we were determined to get it done.
What is the most difficult thing about running a salon?
That depends on the day 😉
What is your favorite thing about your profession? What is the most rewarding aspect of what you do?
My clients. I love connecting with people hearing how they started their careers and learning. I have clients who I have done for years, we have grown together and been through so much. Getting to know people is always so insightful.
You’ve mentored an impressive set of alumni at the Salon, what are some of your golden nuggets of advice for a developing stylist?
Work hard. Show up. Say yes. Be helpful. Be grateful. Don’t complain.
Any advice for people interested to start their own shop?
Go for it! Have a great support system and a team that will elevate the whole salon.
Have you noticed the industry changing? What are the changes you predict? What do you see the root of the change being? How are you adjusting to these changes?
People reach out to me to come and shadow, which I am always happy to do. People also reach out over email and social media just to ask me questions and advice about running a salon. I’m always happy to talk to people and help them in whatever way I can. I also have people I look up to. Sometimes I need to connect and talk through a situation at work to figure out the best solution.