by Steven Sanchez
Life, Art, Business, & Entertainment is the motto that defines the local startup marketing agency, The Method. It’s run by Stephanie DuBois, the licensed hairstylist of sixteen years who formerly owned the salon, The Paint Room, which unfortunately went under due to the pandemic. Having seen and lived through the year where businesses and people struggled because of the lockdown, she took the initiative to switch to a passion she’d always wanted to pursue which was public relations. With that drive, she wanted to help local businesses, big/small/local/independent, by expanding their social media presence and have them get involved with in-person events to drive their brand and generate profit.
This endeavor may be new to her, the world of advertising, but being a foundation builder has been her specialty. The single mom from Clovis spent years at a corporate job with Ulta to establish new brand salons in different locations in and around the Central Valley and managed a JCPenny in Fresno with thirty-six employees and raised their sales by $300,000 in one year. She incorporated that knowledge into building her own salon. She had her hand in every part of the process when it came to running The Paint Room. Business decisions, design, hiring, training the assistants, social media, hosting functions, etc., that was all her. She’s done it before, and The Method has been generating momentum the last few months as Stephanie has been expanding her clientele.
The year of 2021 has been a year of firsts for the cosmetologist and entrepreneur. Not only is she embarking into the world of marketing but in being in front of the camera as a host. Her debut being interviewed on the local run internet/social media platform CentralValleyTalk led to an offer to run her own show also called The Method. There you can see her interview business owners, artists, and personalities; the list goes on with an array of people to show the Valley what her company is up to and what’s taking place in the Valley. She’s talked with and featured local personality Austin Reed, the Grammy winning pianist and owner of the Harmony House Gina Lenee, Porchfest 2021, Beyond The Wine, The Pines Resort/Ducey’s at Bass Lake, and many others to come. Already just four episodes in, combined together she has accumulated over a thousand views already. It allows her clients and collaborators to put their names out there, and it offers a chance for them to be seen across a plethora of visual mediums. Being broadcast on social media is not the end all. There’s more opportunities for her voice to be seen and heard through different platforms. What they are…you’ll just have to wait and see.
Even though her goal is to accumulate profits for her clients, The Method’s focus is to also donate to local charities. People lost a lot because of 2020, some more so than others, and businesses suffered greatly, especially people living in poverty and with medical issues. Being no stranger to loss, she wanted to set an example in 2021 by giving back to the community to assist businesses and people to recover by using her skill set and humanitarian heart in which to accomplish that.
Just because she’s journeyed into another career field doesn’t mean she has left the cosmetology world altogether. You can catch her still cutting hair twice a month at Dope Barbershop at its new location across from the Fresno State football stadium and on First/Nees. She’s bringing her clients as well, so you better book fast.
It was an honor getting the chance to interact with this eclectic, independent woman. Her life story and business journey is as interesting as her hair choices and ever evolving fashion sense. We got to talking about how she was able to rise up through the pandemic, the future projects she has in store, and in her mind, what makes the Central Valley so special.
KRL: How would you best describe The Method?
Stephanie: The Method is a marketing/public relations startup company that supports everything that is local by collaborating with businesses and working with non-profits and charities to support and give back to the community to ensure that local businesses thrive.
KRL: Like a lot of people you had your own business, a hair salon, but it went under because of the pandemic. From your own individual perspective, what process did you go through to rise up and overcome this?
Stephanie: I’ve been a licensed hairstylist for sixteen years and finally making my dream happen to open my own salon that was successful in 2019 and to have it be taken away from me made an emotional impact on me. But during that time, I assessed my priorities by asking myself what was my goal opening it, and am I going to let it slip by or am I going to make the best of it? After having everything stripped away from me, that tragedy inspired me to create The Method. It was a passion I had formed in this past year with the intention of bringing awareness to local businesses, vendors, and artists. Events and establishments got hit the hardest, and I wanted to take the initiative to help them bloom again to build our community and make it stronger, and in doing so I assist them and it benefits not just their business, but their families and livelihood. I went through it, and I want to make sure that no one has to experience what I did.
