First Person: Kali Jones, stylist

First Person: Kali Jones, stylist

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[This is the first in an occasional series spotlighting real people and their Windows Phones. Know someone interesting whose Windows Phone plays a key role in their job, business, research, or hobby? Let us know! Email: wpblog@live.com. –ed.]

Kali Jones, a Seattle-based stylist, uses her Windows Phone HTC HD7 to book clients, show off her cuts, and charge credit cards.When Kali Jones moved to Seattle from Las Vegas last fall, life got a bit crazy. An in-demand hair stylist for the past 15 years, Kali soon found herself with a full client base in each city—all of them clamoring for her to make them look fabulous (her motto: “I make supermodels”). So Kali, 34, rents a chair in a salon not far from her North Seattle home, and flies down to Las Vegas once a month for a long-weekend marathon with her clients there.

Since she got it last spring, her Windows Phone—an HTC HD7—has become an indispensable professional tool, taking her marketing to the next level and helping her stay on top of the logistical challenges of running a business. I caught up with Kali recently in the sunny garden of her home, surrounded by late-summer blooms and vegetables, with Brazilian jazz playing on the sound system.

What’s a typical work week look like for you?

I have 90 clients in Las Vegas, where I lived for 6 years, and 90 in Seattle—two full, independent clienteles. In Seattle I usually work Tuesday to Saturday, and I spend 4 days a month in Las Vegas seeing my clients there. When I’m in Las Vegas, I work from 9 a.m. sometimes to midnight if I’m doing extensions.

How does your Windows Phone help you manage things?

For one thing, I’m not going to miss a contact, whether they choose to email, call or text me. My clients will book their appointments through texting, and then I remind them about their appointments with a text. For the Las Vegas clients, one week before I go down there I blast out texts. I think they like that, because people can’t pick up the phone at work, or maybe they’re a cocktail waitress and they can text me back at 1 or 2 a.m. and it’s fine—I don’t sleep next to my phone. And it’s easy to track what happens to the emails and texts, whether they went through or got a reply.

I also use my phone to take credit card payments. When I started my business after moving back here, I looked at getting onto the Visa machine at the salon, but you have to do a 3-year contract. If you’re in business for yourself, that’s hard because you don’t know how long you’ll be in any one place. Then I got my phone and found an app called Credit Card Machine that only required a 6-month contract. It stores the client’s contact info—all I have to do is enter the credit card number. It emails a receipt to me and to the client, all paperless and totally awesome. You can check online to make sure the payment went through, and it shows up in your bank account in a couple of days.

How about marketing?The Credit Card Machine app in Marketplace

Facebook on my phone has been a major marketing tool. I take pictures with my phone to upload into my hair album on Facebook, before and after shots. Clients like to see themselves—I’ll put it up and get a Like immediately. They’re like, ‘I made it into the hair album!’

When I moved to Seattle, I started offering a free brow wax on your first appointment to build up my clientele. I passed out 500 flyers. When people come in, I plug them into my phone, and then they get my email newsletter. And then they start coming back as clients. There’s this one girl, a Facebook friend—I haven’t even met her in person yet—but she’s always Liking stuff I post in my hair album. So it’s just a matter of time before she becomes a client.

Why did you choose a Windows Phone?

To be honest, I’ve always been intimidated by technology. I wasn’t even on Facebook before I got my phone. I got the Windows Phone because it seemed so simple—I could see everything right there on the screen: a camera, your photos, how to get on Facebook, email. Also, I’m not the type of person who spends a whole day reading about how to use my phone. I was able to just figure it out.

This was huge for me. I needed to do it to be taken seriously. All my clients were like “Get out of here, you’re on Facebook now?” And I’ve told every client I have to get a Windows Phone.

Do you have any favorite apps?

I love OneBusAway. I used to see people using that at the bus stop and I dreamed of the day I could get it and know when the bus was coming, instead of standing in the rain and showing up to work—as a stylist—looking horrible.

Do you use your phone more for work or play?

My phone is my work is my personal life—all combined. My business is about friendships. My clients are real friends, and I hang out with them outside of work. Look, I got two texts and an email while we’ve been talking. ‘Do you have any openings?’—that’s what I like to see!

14 Comments
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  • @Rodney -- LOL, I am more of a manual reader, myself. It drives me crazy how when I ask my husband how he did something on the PC, he always says "I just messed around with it."

    If you get that fade, we'll definitely want to see it reflected in your profile pic.

  • HuwJ
    14 Posts

    Have to agree with vieya - marketing for Windows Phone needs to be stepped up hugely if it's ever to make a breakthrough into public consciousness as a meaningful competitor to Android and iPhone. As an current example, the Rugby World Cup is currently being shown to audiences around the world, and here in the UK at least, every other ad break (literally) has Apple products (usually alternate between iPad2 and iPhone). There have also been Android ads although rather less frequently. Absolutely no sign of WP7 anywhere. I live and work in London, and travelling around the city I see lots of ads for Apple and Android phones - hardly ever WP7 (except for last year when it was first launched, and no-one bought it). Remember that WP7 phone competitors are ALREADY far better known publically than WP7, so why are you not pushing WP7 much harder in the xmas run-up (and yes, people will be thinking about what presents they want to buy/receive this early)? Is something more substantial (and rather better than the original ads) being planned?

