Closed Caption Transcript:
Hey, impact Fort Worth. My name is Ben Novak Hudgins, and I'm with Novak Hair Studios. I'm so excited to be here with you guys today at Impact Fort Worth. I know that you guys have been tuning in all morning and we are so excited for all of the speakers that are lined up. And I'm so excited to be a part of that group of people. I feel like Fort Worth is something so incredibly special. We are a community of people who really support each other. Not only do we support each other, we support the idea of entrepreneurship. We support the idea of small business, and we support each other in making those decisions. But one of the coolest parts about Fort Worth is that we are a group of change makers. Fort Worth community of business owners have really stepped up and put into place the things that really matter in the world. We're taking it to the next level. And I'm so excited that you guys have chosen to be a part of Impact Fort Worth today and really start trying to find ways to be able to create impact within your life and within your businesses. And I hope that my story is able to help share that with you guys and share that inspiration. And then maybe you're able to take something away from this and create some different changes within your own life that really helps embody what life is really all about, which is the lives that we really are living for. We don't live for the lives inside our businesses. We live for the lives outside of our businesses. We live for the love that we share with our families. We live for the kids that we create. We we live for all of those special moments and experiences through life. And I'm so excited Impact Fort Worth is doing what they're doing and reminding us of how important those things are. I think if COVID has done one thing for us, it really has realigned a lot of us into really what matters. And I think that sustainability really is a part of that because we've realized how fragile life can be and we know that we have to do better. We have to do good by the world. And that's something at Novak Hair Studios Is that something that we have really it's always been kind of a fabric of who we are from our very beginning. Whenever we first opened our concept nearly three years ago, Fort Worth has really embraced us and so many incredible ways from winning best salon three years in a row, with Fort Worth weekly and winning best of Salon with Fort Worth magazine from winning Fort Worth initiatives that inspire really true change and making more sustainable options. The options that our consumers are wanting. And we're just so proud to be a part of the fabric of Fort Worth. And thank you guys from the bottom of my heart. Really thank you for embracing us and allowing us to really make an impact on the community that we call home. So I want to go really deep into my story. So I'm actually going to start at the very beginning, which is essentially how I got my name. So I was actually named after my granddad. Novak Bullard and Novak lived his life for for many purposes. But he really had a true passion for beekeeping. It was something that he really, truly loved. And he actually was one of the select few that was able to turn his passion of beekeeping into a way to raise his family. And if you know anything about beekeeping, which I've been learning over the last couple of years, that could be a very challenging thing to do. But when he was driven by that passion, he knew that that was something that he wanted to make happen. When he came back from World War Two, he actually found a way to turn his passion of beekeeping into that full time gig. But at the same time, he was noticing something that was happening and he wanted to be the whistle blower essentially on that. He was saying that the introduction of pesticides that were happening within our crop system essentially were going to be the demise of humans as we know it. And unfortunately, so many of his predictions came true. And you can see that with the decline of the world's natural pollinators, like the honey bee, we've actually lost 90 percent of our world's pollinators in the last two decades. So literally a pin drop in time. We've lost 90 percent of our pollinators. That's so crucial to the survival of our race, because a lot of people don't realize that the prediction is that without the bees (single handedly the bees), we would only live on this planet for about four years. So that's a pretty, pretty daunting number whenever we realize that. And that is why it's so important to inspire change and make change and be the change in the world that we want to see. So Novak Hair Studios actually donates a percentage of our profits to an organization called the Honeybee Conservancy, Honeybee Conservancy is a really incredible organization. One of the biggest things that they do is they actually put small hives in local community gardens. They teach those community gardens how to tend to them, why they're important. They create an education program behind them, and then they're able to those community gardens that are able to grow fresh fruits and vegetables in plentiful amounts and be able to feed underprivileged families who can't afford those things. For me, which is a huge full circle thing, you know, I grew up with a single mother who was raising all of us kids. And then that's the single mothers out there. They know that can be quite the task, especially with a couple of hungry teenagers. One of the things what that was, is that I grew up in the food pantry. We lived off of the assistance of the community that we grew up in. And it wasn't until I became an adult that I even realized that you could get asparagus, not in a can. So the idea to be able to create change, that's so much deeper than something so small, you know, and all of that just starts with a simple haircut that you're able to take a haircut and you're able to inspire change across the world. And so many, many ways I tell that story, too, because it's such a part of the fabric of who I am. So obviously, growing up with such