KRL: You’ve lived in different places like San Diego, but you ended up coming back to the Central Valley. What is it about this area where people feel compelled to leave and at some point, they always come back?
Stephanie: For me, it’s a beautiful area, but it has a small-town feel. Growing up here, I’m from Laton, and moving to Fresno, I think it’s great we have local staples that give this community an identity. Fresno State, the restaurants, coffee shops, boutiques, events, etc. With these businesses, you know these people on a personal level who run them. That close connection makes the relationship between the business and customer a special thing. I feel whether you stay here or leave, that’s the trait that people really like about this area, no matter where you’re at, and people are drawn to that.
KRL: When someone asks you where you’re from and you say the Central Valley, what does that mean to you? How does this area compare to the other places you’ve been to?
Stephanie: I’m proud to say I’m from the Central Valley. I’ve done everything this region has to offer. Riding horses and country living, transitioned to the city living and being exposed to the arts and different people. We got the farms, the wineries, in my mind you can’t beat that. Even if you want more options then, we’re in the right location for that. You go a few hours up north there’s San Francisco, a few hours down south there’s Los Angeles. And we have nice places around us well. There’s Bass Lake, Huntington, it’s in our backyard. While it’s big in population, it has a small-town atmosphere where you could run into somebody you know. That’s the beauty of being from a place like this.
KRL: There’s so much potential here for music, art, and business, that, from what you see, what would it take for this area to reach its potential on providing that on a level that is equal to the other great cities in this state?
Stephanie: Well, that’s why the motto for The Method is Life, Art, Business, & Entertainment. Our purpose is to give awareness to all those things. We’re about connecting businesses together to collaborate, and support each other. Making contact with musicians, photographers, and videographers. Bringing as many people on board to where we are all marketing our businesses and crafts together, and standing up for different causes. That’s where we can set the Central Valley a part. Other big cities in the state lack that close connection, competition is what drives those communities, but we are closer in a way that they are not, and in the end, we can all benefit from that camaraderie.
KRL: Going from a hairstylist to a marketing person is quite the transition. Was there anything about being a business owner and a cosmetologist that has translated well into you becoming involved in advertising?
Stephanie: Having worked for salons on a corporate level, to overseeing one and then to opening one, I’ve had to handle just about every aspect that comes with that industry. I did all the advertising when I went solo and built up my clientele and did all the hiring. It was literally my project. The Paint Room was a means to show that I’m more than a business owner or just somebody that cuts hair. It was meant to be an expression of me. Once I went through everything I did with the pandemic, I asked myself…what do I love, what’s my passion, and what am I good at? That was the foundation to how The Method came to be. Doing the advertising for my salon was the part that I enjoyed the most. I just incorporated what I experienced in the salon industry and running my own establishment and put it towards The Method.
KRL: Who are some of the people you are working with and what are some future projects you have in store?
Stephanie: We have our hands in different things. We do everything ranging from social media, photography, videography, event management, business referrals, and access to different visual mediums. I’m excited where The Method will be in a year from now. Right now, we got events happening with Beyond The Wine from May through June, along with the beer gardens on Wednesday in July and August. We have a big one coming up in October for the rock and metal crowd. We’re collaborating with local Grammy award winning pianist, Gina Lenee, and her Harmony House. We’ll be putting on events there ranging from yoga classes, cooking classes, wine tasting, and photoshoots. We’re also in contact with former Fresno State basketball alum, Demetrius Porter, by promoting his own brand of wine, Center Cork. We’re assisting him into getting his wine onto the menus of different restaurants around the area with the emphasis of giving back to his non-profit organization where he helps local basketball prospects get recruited to colleges. There’s quite a bit going on that I don’t want to divulge too much. You have to wait and see.
KRL: You’re a single mom, hairstylist, business owner, host, influencer, and now a marketing person? What can’t you do?
