Tanya Tieman, Tanya's Image and Wellness Salon

Tanya Tieman is a stylist with experience in the film and commercial industries, with a style credit most notably in the 2011 comic book film "The Avengers." Her salon, Tanya's Image & Wellness Salon, offers natural products and specialized services. 

Describe your business and the services offered.
Tanya's Image & Wellness Salon is a full-service wellness salon and spa. We offer hair, skin, nail and body treatments using only the world’s best natural products. We uniquely offer ammonia-free and low-ammonia hair color. Our skin care line is not only derived from natural ingredients, but gives you amazing results. We have a nail polish that is vegan and stays on better than OPI. I have worked hard to source products that are as natural as they can be without compromising the quality. This is a constant endeavor as science evolves in our industry. My extensive experience with styling gives me a unique advantage to know what new natural formulas being introduced will both be natural and live up to the quality that clients have come to expect. Tanya’s is often the salon that brings products to Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky first—products that are usually found first on the West Coast and in New York.
How did you come to start your own business?
When I first looked around the city, I found that there wasn't a salon or spa with the environment I wanted to work for, so I decided to open my own. I created a business plan centered around my vision of an environment where guests and service providers feel cared for, have the best products to work with, and have the most trained and talented styling team. I have a passion for teaching the young, up-and-coming stylists. Our goal is to make every guest's day a better day by helping them achieve the look that they desire, relaxing them with services and doing our job with smiles on our faces. 

What financial assistance helped you set up shop? 
I applied for and was awarded an SBA loan to start my salon.

Why is Cincinnati a good place to run a business?
One good thing about Cincinnati is that it's a “small big city.” We have a vibrant arts scene, which in my opinion elevates creativity in our city. Cincinnati is full of people who want to go out to a nice dinner, to a museum or to the theater, and they want to look their best while doing it, which is a distinct advantage for our business. And of course, people in the tri-state are really connected to each other. If you do a great job with one client, they are likely to tell five people. Most of my clients over the last 12 years have come from word-of-mouth promotion, and I am grateful for that.

What are your biggest obstacles?
Shockingly, finding quality employees for our front desk is my biggest obstacle right now. I'm having the hardest time finding front desk staff, which is simply shocking to me considering the unemployment rate. If any of your readers are friendly and smart, send them my way.

Would you do anything different if you started over?
Honestly, I would change nothing in regard to my philosophy of running an upscale yet friendly wellness salon that helps everyone who walks through the door both feel and look better. Bringing health, beauty and wellness together in an expert and creative way was and continues to be my passion. I feel very accomplished to have realized this balance in my salon and for my clients. But, personally, as a small business owner, the only thing that I would do different is pay myself first in regards to my retirement plan. I, like many small business owners, got wrapped up in my daily passion to keep a thriving business and so we push our “futures” out. I want to encourage young entrepreneurs to think, plan and fund their future earlier and more often than I did.

Interview by Sean M. Peters