  • Hey, on that screen shot of Credit Card Machine that's my birthday! 6/9/ But 1977 not 2011. :-):-):-):-)

  • @Juliette G.

    Let me tell you something! Just joking. I'm sorry, didn't mean any disrespect towards Kali, she's perfect. I was responding to the line "I don't spend all day reading about my phone" But you're right a phone should be designed so that you can leave the manual home on the first day of use. I'm a jerk when it comes to manuals, always getting on everyone for not knowing how to fully work electronics. The truth is that my wife figures out things on her Focus before me sometimes, and I DID read the manual! My main point was about awareness and blah, blah, blah.

    Hey, can you ask Kali if she can cut a high top Fade? I want to rock it old school.

  • @Rodney E. Jones, as someone who writes user documentation I suppose I should be sad when people say they don't read the manual :-) --  but Kali actually knows a lot about her phone, just from messing around with it. Which says a lot for the user experience, don't you think? A person should be able to "just figure out" most of what she does on her phone.

  • I was at dinner last night with one of my dive buddies.  He's a techhead and often teases me about Mac vs Windows (totally in fun).  He's definitely in the can for Android, but he's also been using an iPhone 4 for the past few months (job-related).  He frequently complains that he misses using the Android phone compared to the iPhone.  But,we've had many substantive discussions about the subject of OS's and smartphones, and had the chance on a road trip to listen to a number of podcasts (WPDevPodcast, TWiT, etc.) and the point we both could agree on was that, regardless of device, find the one that just plain works for you.  He felt that Android just works.  However, he said he was open to taking a look at a Windos Phone and, to be fair, I said, "Here, before you just go in blindly, play with mine a little bit and see if it's even in the arena of what works for you."  He proeeded to move around, and he quickly found himself getting to things he liked at least as well as the Android.  One thing that was big for him was smoothness of operation---he was impressed how there was no lag in going from screen to screen, app to app (I have the Mango Beta 2, so any old lag issues are gone).  The tiles were different but he liked how informative they were.  He liked the XBox Live access.

    So, generally, he liked his first impression of WP7 and may, in fact, swap out for a Focus.  I reminded him that newer models with FFC were coming out next month so he might want to hold off -- he said he never used the feature on his Android phone.  I also reminded him that if he got one now it won't have Mango on it yet, but that it's coming in the next few weeks.  So, we'll see where it goes.  I might have made a new convert.

  • I like stories like these, and I hope they are used in some other marketing avenues soon.  When Mango is released, I hope to see television commercials and web ads pushing this thing.  I'm sold on it already (just waiting for the right hardware with Verizon), but there's a ton of people who have no idea what it's all about.  The Windows 7 my idea commercials were a great idea.  Connect people to the phone in a real way. Oh, and get mobile phone salespeople trained on this stuff.  :)

  • HTC just start delivery Mango update in Taiwan. I hope that I can also get my Mango update in less than few hours.

    www.wp7connect.com/.../taiwan-launching-mango-on-september-16th-in-htc-store-only

  • I like the way Kali suggested to her clients to get a WP. But, I just wondering what fire power she's armed with. I bet here clients are mostly iPhone users who won't budge unless you come with some serious incentive, and seeing that sweet sweet Kali refuses to read her manual I'm sure she's short on ammunition.

    The point is that although word of mouth is good, the message has to ultimately come from the horses mouth. With Kali looking to Facebook to help promote here business I'm sure she doesn't have to resources to advertise WP anymore than the rest of us. But guess who does! Ya know who does.

    Also, like another commenter said, we're already convinced, so why not seek out more of the "easy adopters" like Kali? The ones who really don't give a monkeys knuckle and aren't yet dedicated to a specific plarform are the best choice for MS. Unfortunately you won't find to many of them here. Umm, where could they possibly be?

    Nevertheless, thanks, and good job Kali! I hope your business flourishes and you continue to enjoy your WP experience.

  • @lseidman Are you for real. Your comment screams of marketing.

  • @ edwinzamire

    ?????? Why are you here? Do you like Windows Phone?

  • I hate TMobile and Windows!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • This is the reason I have become a WP7 developer, having customers/app users like her. Someone who needs a powerful can-do-anything phone and luckily I try to provide the tools and anything needed to freely release for people like herself.

    With metro styling and really Expression Blend, I can waste less time developing the UI and trying to code it in Visual Studio, which can be time consuming but instead test my UI in real time by opening in Visual Studio to ensure proper usage and every function properly, functioning. Glad to see a 1-person show (aka most small biz) desiring WP7 as his/her preferred taste as each phone exists for everyone and anyone.

  • vieya
    44 Posts

    While this is nice a better focus on better TV/Media ads would be better. Those are horrible. You guys need to focus on better marketing. Show more features of the phone and for god's sake bring mango out already. And work on Tango and the new features not the useless lower-end phone stuff. You guys need to catch up to the race not take a long time to deliver the same features other phones already have. Plus better marketing. I've seen 1 phone ad about windows phone back in fall 2010 as of recent there has not been any new ones. The ones online are not much of an ad as a boring way to show you have to use the phone. The mango ad without the gizmodo quote was very well done though. More stuff like that. And quick. ROLL OUT MANGO! Time for tango fast fast fast!