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Our Story


Salon Success: ananda hair studio's TrueLark AI Experience

Business Name:

ananda hair studio


Beauty & Wellness


40 employees



Business Name:

ananda hair studio

Beauty & Wellness


40 employees



Since adding TrueLark, ananda hair studio has streamlined operations and guest support processes. Because TrueLark handles the majority of client conversations, their team doesn’t have to spend time managing bookings and client inquiries.


Calls fully handled by AI


Conversations per month


Revenue booked per month


ananda hair studio, founded in 1995 in Asheville, North Carolina, has cultivated a reputation for exceptional service and lasting client relationships. Founder Larry Hopkins’ vision was to create a space where hair artists could thrive, collaborating and feeding off the city’s vibrant energy, while giving back to the community. This commitment to fostering a creative and collaborative environment continues to be a cornerstone of the ananda hair studio team. Their success story is further reflected in their growth, with three thriving locations and a fourth on the horizon.


ananda hair studio

Commitment to Innovation

ananda hair studio is proactive about contributing to the greater good, evident in their eco-friendly practices and support for local initiatives. This dedication to innovation extends to their business model. Tena Friddell, who came on board in 2008 and is now CEO and co-owner, partnered with Larry to transform the traditional commission salon model. Their vision is a transparent, hourly fee and gratuity-free payment structure that benefits everyone – clients, stylists, and the entire salon team.


As ananda hair studio expanded its reach, managing phone calls and bookings became increasingly demanding. While they relied on Phorest for booking and marketing reminders, they lacked a system to handle inquiries during and outside of business hours so their stylists could focus on their guests. 


They realized they needed an “AI safety net” to capture leads and streamline communication. Tena identified TrueLark as the ideal AI communication and booking platform. A proactive researcher of new technologies, when Tena discovered TrueLark, she knew she’d found the solution. TrueLark not only integrates with Phorest, it provides seamless client communication. While TrueLark has only been live for under a year (though it feels longer!), the impact has been undeniable.

How does TrueLark work?

  1. Client calls: TrueLark answers, even after hours.
  2. Friendly text chat: Client can book, reschedule, or get answers to questions.
  3. Existing profile? TrueLark uses it! New client? TrueLark creates one.
  4. Syncs with the studio’s schedule: Appointments booked show in the Phorest calendar instantly.
  5. Cancellation? TrueLark offers the open slot to new callers.


The ananda hair studio team says TrueLark excels at capturing information and saving time on inquiries. The conversational AI engine allows the staff to follow up on missed calls with collected information, leading to improved conversion rates. The time saved and ability to focus on other areas is invaluable.

ananda hair studio

The team also appreciates TrueLark’s dedicated AI trainers, who continuously improve the platform’s capabilities. When the AI gets stuck, a member of the TrueLark AI Ops team gives the engine the information to solve the problem the next time around.

“TrueLark is our catch-all when we can’t get to the phone in time, and it’s been a really big savior for us,” explained Harrison Hopkins, Operations Assistant

ananda hair studio


Client Experience

TrueLark allows ananda hair studio’s stylists to be more client-focused by minimizing phone interruptions. This helps the team maintain the atmosphere their guests have come to expect. Clients enjoy convenient self-service texting to manage appointments and get answers to questions. Many guests are unaware they’re interacting with AI. 

Solution Highlights

Let’s recap the benefits:

  • Integrates with Phorest, syncing appointments live.
  • Answers 100% of calls, 24/7 with a friendly text chat.
  • Fully handles 68% of calls, no human interaction required.
  • Books, reschedules, or cancels appointments seamlessly.
  • Answers FAQs and collects lead information.
  • If necessary, a staff member can take over the conversation, address an issue and then hand it back to the AI, without requiring the guest to log into another system.

To learn more about TrueLark for salons, book at demo today!

ananda hair studio

ananda hair studio stylist with client