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salon thoughts

So many things can change in a year.

This time last year, my husband and I were in Colorado with my best friend from college and her husband.  I had originally picked August for our trip because we usually slow down a little after school starts.  Last year, after I made those plans and blocked the days on my calendar at work, we got the news that there would be changes.  A new boss, a renovation, a transition to booth rent, open salon to suites– we didn’t even know where we would be moving during the renovation.  There were so many unknowns.

Today, we are moved into our suite, booth rent is awesome, we’ve added new services, and Chloe has added a new member to her family.  This time last year, she wasn’t even pregnant yet, and I had no desire for another dog.  Now she has her precious daughter Stella, and I have my standard poodle puppy,  Fletcher.  My daughter started Kindergarten, and I started going in to work earlier.  And, sadly, our amazing Mindy has moved on to another job.

Mindy was our receptionist extraordinaire.  She held us all together during that renovation.  She has helped us all move furniture into our suites.  She went with me into the demolition area to save my old salon chair– in a dress and cowboy boots, too, I might add.  She has cleaned and cleaned.  She even fixed our shampoo bowl leak.  And last week, she helped me reconnect a button on our pedicure chair!  Do you have a coworker who would get on the floor with you and look up under a pedicure chair, just to help you out because she loves you so?

Her customer service is the best I’ve ever seen in my life, and it kind of spoiled me. When I go to other businesses, their people just can’t compare to her level of awesome.  She also gives the best hugs.  Friday was her last day, and it’s bittersweet because she is going to be awesome at her new job as well.  She can’t not be.  She’ll still come for lunch and to get her hair and nails done.  But still.  I’m a little verklempt about it.  *Talk amongst yourselves.  I’ll give you a topic…*

In the summer of 2013, I started working the front desk at the salon. I had quit teaching and needed a paycheck while I studied for my cosmetology exam.  Shawna bought the salon in October of that year.  She started advertising and growing the business.  One of my husband’s cousins had married another stylist, and we talked about it a lot that Thanksgiving.  I was pregnant by then, and I just didn’t know what I wanted to do.  I wanted to work there, but I was unsure if the clientele would grow.  It seemed that all the other stylists had such a great client base.  How could I ever grow like that?  Tasha, the fellow family stylist, was working at her mom’s salon in Kentucky, and I’ll never forget what she said.  “If you have a boss who supports you and truly has your back, then that’s where you want to be.  The clients will come.”

So after my pregnancy brain fog cleared, I took the first part of my cosmetology exam before Christmas.  And then I took the second part of the exam in January.  Shawna put me behind a chair almost immediately.  Then, 2 weeks later, she hired Chloe.  And 2 weeks after that, she hired Joena.  I was really worried then.  How could we all gain clients?  But Jessie, another stylist, assured me that Shawna knew what she was doing.  We’ve all been at the salon ever since.  And you know what?  Tasha and Jessie were right.  The salon grew.  The clients came.  And Shawna knew what she was doing.  Especially when she hired her friend Mindy to help with the front desk a couple of years later.

How could I ever have known that Shawna buying the salon allll those years ago would lead me to adding to my family?  We’re going to miss our sister, Mindy, that’s for sure.  She has taught me so much.  And for that, I am forever grateful.  And y’all better know that if she doesn’t come to lunch every week, we will be tracking her down!  🙂

This picture is from the year she started.  This was the Christmas party that year (2015!), and we all had a BLAST. We laughed and laughed.  She and I got there early because I had a toddler at home and needed some girl time.  We sat at the bar and waited for everyone to arrive.  That’s when I knew she would be my friend for life. I can’t thank her enough for that.

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Here’s another reason we love her.  That’s Chloe’s little girl Lena.  And some nostalgia from before the renovation!  Everything about this photo makes me laugh.  IMG_8379

new beginnings, salon renovation

We moved! (back into our main space)

It’s been awhile, lovelies.  Things have been BUSY, let me tell y’all. The renovation started to go very quickly, and then it stalled again in March.  We were thinking we would be in the renovated space in March, but then that came and went.  It was going to be March 15.  And then March 27 or 29.  But that didn’t happen, and we had to reschedule our State Board inspector.

