Cathie Anderson

Cathie Anderson: Midtown salon makes room for seminars, fellowship, fun

Salon owner and hair stylist Marci Landgraf recently expanded her midtown Sacramento studio to make space for education events that will bring in cutting-edge hairdressers from around the world.

Landgraf once traveled the globe on behalf of Sebastian International, educating other stylists at hair shows, producing avant-garde hair designs for fashion shows in cities such as Paris and New York, and touching up celebrity hairdos on the red carpet. She did it for decades while maintaining a salon here in the Sacramento region.

Landgraf didn’t miss the travel, but she did miss the camaraderie she found at the shows and the forums for sharing concepts or product information. She hopes the seminars at Muse ArtHaus, 1409 R St., will satisfy her longing for both. Her first is planned for early May; for details, check on

She hopes working professionals from around Northern California will come to Muse ArtHaus for continuing education. She said she wants to do what she’s always done, “but … without a manufacturer breathing down my neck. There’s actually quite a trend now. You’re starting to see smaller little venues pop up with artists who used to work for major manufacturers, or still do, providing workshops.”

Landgraf sees her expanded space as an opportunity to pay forward what she received from industry luminary Robert Lobetta, who ranks with the likes of Vidal Sassoon and Trevor Sorbie in the hair design field. She will also use the additional square footage to add what she’s calling beauty bars, where they’ll do quick, easy services such as makeup, brows, braids and blowouts.

The real selling points

Carson Gross, Mike Machado and Brett Owens introduced an application called LeadDyno a year ago, thinking it would generate sales leads for another product they had launched in 2009.

To their surprise and delight, small e-tailers are adopting LeadDyno. In the first year, it generated revenue in the six figures.

Owens said it took four years before he saw that kind of sales revenue from his original brainchild, Chrometa. That application helps attorneys, consultants, accountants and freelance graphic artists track billable hours, whether their time’s spent on the computer, their smartphone or in meetings.

Owens and his Chrometa business partner Chihab Bahhadi asked Gross, then a Chrometa employee, to come up with a program that would let them turn happy customers into sellers. Gross asked Owens if he wanted a program or a new product. Build both, Owens told him, and LeadDyno was born. Now, Chrometa customers can earn $100 if they provide a referral that ends with a sale. Chrometa’s online retailers, on the other hand, receive a 30 percent commission on each sale. LeadDyno allows users to create such two-tier payment systems, one for salespeople who educate potential buyers and another for customers who simply send an email to friends.

LeadDyno, available at, provides the email language and creates a dashboard where customers and e-tailers can track leads. The program has been a hit with small e-tailers trying to find buyers for everything from T-shirts to sex toys. LeadDyno is embedded into their online stores and automatically collects data. Monthly commissions from hundreds of sites range from $19 to $895.

“They pay a commission off the sale, but they’re not paying up front,” said Owens, whose Chrometa and LeadDyno offices are both based in Sacramento. “They could dump literally thousands of dollars in Google Ads and not get anything back. Here, you’re not going to spend anything upfront.”

The LeadDyno partners aren’t getting paid yet. Instead, they’re plowing all earnings back into marketing the program.

Seniors sold on luxury

Oakmont Senior Living will be hiring more than 100 people to staff its two luxury retirement communities now under construction, one at 4717 Engle Road in Carmichael and the other at 1574 Creekside Drive in Folsom. Both are scheduled to open in early fall. When Oakmont opened its community in Roseville last year, the property was 85 percent leased on opening day, a feat that impressed the executive team at Oakmont headquarters in Santa Rosa. Crystal Dillard played a key role in that effort as senior marketing director on the Roseville campus last year. She’s been promoted to corporate director of sales and marketing. Oakmont recently opened information centers at the Carmichael and Folsom campuses.