Stephanie: I’m not good at tech stuff or handy work like putting together a desk, I’m like no way (laughs). I’ve always been a hard worker. My mom had me as a teen and growing up seeing her rise up, pushing, and driving herself to where she has a Master’s degree, I look up to her. When I’m feeling down, I look to the people who support me and if my family can push through the tough times, then I feel I can do the same thing. I’m not great at everything, but what I can do I maximize to the fullest and I never give up, because I know I can make an impact.
KRL: You host your own show on centralvalleytalk.com. This is your first time doing something like that. What’s it like having 2021 be the year of firsts for you?
Stephanie: My friend told me on my birthday that this is my rebirth year. I honestly believe that. I’m a very spiritual person, and I believe that everything I had to overcome to be at the point where I’m at with all these new opportunities is really a blessing. I’m the type of person that if it is a first for me, if I can do it, and it benefits me with what I’m doing then I put myself out there. You never know what you’re capable of unless you try.
KRL: Businesses are transitioning into using social media as a communication tool now more than ever before, but there are companies that even though they have it they don’t know how to use it. To you, how important is social media when it comes to running a business?
Stephanie: One thing is that it’s free. People like us do it as a living, and having those people who make it their expertise can help broaden the appeal for these businesses. There’s so many things you can do. You can livestream stuff, create pages, do social chats, I mean it is limitless. It’s a great way to create engagement. You don’t have to just reach out locally, with social media it allows you to expand your appeal on a national or international level because social media is everywhere. Now, we live in a day and age, where when you’re building clients, looking for investors, or businesses to collaborate with, they look at the numbers, the followers, the likes, the comments, the engagement, the traffic, and everything else. The statistics are important. It’s useful to show your efforts because it’s only going to attract more people to your business, and put you in a position to achieve bigger and better things.
KRL: You’re all about helping other people. Where do you get that from?
Stephanie: I get that from my grandmother and mother. My mom is a family therapist, and I believe she does what she does because she’s an empathetic person. My grandmother is the type of person that she’ll give you the shirt off her back. I feel like I developed my passion for helping others by witnessing them be selfless all my life that I’m thankful I got that trait from them.
KRL: Everything you’ve been a part of has been female empowerment. Running your own salon and the staff being female. Having your own startup marketing company run by a female. Working with other female business owners. Having your own show hosted by a woman. What’s it like knowing you’re doing something unique in that capacity that all the endeavors you’ve been a part of have been driven by the power of femininity?
Stephanie: To me that makes me really proud. Supporting women is a big responsibility for me. I think we don’t get enough credit for what we do. I’ve worked with single moms working nine-to-fives, juggling different jobs at the same time, running a household, and taking care of their families. To do all that means a great deal. Now we’re living in a time where we are seeing more women in positions of power and creative roles. We have a ways to go, and the credit that needs to be recognized and supported by the community for these women should be a priority. To be able to say I’ve done what I’ve been able to accomplish as a woman means the world to me. It’s a cycle, when we support women that rises up our children, our businesses, and our community.
KRL: Now that you have the floor, what would you like other businesses in the Valley to know about you and The Method?
Stephanie: If you’re looking to get yourself out there through social media, events, etc., we are here to do that. You’ve heard about me and what my network is like, but my partners who help me are tapped into the different pipelines of communities here in the Valley. Their connections and ties to the music, film, and stand-up comedy scene, the sports landscape, the comic book conventions and fandom, relations to promoters, delving into the publishing world, and their experiences in journalism is astounding. I’m fortunate to have them by my side. It’ll be a challenge to find a firm that has this type of knowledge and expertise under their belt. Do you want to build consumers and loyalty, but to keep it consistent, and have other avenues to generate revenue where everyone involved can thrive with unlimited opportunities for exposure and outreach by being a step ahead in the market? The Method is here. Our ambition is to be the go-to agency and to become ambassadors for this area when it comes to businesses and charities to let the city and anywhere else know that this a great place. It’s about time people outside the Valley took notice of that.