We had hoped for April 1, giving us the weekend to move.  But that didn’t happen.  So we came to work that Tuesday, April 2, and everything seemed like the usual.  Things in the renovated space looked complete, but there were a couple more things that needed to be done.  Our pedicure chair had been moved and looked good in the corner.  I left work Tuesday, thinking it would be the weekend for the move.  We knew we were all set up for the State Board inspections the next day with the trash can and the barbacide and the nail drill sign and the dirty towel hamper and the UV sanitizer and ALLLLLL the licenses.

Then Chloe called me and told me we had to move right after the inspections the next day.  We still hadn’t decided on the cabinets we were going to get for the space in front of the mirrors.  And we desperately needed those for storage.  She rushed around town looking at cabinets we had thought about. We knew what the space was like now, and we had measurements, so we could make the final decision.  I fed my family dinner and then rushed out to meet her at Home Goods.  Then we ran over to Target and took some pics of other things we would need, just to compare to the wall areas.  And we got a cute little letter board for fun messages.

The next few days were a blur of actvity and excitement.  We passed our inspections, and we started moving our stuff.  SO. MUCH. STUFF.  We still had clients booked because we never did know when to be able to block time off for the move.  My lovely neighbor helped me with my puppy so I could have an extended block of time to get things organized.  Our husbands even came to help us that weekend.  Chloe’s husband hung up our nail polish racks and our coat rack while my husband followed our children around.

Now that we’ve been in the space for 2 months, I can finally say I know where everything is.  Our manicure table was delivered, and it folds up so nicely.  We have figured out how to have our clients sit in the shampoo bowl.  “Sit your bottom ALL the way back!” (It is an adjustable bowl.)  And we can move around each other in the tighter spaces pretty well.

Chloe is out on maternity leave as I type this.  She is eagerly awaiting the arrival of her second child.  I am so thankful she is sharing her chair with Sherry, another coworker of ours, or it would be so lonely.  It feels like old times in a way since Sherry, Chloe, and I all worked in the same room for 4 years or so.  It just happened to be a bigger room.  She’s helping with some of Chloe’s clients while she is out.  She has 20+ years experience, and she has great red hair.  I know there’s a joke there somewhere… a brunette, a blonde, and a redhead? 🙂

Here’s a pic of the space right after we moved everything.

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favorite things

Favorite Things from 2018

Starting our own separate businesses was one of the main highlights of the year for us.  We were nervous at first, but once we got into the groove, everything was just fine.  Being in a temporary space has its challenges, but it has really helped with the transition from open salon to a smaller, more intimate suite setting.  We’re so excited to see our new suite once they get it completed.  We went over before Christmas, and they had just started the framing.  They had all the spaces marked, and we got to walk around in what will be our suite.  It’s such an exciting part of the building process.

We’re also both loving new products.  We still love Redken, but we’ve been able to branch out since starting our own business.  Olaplex, Moroccanoil styling products, and Matrix color have found a lasting place on our shelves.

Favorite Things from Chloe–

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I have a new love for texture spray!  It’s my new all time favorite hair product.  I’m also loving Verb shampoo and conditioner.  They smell great and leave the hair with a really nice clean feeling.  A big favorite for me for 2018 was our photo shoot in the studio.  It made me feel like the ultimate #bossbabe!  I love that I was forced out of my comfort zone and was able to place trust in myself and my new suitemate.  We had a great time, and the photos are so good!

Personally, 2018 was a big year as well.  We took Lena to the beach for the first time, and she was the perfect beach baby!  My husband got baptized.  We bought a house in White House, where we have wanted to live for several years.  We adopted a puppy named Sandler.  And then on top of all that excitement, we found out about the final piece of our family puzzle, Stella Grace.  She’s due in June 2019!