a respect for nature and having instilled in me a lot of those same principles that my grandfather carried, really allowed for me to be able to look at the world in a different way. It was it was a way for me to be able to say, like, this world is so precious to us and everything that we do in it is going to be a direct reflection of how we are going to continue to to pass this world on for generations to generations. So for me, sustainability was not my driving force. It was not actually what created the concept behind Novak Hair Studios. But for me, it was entrepreneurship one on one. Your job as a business owner is to make sustainable options the only options. You have to do good by the world and therefore the world will do good by you. So when it came time to actually creating Novak Hair Studios, that was the no brainer. We are going to try to do good in every single way that we can, which I'll go to in a minute. You know, it goes so much, so much further than just the sustainability of the planet, the sustainability of the people who work in my industry. So a little bit about my background. I actually have been doing hair for about 17 years, and I always had this really deep desire to go into education. To me, education is the fundamentals of how we grow as humans. It's how we grow industries. It's how we become better at our crafts. And that was such a important part of what I wanted to be able to accomplish. So all that to say, I worked really hard. I was able to get involved with being an international educator. I worked for a corporation that allowed for me to be able to open those doors and get the type of education that I wanted. But I also wanted to be a part of change makers in the professional beauty industry who helped create the trends and techniques and be able to travel around all over the United States to be able to share those trends and techniques with hairdressers all over the place. And this led to so many incredible things. I mean, I was able to do New York Fashion Week multiple times. I've done the Mercedes-Benz Swim Week in Miami. I have been able to work with some of the top pageant beauty queens in the United States who have gone off to do some really incredible things. Some of the top models in the industry, in the modeling world. It really led me down some really cool paths. But one of the most important paths that it led me down is that it gave me the opportunity to be able to walk in to hundreds of salons and speak with thousands and thousands of hairdressers. And one of the things that I realized is that the confusion and distraction that I think plagues our world, to be frank, through the corporate brand cultures, it transcends so much deeper than we could ever even imagine. And what I found is that from going in from Salon to Salon, the same consistent problems were there within every single salon. And time in and time out, we saw the same problems and I started jotting those things down. And when it came time for me to be able to open my own concept, it was about finding a series of solutions to protect an industry that I love. And it goes so much further than that. You know, it's a work work-life balance. You know, how many of us get so caught up into the hustle, especially when we are business owners and we own our own businesses, that we forget about those lives outside of what we do. That adds to a level of fatigue that sometimes we don't come back from burnout is a real thing that really affects most of us as entrepreneurs. Another part of that is that if you look at the beauty industry, it is a major waste maker. The beauty industry as a whole contributes an astronomical amount of numbers to our landfills. But we know that 95 percent of that waste can be diverted from landfills. But we have less than one percent of salons that are doing anything to really implement those changes. Not only on that aspect, When you look at the professional beauty industry, you also look at increased numbers of all sorts of different types of cancers, female infertility rates. A lot of these things are some of the highest out of any industry happen in the beauty industry. And these are things that are really major, especially whenever we start going into our own salon concepts where maybe we're working for a salon suite where we don't have the access to those clean air initiatives and stuff like that. So Novak Hair Studios was really about finding all of those fixes. It was finding solutions for things that were broken and an industry that, frankly, has been labeled as a failing industry. So we are excited to be able to take that back. And that goes into so many different parts of the concept of who we are. First thing on my list was how do we try to limit our heat load? How do we limit the amount of electricity that's being used again in a notoriously wasteful salon environment? We do that in our salon through not only motion detection, so we're able to minimize the amount of electricity that's being used whenever nobody is actually using the space. We're also able to use all pure LED lights so that we minimize that. We have a lot of different initiatives throughout the salon, like our partnership with Green Circle salons. Green Circle Salons is a salon recycling partner program that allows for us to actually take our recycled goods. So imagine you get those nasty ends trimmed off of your hair. Well, now that those are being trimmed off, they can be reused and repurposed for something that actually creates impact on the world. Recycled hair is often used for cleaning up oil spills, so local communities are actually able to utilize these mats of hair that are woven together similar to wool, and they actually are naturally absorbent. So they absorb all of the oil but release all of the water. So it creates cleaner rivers and lakes and ponds and those inevitably end up in the ocean. So being able to start that at the source. They're also using it to make stuff like bioplastics. So imagine a recycled recycling bin made out of recycled human hair, which is pretty cool to me. I'm a