Q: Can you tell us more about your background and your journey?
My mom was a hairdresser, so my whole life has been about cutting and coloring hair. I didn’t want to be a stylist growing up, I wanted to be a scientist. I’d been managing salons for years, so when my mom passed, I went to beauty school, made connections, and went to work. I had worried that if I made my hobby my job I would be miserable, but it went the opposite way—I was obsessed.
Q: What made you decide to open your own salon / become a stylist?
I was dismissing all these signs that I was supposed to open my own salon, when, one day, I got a random phone call from a beauty school friend. We hadn’t talked in a few years; she was the reason I made it through beauty school. She’s incredibly talented, but she wasn’t working in a salon at the time because the cattiness had run her away. She told me, “People keep asking me when I’m going to do hair again, and I tell them I am not going to work at a salon unless a friend of mine opens a salon with like-minded service providers with a servant's heart.” I felt the exact same way. It felt like destiny. And her name is Destinee. I knew I needed to create a space outside of a salon suite, a space of positivity.
Q: What is the most challenging thing about owning your own salon?
Our business model is unique because we donate 10% off the top, and that's what definitely determines who is or isn’t a good fit. I wanted my salon to be a haven of like-minded women who strive to improve themselves and give back to the community. I created this business model for working-moms. A few of them are newbies, and I feel lucky to be able to open my arms to new stylists and support them. It’s never a cake walk, and this is not what I thought my life would look like, but I’m thankful for where I’ve ended up.
Q: Is there anyone in the industry or beyond, that you really admire, or someone who inspired you in your career?
Everything I do is in my mom’s memory; everything I learned about hair, and about connecting with clients came from her. She taught me that the health and integrity of hair is just as important as the health and integrity of your relationship with the client. She never gave a price to any service, she just said, “Give what you can afford.” People would show up to our house at 11 p.m. with round brushes stuck in their hair, and she would spend all hours of the night working them out, so that they didn’t have to chop off their hair.