Favorite Things from Jacqui–

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My husband and I love to rank things, and on the last day of 2018, we had to give a classic review of the best and worst of our year.  Some of our favorite moments included our trip to Colorado, watching our little girl learn how to write and turn 4 (Wow! Where does the time go?), and riding out a small tropical storm while we were in Mexico Beach in May.  The whole town is so changed after Hurricane Michael came through in October that it’s kind of bittersweet but good all the same.  We also had our 10 year anniversary.

Professionally, I couldn’t ask to be in a better place.  I am in awe of my clients and their support of me and my family.  They could choose to go anywhere.  My favorite products of the year are the OPI gel color top coat and the Matrix Colorsync line. And of course I have a continued love affair with Kenra’s dry texture spray.  I also have to agree with Chloe about our studio photo shoot being a top moment.  I was always behind the camera when I taught high school (yearbook class), so it’s not super easy for me to lighten up and have smiling eyes.  But my friend and photographer, Mayter Scott, did an amazing job styling us and helping us breathe.  She’s just such an incredible artist and human being, and I’m so thankful 2018 reconnected us.  Go check out her instagram if you have a chance.

Here are all our instagrams if you want to follow our work:

mayterscottphotography

chloespears.hair

justjacqui2018

salon renovation, salon thoughts

Year In Review: 2018

Wow!  What a year.  We started 2018 not knowing what exciting things would be headed our way.  I was happy coming to work to see my coworkers and clients, and I know I can say the same for Chloe. We were in a good head space. Things were calm.  Easy. Dependable.  But you know what they say about that…  Sometimes “easy” can become complacent, and that isn’t where a stylist who wants to grow needs to be.

In early July, we learned that the shop was changing ownership and would be transitioning everyone who was still commission to booth rent.  We all had so many questions!  Over the next few weeks, we got the answers, and they were very good for us all.  Everyone at the salon and spa would be staying.  I’ve said for years that our team is what makes our place magical.

I fell into this salon five and a half years ago when I started working the front desk.  I wasn’t very good at it (patience isn’t one of my strengths), but it was a good job to ease into the salon setting and study for my Cosmetology exams.  I got my chair at Hair & Body five years ago this month.  I remember that time so vividly.  It was a VERY cold January.  Two weeks after I moved to being behind the chair, Chloe was hired.  I liked her right away when she rode with me to pick up lunch at a local (haunted!) restaurant.  After all these years, I still absolutely believe that our group of ladies has that special something.  We can’t wait for what 2019 has in store for us!

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From the bottom of our hearts,

Thank you all for your love and support this year!  We couldn’t ask for better people to surround us.  Happy 2019!

new beginnings, news

NEW SITE ADDRESS!

Some of you may have noticed we decided on a website address.  We had so many good suggestions.  Thank you to everyone who took part in our contest!  The lovely winner is Raven Guyton!  I’ll be sending something out special for you this week.  😉

We decided on Cutting Remarx because we wanted to incorporate our blog into our website identity.  We do a lot of cutting in our business– cutting of hair and nails.  Chloe and I are both pretty sarcastic as well.  We liked the “x” on the end of “Remarx” bc we will eventually style that X to be a set of shears in our brand.  Also, check out that little favicon up there by the URL. 🙂  We love the multiple levels of creativity that this new name gives us.

And in other news, our photos came in.  Thank you to Mayter Scott for all these beautiful shots.  These are some of our favorites.

 

new beginnings, salon thoughts

I’ve been thinking about the weather.

This past week, we had some severe weather here in Middle Tennessee.  Our babysitter stayed at our house while we watched the warnings and prepared to go to our safe space.  I couldn’t help but remember a time my friends and I lived through a tornado outbreak that tore through our college and the surrounding town.  It’s been 16 years.

I was in Jones Hall, sitting next to my friend Michelle. I had been working all weekend as a server, and I was just so over it. They ALWAYS called us down to the first floor. I had my pillow and my cell phone, a Nokia with a bright blue cover and purple keys I had picked out myself. Some of you remember those, right?  We were laughing and joking, lamenting how we had these warnings all. the. time.  Until the lights went out. Then we heard it. I didn’t think it sounded like a train. Maybe a really low flying plane?

