When Jacqueline Capatolla, of Upper St. Clair, opened her first beauty salon, she would have loved a how-to manual that explained all the challenges and joys she would encounter in the business.
Of course such a manual didn’t exist then, but she hopes she’s written one now that will inspire and encourage new small business owners in their own endeavors.
Her new book, “Shear Dreams,” will be released later this month.
“This is basically a how-to textbook about starting a business,” Capatolla said. “It’s based in the beauty industry because that’s what I do, but it could be used as motivation or inspiration for any business.”
Capatolla owns Jacqueline’s House of Beauty on Brookline Boulevard in Brookline. She also opened a second location on Grant Street a little more than a year ago.
The book started as a journal Capatolla began keeping about three years ago.
“We were just talking about funny things that would happen in the salon. Little goofy things that would go on,” she said. “I said, ‘I’m going to start writing these down,’ and I started keeping a notebook.”
For awhile, that’s all it was—a notebook of memories. But then, Capatolla said, the story began to take shape. The notebook pages turned into chapters, and when she opened her second salon, she started organizing the pages into a book.
“Shear Dreams” includes marketing tips and promotional ideas, sections about how to network, use social media and plan events, as well as anecdotes about Capatolla’s own life and career.
Capatolla said the book is equally for the young person who is just starting out, and the people in their 40s or 50s who finally have the opportunity to pursue their dreams.
Writing the book also was something of a cathartic experience for Capatolla. In addition to running her business, she also is involved in a number of charity and fundraising projects, and earlier this year was named the 2012 WSBA Best Business Woman in Pittsburgh by the Women’s Small Business Association.
“I got a lot of peace out of writing it because I felt at ease,” Capatolla said. “I had so much of the knowledge of all this in me and I wanted to share it. I hope people will be able to take it and learn from it.”
Capatolla will premiere the book on Nov. 29, at a networking event she organized at Buckhead’s Saloon in Station Square from 6 to 8 p.m. She said business owners are welcome to attend and bring business cards. Proceeds from the event benefit the Fluhme Foundation, which supports children with severe illnesses.
After that, “Shear Dreams” will be available on Amazon.com or at her Brookline Boulevard salon. Capatolla said a retail price has not been set yet.
She said ultimately, she hopes business owners, or people who are thinking of starting a business, will take away a few ideas from the book that will help them in the long run.
“When you’re starting out in any business, you just don’t know where it’s going or where it’s leading,” she said. “What I want people to get from it is that you should follow your passion, and if you don’t succeed, it doesn’t mean you’re a failure. There’s always time to learn.”
This article first appeared on Dormont-Brookline Patch.