Salon Owner in DSM Pivots During the Pandemic
Tricia Rivas comes from a long line of hairdressers. She grew up doing makeovers on her dolls and her family knew she would eventually go into hair or fashion. Today she is the owner of Trixie’s Salon & Spa, an Aveda salon focused on not just hair and makeup, but also philanthropy.
Rivas began her career journey in advertising at the Des Moines Register. Originally, she took a few nursing classes at the encouragement of her high school guidance counselor, who told her it would be a good path as a teen mom. But a few months in, Rivas knew that path wasn’t the right one for her. While she enjoyed caring for others, she didn’t enjoy other aspects of the profession. At the encouragement of her now husband, she went back to school to follow her dream of becoming a hairstylist, where she could still care for others while focusing on her passion for hair.
After graduating in 1997, she worked at Salon Vesta for nine years before deciding she didn’t want to make the commute any longer. Rivas rented a chair at Judy’s Hair, closer to where she lived and began looking for resources to help her grow her own business and open her own salon as a brick-and-mortar location.
Selecting a Business Name
Rivas discusses how one of her best friends, whose father has called her Trixie since she was in junior high, is the reason for the name Trixie’s Salon. Initially, Tricia wanted a fancy name for the salon, but she as she thought about her original vision for a salon, which was Truvy’s from “Steel Magnolias,” Trixie’s just made sense.
Leadership + Surviving the Pandemic
For Rivas, journaling became important as she coped with the pandemic shutdown. In the beginning, when they thought the business would be shut down for two weeks, Rivas made sure employees had their paperwork for filing for unemployment. They looked at it as a mini vacation. As time went on, Rivas says she realized a pivot was necessary. They increased online sales, subscription boxes and pushing new products like colored dry shampoo. Trixie’s even started an online boutique, bringing her other love of fashion into the business.
Rivas discusses the need for entrepreneurs to innovate with Christina Moffatt, Director of Small Business Resources at the Greater Des Moines Partnership, and not let their business become stagnant over time, as well as serving the customer during tough times, asking hard questions to move your business forward, advice for team members and more.
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Count on the Greater Des Moines Partnership for economic recovery information and business and industry recommendations as the region moves forward from the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about current impacts and future trends from the DSM Forward playbooks here.
Startup Stories DSM
Startup Stories DSM is a podcast featuring conversations with entrepreneurs who share both their victories and failures on their paths to success. It is produced by the Greater Des Moines Partnership.