November 8, 2018
Behind every great business there is a fearless leader. At Mode Salon + Spa, that’s Topher Miller. With big dreams and an even bigger heart, Topher loves people just as much as he loves beauty. To really understand what Mode is all about, you need to get to know Topher first. Captain of the ship, leader of the pack, whatever you want to call him, Topher is the backbone and the heart of Mode Salon + Spa.
A Small Town Kid With Big Dreams
Topher wasn’t always involved in the beauty industry. He grew up raising horses in a small Indiana farm town. After graduating high school early, he moved to Seattle where he taught ballroom dancing and worked at a credit union. During his time in Seattle, Topher experienced a health scare and moved back to Indiana. He then began working in the automotive industry, first as a buyer and then as a director of operations. Life in such a corporate environment was difficult for Topher because, while he was good at the work, he didn’t feel like he could be himself. There was no room for creativity and limited chances to express himself. At the end of the day, it was just a job, not a passion.
“I began to think,” Topher says, “If I could do anything I wanted without being scared of being financially unstable, what would I do?”
Finding a Calling in Beauty
As Topher explored his options, he realized that he wanted a job where he could combine technical skills with creativity. This is when the idea to pursue a future in beauty hit him. “I played with my sister’s Barbies and cut/styled their hair,” he reflects. “I did hair and makeup recommendations as a ballroom dance instructor, and I helped girls choose their styles for competitions.” Going into beauty still felt like a bit of a risk, but Topher decided to take a chance and began touring beauty schools. Once he was in school, it was instantly clear that beauty was his calling. Every day at school was a chance for Topher to hang out with great people and express his creativity. He graduated beauty school in Indiana and moved to Arizona, where he eventually got a job at a Summit salon in Tempe.
From Student to Stylist
At the beginning of his career in beauty, there was no social media. This meant Topher was building his clientele the old-fashioned way. “I hung out at a local Target and found clients that way,” he laughs. “I did everything I could to get people into my chair, [including] putting business cards into boxed dyes.” It was hard work but hitting the pavement paid off. Topher’s dedication helped him work his way up to a management position at the salon. With a knack for leadership and a burning desire to own a salon, Topher began to seriously consider becoming a business owner. From his years of experience in both the corporate workplace and the beauty industry, he felt like he had a good read on what a business owner should be. He wanted to create a place where young beauty professionals could make a career for themselves doing what they love. Though he wasn’t sure what would happen, he quit his job at the salon and rented space in various salons for a few years while he saved up money to pursue his goal.
“[Beauty] is one of the only industries where you don’t need a fancy degree to make six figures,” Topher says. “It’s a career where if you choose to hustle and work hard and have a great personality, work ethic, artistry, and technical skills you can be extremely successful at a young age.”
In January 2018, Salon Tru in Scottsdale presented him with the opportunity to not only own the salon but rebrand it completely. “It just fell into my lap, I didn’t expect it,” he says. “I knew it was an amazing opportunity. There was no better location [and] the team of people was already great and something I could shape into great hairdressers.” Always the go-getter, Topher saw this as a chance to create a salon that offered something different to the industry. He wanted to take his passion for natural, beautiful hair and naturally-based, cruelty-free products and turn it into a high-end, sustainable salon experience. Sustainability is important to Topher both inside and outside of work. Salons create a large amount of waste in North America. He knew that when he owned a salon, he didn’t want to contribute to this. Instead, he wanted to do more for the environment through recycling and repurposing. That’s why Mode is a partner with Green Circle Salons.
In October 2018, Topher fulfilled his dream of owning a salon! With core values of positivity, luxury, and sustainability, Salon Tru became Mode Salon + Spa. Topher and his team look forward to serving the city of Scottsdale and providing clients with a luxurious and eco-friendly salon experience!
Help Along the Way
Topher has worked hard and experienced a lot of success because of it. However, he wouldn’t be where he is today without the support of others. “In every career I’ve had, there have been one or two people I connected with and they are still people I speak to every day,” he says. “They’ve given me advice and inspiration. They uplift me to be better.” He also cites his parents (one an entrepreneur and the other an interior designer) as great sources of inspiration and knowledge. Between his father’s business insight and his mother’s eye for design, he had a network of support when it came to building his vision for Mode.
Come and Visit Mode
For a salon experience unlike any other, make an appointment at Mode Salon + Spa. Creating beauty, making others feel great, and maintaining sustainable practices is what we’re all about. Request your appointment today!