We recently sat down to talk to Ines Antonetti-Ferrer, our 2013 Hispanic Business Person of the Year. Antonetti-Ferrer is the owner of Ines’ Casa de Hair beauty salon on Rochester’s North Goodman Street.
Q: When did you open your business?
A: I opened Casa de Hair in February of 2003 after working with my sister at the Upper Cut for 17 years. I recently purchased ny building a 1 year and half ago with the help of the city and my fiancé.
Q: Most people are afraid to start their own business? What gave you the courage to do it?
A: As a hair dresser that is always your dream… “Owning your own salon. “ Several things held me back but then there comes a time where you are either going to make this change or I am going to stay tied. I went through a divorce and I decided to make a break and start clean.
Q: What was the hardest part of running the business
A: It’s about control. Hair is like fashion, its always changing, new styles and products. I caught myself spending too much on new products. I decided I had to choose the companies and products I liked and stick to them I looked at my bookkeeping and saw I spent $50k to S60k on new products.
I’ve always been good at managing the finances but as a woman I love to shop and having that license to buy was something I had to learn to manage.
Have you had a mentor as a business owner?
I have had many, but the one that has helped me the most and given me lots of ideas, is Al Burgos. I’ve also had a lot of professional woman come and sit in my chair and encourage me. God also guided me to do this. I went to church one Sunday and the theme was “it is time to do it and take fear away.”
With my faith, strength and mentors I did it. I would never would have expected I would become the Hispanic Business Person of Year because I just work. I just work hard and I want to have a respectable business.
If you where to give a person thinking of starting a business one piece of advice, what would it be?
Go for your dreams. Go for it. Make your plan. At the time I had a good relationship with the manager of the Downtown Marine Midland Bank and he asked me if I had a business plan. I said, “ No, I have a clientele.” You have to guarantee that you have at least a $1000 a week in clients that are going to come to you. And make sure your rent is not too high so even if you make the minimum of your plan you can make the rent. Go slow within your means.
How would you compare working for someone else versus working for yourself?
I worked for my sister for 17 years and she was one of mentors. Another was Elliot Clemons of Chic Impressions; he was the first salon I ever worked with. I like working for other peoples because you can learn from them. I like working myself better because you are free to do what you want. When you are working for someone else you are following their dreams not yours. I also worked at the McCurdys salon. I’ve had my license since I was 18 and I’ve learned a lot along the way.
Any tips on hiring?
It is kind of hard to find people that are willing to learn and fast. Just yesterday I spoke with a young lady who went to school and never bothered with the license. I find that many didn’t follow through with that. Many also come in and want to start their own business. I love to teach, I also volunteer at REOC at the cosmetology program.
Hear more from Ines at our annual RHBA Luncheon and Expo which will be honoring the 2013 Hispanic Business Person of the Year at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center.
Expo: 10:30 a.m. – Noon and 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.
Luncheon: Noon – 1:30 p.m.
Make your reservations:
More information: http://rochesterhba.org/annual-award