The Story of Us Part 3: Redefining Success

 

Sometimes life teaches us new ways of defining success
Sometimes life teaches us new ways of defining success

Success is moving forward through life’s challenges, knowing that surviving these obstacles makes success so much sweeter. Combing this with helping others to blossom—that is magical!

When my friend Wendy asked me how I define success, I was surprised how quickly that answer came. In seconds it was there in my mind, but there was a time when this would not have been my answer. Fifteen years ago, when Salon Red was barely more than a dream, my idea of success was being a millionaire. Having the kind of fame that came with your name in lights. The big house. All the best toys. So much has happened since those early days, and looking back I am overcome with emotion at how the highs and lows of the years have pushed me to grow and expand how I view success.

We’ve already touched on some of those moments. Building the business. The hard work, dedication and inner strength my team and I had to rely upon. There have been so many moments when my early dreams seemed almost impossible. The late nights spent working a second job as a server because my paychecks were all used just to keep the lights on at the salon. Rebuilding the company almost from the ground up when almost my entire staff, save a few loyal friends, walked out, not once, but twice. These are the moments when failure has felt near, but I’ve learned the only choice is to dig deeper, have faith in my team and myself, and carry on.

Building Salon Red has shaped who I am, not just as a business woman, but who I am in my personal life as well. I’ve come to realize that I am an all-or-nothing kind of person, and that’s forced me to make hard choices in my life. As the mother of four beautiful children, it’s been a struggle to find balance. To be the mother I want to be and follow the passion that I have found in my work.

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Jessica’s children are her #1 priority!

A few weeks before Wendy asked me how I define success, I was asking myself that same question. It was the end of 2013, and I sat down to do my personal “annual review”. Every year I like to write down what my personal values are, and reconnect with my priorities for the year ahead. As I listed the parts of my life, of course my children were right at the top. But this year, seeing it written on that piece of paper, I had such an eye-opening experience. I realized that the list of priorities in my head wasn’t matching my actions in life. It was an immensely difficult realization.

Determined to change that, I took a hard look at myself. On a scale of 1 to 10, how would I rate myself as a mother? It broke my heart to know that, if I was being honest, I was a 4. What was the answer? I couldn’t completely restructure my life. My business was more than a passion. It’s what kept a roof over our heads, and there were other families, Salon Red families, that depended on me as well. I started small. What could I do to get to a 5?

I knew that right away, I couldn’t up the quantity of time that I spent with my children. Not without creating just as many problems in another area of my life. Instead I focused on quality. The first step was an easy one: no cellphone. Each night when I left work I turned my cellphone off. No calls. No texts. No checking work emails. Not until after everyone else was asleep.

Family dinners were a huge help. With four growing children, whose time is split between me and their fathers, dinner together doesn’t always happen. But at least twice a week we make the time. Everyone together sharing a meal. Talking. Telling stories of our day. I try not to worry about work, or anything other than the family right in front of me. I focus on being present in the moment.

Sometimes it's just about hitting pause and enjoying the moment
Sometimes it’s just about hitting pause and enjoying the moment

Next came bigger changes. I made the sacrifice to spend one Saturday a month out of the Salon. Having an entire weekend with my children was a huge change. Saturday has become our movie night, and then Sunday we have a schedule for one-on-one time with each of my children. Each week I set aside two to three hours, and the child I’m spending that day with gets to pick what we do. Lucas and Layla love to go antiquing with me, and as of late they’ve discovered a love for any kind of horror film. From classics like Dawn of the Dead to more recent films, you name it and we’ve probably seen it. (The Conjuring is the current family favorite.) Rowan loves to spend our quality time doing crafts, or going hiking, and my two-year-old son River loves just spending time outside. We play in our yard and sometimes he “helps” me garden. No matter what we do, I focus all of my energy on them. Getting to know them, and creating memories.

Pink Wig Fun
It’s about making memories full of laughter and love

I am so grateful for “my dads”. Everyone is there for all four children. We attend as much as we can together, helping each other out when we can. No matter how we may be feeling about each other, our focus in on the kids. Making these changes in my life hasn’t always been an easy task. When I am at work I am definitely busier. I’m two years into a five-year personal plan, and it’s definitely an intense place to be. But this is all part of planning for the future, and I know that things get crazier before they get calm.

I’ve also come to realize that balance as a sign of success is a myth. No matter how hard we try, life will always be skewed in one direction or another.  Balance isn’t an ending point, so much as something we are always striving for. I’m embracing the obstacles that land in front of me. I’m learning to let go of this idealized view of the perfectly balanced life, and instead I’m enjoying the moments of peace when they do come. If you asked me how I was doing as a mother now, I’d give myself an 8.

2014 is a huge year of growth for me and my company. We’re growing, and learning, and I’m understanding more and more what my own definition of success is. I have still have a long way to go, but for today, in this moment, I can say that I’m not perfect, and it’s okay.

 

Style to Bloom For: 5 Hot Trends For Spring

5 Hot Trends For Spring

Spring is in the air here at Salon Red, and we couldn’t be more excited to strip off those winter hats and let our locks fly.  This season it’s a no-holds barred explosion of styles for every sensibility.  Short cropped bobs with punk-inspired fringe to demure, braided up-dos reminiscent of 1960s music festivals, these trends all have one thing in common: EASE. That’s right! Spring 2014 is the season of no-fuss style that any girl, no matter what her stylista rating, can rock from day to night. Follow the jump below for an intro to our 5 Favorite Spring Trends.