science nerd, so that's cool to me. On top of that, we're able to take stuff like foil. So you get that beautiful balayage and you get foils for days, or maybe you're just getting a classic color retouch. Well, those tubes are made out of aluminum. Those aluminums then have color all over them and those chemicals on them so they can no longer be put into standard recycling. So through our Green Circle partnership, we're actually able to take those aluminums and we're able to divert them from the landfills, send them with a Green Circle. They actually melt it down. They first create clean energy out of it. So instead of burning fossil fuels or those types of things, they're actually able to combust them and it creates clean energy. But more importantly, it makes it where those aluminums can be reused. So now those aluminums that were once just tossed in the landfill to sit there for predicted to be about three to four hundred years, we're able to actually reuse those for nonsurgical metals like air conditioning vents, bicycles, those types of things, along with plastics and papers and those types of things. And, you know, those are all really important parts of it. But then we also have our water sources. So when we look at the technologies that are being introduced to the beauty industry, which are important technologies like nano pigments, those nano pigments are so small that your standard water filtering system isn't able to pick those nano pigments out of the color or out of the water. So when it's going through its filter process, it's going into our drinking water. So imagine your hairdresser or you yourself mix too much color. You're then mixing it up and instead of putting it into a separate container, oftentimes it gets rinsed down the drain that goes into our drinking water. And we inevitably have to digest it. With one of our initiatives, with our Green Circle partnership, we're actually able to divert all those leftover chemicals from going into the water system. We're able to send it off with Green Circle. They spin it, they take the potable, drinkable water, remove it from the chemicals, and then they're able to dispose of those chemicals in a hazmatic way. So, again, just all of these different levels, including all of our water fixtures throughout the salon, actually have a collective of Sixty-five percent of a freshwater savings, a lot of people don't think about this, but we actually do have a day zero on whenever we will run out of freshwater. And so if every single business makes those small little changes like a different faucet head, it can make some of the biggest impacts, if we make those in our businesses, if we make those in our personal lives. But we all know that whenever we're looking at big businesses or the businesses that we spend our money with or the businesses that we own and operate, we know that those businesses oftentimes make up the biggest part of the economy. And if we're able to make those changes within those businesses, we're really going to actually be able to make change in the world. And all it takes is one little step. That to me is actually one of my guiding forces to people when they're trying to start making some of those changes is offer recycling, make the recycling bin bigger, make the trash cans smaller, make it where people have to think about it. So when we label our trash cans, they don't just say trash on them, they say landfill. So really make the average consumer think about what is it that they have in their hand and where is it actually going. Also making those simple water changes, changing out your light bulbs, those types of things allow for us to be able to really create positive change in such a simple way. One of my biggest reasons, so my actual why was to ease the confusion, the distraction that plagues the world, especially the beauty industry. And I do that through a lot of the initiatives that we have within our work life balance. We work really tirelessly with our luxury solo artists to try to create an experience that really allows for them to be able to leave work, be the parent that they want to be, to be the spouse that they want to be, to be the hairdresser that they want to be and really start implementing those types of changes into their life. And when we look at our own selves as entrepreneurs, we oftentimes are plagued by fatigue. You know, we hustle and we hustle and we hustle and we don't leave much for ourselves outside of that. With Novak Hair Studios in that partnership with our luxury solo artist, we're really able to put the perspective back into place. We do not work for the lives that are inside our businesses. We work for the lives outside of our businesses. We want to be able to show up for our kids' soccer games. We want to be able to have dinner with our friends. We want to be the type of people that we really want to be. How do we do that? How do you have it all? How do you be that good parent? Be that good spouse, to be that good business owner and do what you do in the craft that you do and do it well. You do it with the help of others. You cannot do it all alone. By surrounding ourselves around people who are passionate about what it is that they do. Our guest service team genuinely loves creating an experience from start to finish our shampoo's that genuinely loves the art of the massage process and really creating a memorable shampoo experience. Our cleaning staff takes pride in making our space a very clean space and sanitary space for our guests. And our stylists really are committed to being able to create the experience that they do behind the chair. And it allows for everybody to really be passionate about what they do and grow their business in a sustainable way. Because at the end of the day, if we work ourselves to the point of total burnout, sustainability goes so much further than the sustainability of the planet that we live in. But it's also about the quality of life within that planet. And we don't think about that often when we think about sustainability. It is such a crucial part of