Lidia Ortiz, owner of the Headline Salon in Woodland Hills, didn’t set out to become an entrepreneur. But the salon where she had been working closed, and she suddenly found herself out of a job. She went to another salon and found the owner was willing to sell the business, opening the door for her to buy it. She now has five stylists on the premises. A native of Mexico who came to the U.S. as a teenager, Ortiz said that being Hispanic does not affect her business because she cuts hair for customers from all different backgrounds. “We live in a multicultural world,” she said.
What inspired you to start your business?
I never planned on opening a business. The salon I was working at closed, and I had to move. I walked down the street to the next salon and asked the owners if they wanted to sell. They said yes and I bought the salon with the small amount of money that I had saved.
Do you like being your own boss? Do you ever think about trading it for a steady paycheck?
Being my own boss is the best. I am very happy doing what I am doing. I have great stylists working with me and I have great clients. I have the best of both worlds.
What’s the best aspect of running your own business?
The freedom to create the income that one desires, being able to dedicate the days and hours needed. I’ve been in this business for 33 years and have been through so much.
And the worst?
Having a governor like Mr. Newsom, who is out of touch with the small businessperson. That was the worst part of the pandemic, was having a governor like him and he really made it tough on us businesspeople. He didn’t help us.
What’s the biggest challenge your business has faced? And how did you deal with it?
The pandemic. I broke the mandate from time to time because our government elected officials don’t get it.
What’s your favorite story about running your business?
Every part of the business. But the most memorable is when we would serve our clients with snacks and a potluck day. The seniors would just get a kick out of it. It was our pleasure to do it.
What is your most popular service?
Has your Hispanic culture affected your business?
In my world as a businesswoman coming from Mexico, it doesn’t matter. People come to the salon from all parts of the world. It doesn’t matter if they are Hispanic, orange, blue, black, all kinds. I have German, I have Russian, I have Vietnamese, I have African American. We live in a multicultural world.
How has the pandemic affected you and your business?
Tremendously. Mr. Newsom should have never closed our business for six months, but he left all of the big retailers open, as well as the liquor stores and marijuana stores open.
What advice would you give someone who wanted to start their own business?
If you have to depend on the government for assistance, don’t do it. You have to save and invest your own money. You must be willing to commit to work seven days a week and at least 10 hours per day. If not, don’t bother.