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6 Things You Don’t Know About Monique Haynes

6 Things You Don't Know

This month has been a momentous time for Salon Red, in the midst of a year that is already a big milestone for the company. For one stylist in particular, this month has held a number of such milestones. Stylist Monique Haynes celebrated her own 15th anniversary with the company, an achievement that is truly a rare one in today’s fast changing culture.  In many ways, Monique is the heart of Salon Red. If not for her own belief in what this company could be and her trust in the vision that Jessica had, Salon Red might not be here today. For that we are all more grateful than we can say, and that is why we are thrilled to present 6 Things You Don’t Know About Monique Haynes: 

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Get CitySwept Away: Grown up Grunge for The Every Day

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New this month, Bumble & bumble’s City Swept Finish has already elbowed its way onto our shelves with a New York attitude that has us falling in love. Like most millenials, I was just old enough to be mystified by the razor-sharp rebellion that defined all aspects of the grunge movement. Where my mother’s 80’s inspired perm had been a fantasy, the slouchy street style of the grunge movement had a sexy edge that left a deep, yet stereotypical slacker impression on my brain. Grunge didn’t care that it was fashion. Grunge was too busy creating the internet and tearing down the Berlin Wall to be bothered.

Oh Kate and Johnny how we miss those long gritty locks
Oh Kate and Johnny how we miss those long gritty locks

Now in 2014, Grunge is all grown up. The lived-in, gritty look that defined 90’s icons like Kurt Cobain, Winona Ryder, and even fashion goddesses like Kate Moss, has returned with a vengeance. This time it’s being recreated for the girl-on-the-go who craves an effortless transition from day to night (and let’s be honest, I want a no-hassle transition back to day as well!).  Enter Bumble & bumble. Embracing the androgyny that permeated the best of grunge, City Swept Finish dances the line between products to serve as the perfect hybrid styling tool for any hair type.

Fine hair will love the lightweight mist that allows for a broken-in, easy street style without the weight of traditional products, while folks with coarse or curly hair can rejoice in the hold and anti-fluff this part cream/part wax/part spray provides. Our short-haired comrades can get in on the action as well (fellas, I’m looking at you)! Salon Red stylist and product educator, Misti Dort, says she loves City Swept’s pomade-like application that doesn’t leave your hair feeling as greasy as those dreads you tried to grow back in ’96. (you know the ones…)

It’s got texture. It’s got edge. This look by Bumble & bumble stylist Jordan M has it all.
It’s got texture. It’s got edge. This look by Bumble & bumble stylist Jordan M has it all.

The how of this product is about as easy as it gets. Shake well and then simply spray City Swept Finish in a light mist over dry, styled hair. Piece it out with your fingers to get just the right amount of that “oh I woke up this way” look and you’re good to go! Or amp up your game by cocktailing City Swept over any of our favorite B&b products:

  • Layer over DrySpun Finish to give big airy looks a sophisticated sheen and wind-blown look that is straight out of Sex and the City fab. 
  • Start with a touch of Prêt-à-Powder before finishing with City Swept for a touch of soft volume that is all Courtney Love (minus the drugs and questionable fashion choices).
  • Copy the mermaid waves that rocked NYFW ’14 by using Surf Spray to create loose curl and City Swept to give you the grit and softness that will have you looking like a California surfer in no time.

So break out those faded flannel shirts you stole from your high school boyfriend, pop on a slip dress and your favorite stompers and get your Grunge on!

The Story of Us Part 2: Taking Risks

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Every story has a beginning. Oftentimes it is the mistakes we make, and the lessons we learn from them, that define all that comes after it. This month we’re delving deeper into the story of Salon Red and how its owner, Jessica, made the move from fledgling stylist to head of a thriving franchise. Join us now for the continuation of The Story of Us with Part 2: Taking Risks. Read more

Friz Frying Your Style? One Product To Tame Your Mane

You can almost hear it whispering, "I can save you. I am your savior. Kneel before me."
You can almost hear it whispering, “I can save you. I am your savior. Kneel before me.”

You’ve finally found your perfect stylist. The one person in all the world that knows your hair better than anyone.  You’ve listened carefully to their advice, finding the perfect shampoo/conditioner combo. You even took the leap, stopped washing your hair every single day and invested in a good dry shampoo to help you get through the week. You’ve got your hair routine down and still those mornings come when the friz monster rears its ugly head.  Luckily the hair geniuses at Bumble & bumble are to the rescue with Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil.

It's not just you. Even the owner of the world's most perfect hair gets a case of the frizzies sometimes.
It’s not just you. Even the owner of the world’s most perfect hair gets a case of the frizzies sometimes.

One 3.4oz bottle has a magic combination of essential oils and extracts that can calm even the frizziest of fly-aways.  Plus you get the added bonus of helping to protect your hair from UV and heat damage. Cause you know there’s no resisting those curling irons and hair dryers!

For a shine boost before heat styling, apply 2-3 small drops (depending on the length of your hair) to damp hair.

Make sure to start at the midshaft point so that you don’t end up with greasy roots. Then pick your favorite tool and go!

Now all you need is the wind machine and you can rock the smooth locks like this lady!
Now all you need is the wind machine and you can rock the smooth locks like this lady!

The Story of Us Part I: Last Chances

In 2014 Salon Red celebrates its 15th Anniversary.  In that time, it has grown from a tiny unheard of salon tucked into a back corner of an Atlanta neighborhood, to a six location, thriving pillar of the community.   Their selection as one of the 2014 Salon Today Top 200 Salons has solidified the Salon Red brand as one of the most respected in the country. No small feat for a company that has had to weather some of the most difficult economic times in a generation.  Ultimately the love, sweat, and tears put in by its staff  have defined the brand, and fostered the deep connections it shares with the guests who have kept Salon Red running for  fifteen years.  I invite you now to take a peak behind the curtain with our new monthly feature: The Story of Us. A sit down with owner, Jessica Soler, as she shares how a unexpected dream became Salon Red.  This month we’re exploring how Jessica came to the beauty industry and how Salon Red was born. 

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