Then we heard screams as our smoker friends rushed in from outside and the glass in the stairwell shattered. Michelle and I hugged each other.  It was so fast.  Our dorm was separated from the destroyed gym by tennis courts and a road. I had walked across that road so many times I can’t even count.  My room on the fourth floor looked out over those tennis courts.  I loved hearing the tennis players out there, the skid of their shoes and the tennis balls on the court, and I had often opened my window just because of that.

When we emerged from our safe space, we saw utter destruction.  The gym was destroyed.  The art building was in bad shape.  There were cars in the parking lot with shattered windows. It was like a scene from a movie. Flashing lights, darkness. I had just started dating a guy at the time who worked at the Air Force base.  I can’t remember what his job was, but he was involved with the police on base I think.  He showed up in full tactical gear, and I thought it was kind of funny.  And then he got deadly serious as he said he could smell broken gas lines.  I remember him navigating us out of the destruction and telling me not to step in any of the puddles.  My dad would have liked him immediately.  We met up with some friends who had also gotten out of the zone.  It’s better to be with friends when there’s no power in most of the town, right?

My dad came up the next day to escort me back home in case anything had happened to my car that we couldn’t see. Amazingly, my windows hadn’t shattered, but there were several pressure cracks in the middle of the front window. Now that I’m a parent, I can only imagine what my parents felt when the phone lines were down and couldn’t reach me. Most of Columbus was dark.

Here’s the thing, it helped me realize I wasn’t in control. There was NOTHING I could have done except what I did– hunker down with my friends and hope and pray. I recently saw where a W alum in Ohio is going to the Senate. She credits her time at the W for a lot of her strength. And I have to agree. Every single day, I use something I learned there. I see my friends living their lives on social media and am thankful for their influence on my life. They helped me become who I am today. Mississippi University for Women (and smart men, too) was a magical place where I learned about strength and grit and follow-through.  I learned confidence from my friends and professors there.

Today, the campus is as beautiful as ever with her magnolia trees and azalea bushes that show out in the spring.  They have rebuilt the gym and the art building.  I still feel the magic when I walk on that campus. I know I wouldn’t have had the confidence to branch out to go to beauty school if it wasn’t for the W (pronounced dub-ya).  I wouldn’t have known I could organize myself enough to do this booth rent thing.  All those late nights writing papers and pledging a social club prepared me for the rest of my life. It taught me that encountering difficult people is just part of life, and a very survivable and small part at that.  So today, in the spirit of this lovely month of Thanksgiving, I am grateful that tornado didn’t destroy us.

If you want to read more about that tornado outbreak, you can visit the W’s website below.  This is an article written 6 years ago.

https://www.muw.edu/visions/features/135-the-w-remembers-10-years-after-tornado

new beginnings

Photo Shoot

On Sunday, Chloe and I went out to a sunflower field to get some photos for the website and our social media accounts.  My friend from college is an excellent photographer, and we had recently reconnected.  We have had so much fun with her!  I had this vision of us laughing in a sunflower field with the early Autumn sun shining.  I don’t know why or how, but sometimes these things come to me.  Well, it must have been meant to be, because this sunflower field was exactly what I pictured.

We also got some family photos, and I got to hold Chloe’s baby for a little while.  She had on these tiny jeweled strappy shoe things, and my daughter exclaimed, “Oh look!  She even has a pretty bracelet!”  Y’all, it was the tiniest pearl bracelet ever.  PRECIOUS.  I can’t wait to see what Mayter Scott comes up with after she works all her magic.

She had us popping our hips and taking deep breaths, laughing loudly with a “HA HA HA!” to get the shots we wanted.  She’s absolutely right; you pop your hip out and see if your whole attitude doesn’t change for the better.  I’m also super glad Chloe and I did each other’s hair 2 weeks ago…because folks…our roots were ROUGH.  We hadn’t done our roots in FOUR MONTHS.  We are stylists!  How did we let this happen?! We decided to make standing appointments before the holidays.

Note to self (and all of our clients): Put it on the books before it’s too late!   🙂