that, you know, in the beauty industry specifically, you look at cancers, they are amongst the highest in our industry as a beauty professional bladder cancer, ovarian cancer, prostate cancer, the list goes on and on. Then you start looking at other health risks like sensitivity to other types of chemicals, or you start looking at infertility rates. They are actually amongst the highest in hairdressers. And you can't tell me that that's not a direct correlation to some of the things that are introduced within the beauty industry. So one of the things that we did to try to combat that was through our clean air initiatives. So our clean air initiatives are pretty straightforward. We have an air conditioning system in all of our locations where it actually pools the carcinogenic air out of the salon and pumps fresh, clean air into the salon constantly so that we're no longer having to sit and waddle and all of the chemicals and all of that kind of stuff that you traditionally find in a salon. So little changes like that whenever you know that you're working with things that could be potentially hazardous to anybody's health, even if the idea is that it's not hazardous now, but we don't know what it's going to be in 15 years, you know, start trying to implement some of those changes as you develop and grow your business or even in your house, like being able to make simple changes within your home that allow for those carcinogenic type of ingredients to be removed completely. For us that's also about the plants that we place throughout the salon. Strategically, we choose different plants that are known for absorbing ammonia and stuff like that so that we can create cleaner air throughout the salon. The air that is remaining in the salon is clean air process by nature through plants. Simple things like that can end up making the biggest changes and that a beautiful design factor to it. One of the things that I think is so incredible about this entire experience, though, is that the way that it has been embraced by Fort Worth. So a lot of times we get terrified of being able to make some of those changes because, frankly, they cost money. And whenever we are in situations like we've been put through and this 2020 year, you know, sometimes we get really tight end on that money and we start getting a little nervous about being able to make those types of investments. But when we look at what is actually happening within the world, we know that consumer behavior is that they are demanding us to make those differences. They want to see those changes. The sustainable part of our industries are the top growing part of the industries. And so it's important for us as the actual business owners to make the sustainable options, the only options. And we do that knowing that those returns are going to happen. And Novak Hair Studios is proof that we are able to say that we have reached a level of success with a Novak in nearly three years that has exceeded our expectations tenfold. Our stylists are happy the work life balance is taking place, but more importantly, consumers are really responding to it. People call specifically wanting somebody who is using clean ingredients on their hair. People are calling because they care about the businesses that they are supporting, making positive changes and a community that they love and that they call home. You know, it's been so successful for us that it's even allowed for us to expand our locations. So we actually just opened up our second location and Burlison. So the greater Fort Worth area. And it has also been really an incredible success to see that people in our community and the entire greater DFW area that people really genuinely care about creating this change. And it's important to them. The proof is in the pudding. And whenever we see that the consumers are really meeting in our area, what the national predictions are, if not exceeding honestly what those national predictions are, I think that it seems silly that we don't take that and really run with it and really make it apart of our business's motto. All that to say that it is important people care about it and it can be profitable if you're doing it the right way. It's also led us into being able to be nationally recognized on many different levels. You know, we were featured in some of the top industry publications for our sustainability efforts. We've been just recently, we're excited to announce that we have won some awards through the city of Fort Worth and some of the recycling initiatives that we have in both our freshwater savings and along with our recycling programs. So we live in a community that really supports and celebrates us being able to create the changes in the world that we want to see. That is one of the biggest messages that I want to be able to leave you guys with is that you have to be the change in the world that you want to see. People are ready to make those differences, and all we have to do is make it the sustainable the only option. It's really that simple, making simple shifts in your life, making simple shifts in your business and demanding that of the people that you do business with, that they are doing things in an ethical way, that they are doing things in a sustainable way and that they're caring about and putting into our fabric and to our communities what we need and we demand. And our buying power can create so much more than we could ever give it credit. So thank you guys so much for being a part of this today. It has been such an honor to be able to share part of my story. I'm going to be joining this conversation, too. So I would love to see you guys here in just a moment on our live chat. I want to be able to answer any questions that I can for you guys. If there's anything that I can help you with at all, make sure that you reach out to us at NovakHairStudios.com, where you can check us out on Facebook or on Instagram, Novak, Fort Worth and Novak, Burleson. We hope to see you guys in the salon soon. And I will see you guys and chat with you guys in a minute. Bye, guys.