New group forms to help Hoover small businesses

A Hoover barber shop owner has formed a new organization to help small businesses grow and prosper.

In September, Traci Fox, owner of T. Fox SalonSpa Aveda on Valleydale Road, launched a group called the Hoover Small Business Alliance.

Fox said she has seen many small businesses battling the COVID-19 pandemic and wants to bring business owners together so they can learn from each other and share tips and advice for better to succeed.

She said she had owned a small business for over 20 years, had been through hard times, and felt that she could use her trials and the trials of others to help others through difficult times.

“I know how difficult it can be to not only survive and stay open and be profitable, but also to thrive,” Fox said. “I am very passionate about small businesses.

She wants to bring small business owners together every two months for a gathering where they can learn from each other.

The first event took place in September, when around 25-30 people gathered at Aldridge Gardens to hear from Gordie Stewart, the former owner of Hoover Toyota who now runs his own advertising agency called Lot 22 Media in Cahaba Heights. Stewart shared tips on marketing and social media. The group also heard from Bill Powell, longtime former executive director of the Hoover Area Chamber of Commerce, who spoke about the importance of small businesses.

A second rally in Aldridge was held on November 17, with Krista Conlin Robinson, who runs her own public relations company called KC Projects. Robinson spoke about the branding of small businesses.

The beauty of the Hoover Small Business Alliance is that there is no membership fee to be a part of it, no cost to attend events and not a lot of time, Fox said.

“As a small business owner you don’t have the time and you don’t have a lot of money,” she said.

It’s hard to walk away from your business to attend networking events because many business owners don’t have anyone to take care of things while they’re away, she said. But it helps to get away from time to time and learn new ideas for running a business, she said.

The gatherings are not meant to compete with the chambers of commerce, Fox said. She is an active member of the Hoover Area Chamber of Commerce and Shelby County Chamber and strongly supports both, she said.

But the Hoover Small Business Alliance is aimed strictly at small businesses because they have certain needs that large businesses don’t, Fox said.

Powell said that what Fox is trying to do is a positive thing – just help others who are facing similar issues. He heard several great ideas from Stewart during his speech in September, including information on how small businesses can effectively use social media to advertise.

Gatherings are also a good way for small business owners to meet other people who can help them, Powell said.

T. FoxSpa Aveda Lounge

Fox opened her first salon called Tangles in Sumiton in 2000. Her family moved to Hoover in 2007 to be part of the Hoover school system, and she opened a second salon called T. Fox Salon in 2009. She ended up selling Tangles. and in 2015 changed its name. its new salon under the name T. Fox SalonSpa Aveda with a stronger link with Aveda products.

At the start of the pandemic, she had to shut down her business for two solid months, she said. However, she was able to bounce back and ended up having a banner year in 2020, she said.

T. Fox SalonSpa Aveda was named Small Business of the Year 2016 by the Greater Shelby Chamber of Commerce and in 2020, was named one of the top 200 salons in the country by Salon Today. This year, the show was named a finalist for Small Business of the Year by the Chamber of Commerce Association of Alabama and the Business Council of Alabama.

One of the keys to success is having the ability to pivot and change as circumstances change, Fox said. “I think we can help each other and share our ideas. “

The alliance plans to meet again at Aldridge Gardens in January, but the exact date and time had not been set at the time of publication.

To learn more about the group, email [email protected] or visit the Hoover Small Business Alliance on Facebook.

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