Giving Your Career a Much-Needed Makeover

Giving Your Career a
Much Needed Makeover

How Paul Syme became a highly successful hair stylist and business owner
Giving Your Career a Much-Needed Makeover
Giving Your Career a Much-Needed Makeover

After a decade working as a hair stylist in various salons around Toronto, Paul Syme felt unable to grow as an artist. He didn’t want to return to his previous career in marketing, so he decided to do a makeover – on his career.

Fast forward 10 years and Paul is a highly successful business owner, leasing his own chair at Hey Red, a trendy salon tucked in amongst the bakeries, antique stores, chocolate shops, grocery markets and restaurants of Toronto’s Roncesvalles Village.

Being both self-employed and self-directed allows Paul to do his own thing and try new things. No surprise then that his favourite projects are makeovers or, as he calls them, “complete transformations.”

“When someone has an idea or a photo in mind that is completely different than how they currently wear or style their hair and they want to make a change, I love being able to provide that new look. It’s a change based in vanity but it could also change their outlook on their life,” explains Paul. “What we project is a huge part of how we feel about ourselves and our confidence, so being able to provide a piece of that for someone is really rewarding.”

Paul’s genuine interest in using his talents to help make people feel better about themselves has attracted a broad range of clients, from young professionals and families all the way up to “lovely retirees,” who inspire him to put his heart into his work every single day.

“You get a really broad spectrum of stories and personalities to shape the day. It can’t be monotonous because I don’t do the same thing. I’m not the type of stylist who only does one thing so I attract a really broad group of people,” he explains.

As with most storefront businesses, some of Paul’s clients are walk-ins. But as his reputation continues to grow, he is getting more and more personal referrals.

“Someone will compliment a client – perhaps a friend, family member or someone on the street – so they get my contact information and contact me.”

While Paul is focused heavily on the creative side, as a self-employed entrepreneur, he also knows the importance of tending to the business side of things. He has found an invaluable helper in Dream Payments, which he uses to process debit and credit card payments and keep his books organized. Dream is quick, easy and intuitive, which helps him stay focused as an artist.

“Dream is my direct point-of-sale (POS) system and I also use the back-end software. The web dashboard is how I keep track of my finances for my business,” says Paul. “It’s incredibly easy to use and everything is itemized exactly as I need to have it for my accounting. Each week when I update my accounting, it’s essentially all done. All I have to do is log into the web dashboard and get the information that I need. I enter it into my spreadsheet and it’s done. It really takes a lot of the back-end bookkeeping out of the equation of running your own business.”

Paul is also highly mobile, travelling to weddings and other events to provide his services on site. Dream Payments also helps make this possible because he can accept electronic payments remotely.

“Compared to some other systems, Dream is really affordable. It allows me to accept debit payments whereas some other systems only accept credit. It’s also a chip-reading device so it’s better as far as security goes. It was my number one choice when I started my business.”

To book an appointment with Paul Syme, connect with him on Instagram or visit Hey Red on Facebook.