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.

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!   🙂



salon renovation


We moved into the doctor’s office a couple weeks ago.  It was so surreal to move everything and to see our old space so empty.  All day that Wednesday, I felt like I was in a dream.  Chloe doesn’t work on Wednesdays, so her first day in the new space was Thursday, and she said the same thing.  Everything was taking longer because we had to stop and remember where we set up one particular thing or another. It really was like moving a home!

On the positive side, the doctor’s office is clean and bright, and it smells like the spa because the massage people, Sharon and Tatiana, are there with us.  And Lisa, our esthetician, is also with us.  The kitchen space is nice and big.  We also have three bathrooms.  One of the bathrooms even has a little stainless steel door that connects to one of Lisa’s rooms.  It’s where urine samples were passed through!  I think that is so funny.  Don’t worry; everything has been cleaned numerous times.

They also started construction last week.  Take a look at the pics below. They put up the wall so the other side of the salon could still function during construction.  There are 6 stylists operating out of that portion, and Mindy, our receptionist, is based there.  She has been doing laundry like a fiend over there, too.  Have I mentioned that Mindy is the best customer service person I have ever witnessed in my life?  She is also still booking appointments for Chloe, me, and some of the other girls as well.  She RULES.

We started doing booth rent on September 1.  I have liked shopping for my supplies so much!  I guess it’s just because it feels like shopping in general, and I LOVE shopping.  We’ve also started trying new hair color lines (Joico and Matrix) and OPI’s gel nail color line.  We are very impressed.  I followed manufacturer’s instructions exactly, and the soak off time is only a tad bit longer than CND’s shellac.  And it doesn’t damage nails like we had previously thought.  I don’t know what other nail salons are doing, whether they are mixing lines or curing too long or using too many coats, but we are very happy to extend our options to our clients just in time for fall.

Another thing that I hadn’t expected going into this was the psychology of processing my own payments.  It’s so much more personal than I realized.  What an incredible job!  We get to help our clients achieve the look they desire (or the relaxation they need) while talking and having a personal connection, and then they support us with their money.  They could take their money anywhere!  That is so incredibly humbling to me.  I am in awe of this career, this amazing journey that continues to surprise me everyday.


Adventures in the Meantime

While we’ve been waiting for more information about our salon transition, we have had some adventures.  We know we’re going to be moving from our current salon space to another area in the same building, but we don’t know which area.  It could be the back part of the salon, or it could be another office space in our building.  In preparation for that, there’s been a lot of cleaning out of drawers and cabinets.  Who knew one person could stash so many cheez-its?

In terms of adventures, Chloe has been working on buying a house, and I went to Colorado.  Chloe and her husband found a super cute house, and they’ve been dealing with all the ups and downs that buying a house entails.  They say that the 3 most stressful things in life are buying a house, starting a business, and having a baby.  Well….Chloe had a baby last year.  Now she’s doing the other 2 in the same month.  She’s one strong lady!

I decided back in the spring that since my husband and I have been married for 10 years this year, we should go on a trip.  What better time to go than in August when things usually slow down?  After school starts, there’s usually somewhat of a slow-down in appointment frequency.  Any time there is a major holiday like Christmas or significant universal life event like school starting, folks’ schedules usually change, throwing their hair or nail appointments off.  As it turned out, that didn’t exactly happen this year.  Don’t get us wrong; we are so VERY thankful for the continued amazing support from our INCREDIBLE clients!  It has been such a blessing to see how many people love and care about us.

Since I had already scheduled this Colorado trip way before any of the salon stuff happened, we hopped on a plane and made the most of it.  We walked around Denver, we stayed at the coolest hotel, we ate, we climbed a mountain (like…literally), we camped, we walked around Boulder in the little market/mall area, and I got to see some very dear college friends.  Meanwhile, Chloe moved out of her townhouse and prepped for a yard sale. And the yard sale was a huge success!

In the midst of all that planning and moving, Chloe and I went on location for a senior portrait shoot.  One of my college friends lives in the area, and she is an excellent photographer.  Her client needed hair and make-up for her senior portraits.  It was such a great afternoon!  Laid back, good conversation, classic make-up and hair, what more could one ask for?  Take a look at some of Amanda’s shots below.  She has such a wonderful eye!  We’re going to do another shoot when the autumn air starts rolling in, and I can’t wait.  Check out her other projects at

Look at the lighting on Chloe’s photo!  I just love it.


interesting clients

Remember That Time We Met John Bobbitt’s Brother?

So I was going to write about summer nail colors we’ve been loving, but then we had a pretty interesting day the other day.  We realized through this experience that we have some pretty fascinating client stories.  I promise the polish color blog is coming.  I have the pictures even!

Our realization started out like this.  Chloe and I are in the nail room, and we start discussing Chloe’s brown recluse problem in her current residence.  We have some general discussion about spiders, and then my client starts telling us about her cousin who has this infection on his arm from a spider bite he got.  He has this pool company, and he’s around spiders all the time.  His infection isn’t from a brown recluse necessarily, but it’s infected nonetheless.  And THEN she tells us the craziest spider story I’ve ever heard. If you’re squeemish, skip the next paragraph.  This is your trigger warning.

This same cousin had a sinus infection for awhile.  It was super annoying, and then one day he blew his nose and saw…something.  So he goes to the emergency room.  They tell him they can’t do anything and he has to go to an ENT doctor.  A specialist.  So he goes to the specialist.  The doctor puts a scope/camera (I forget exactly what she said because of this next part) up into his sinuses, and they find…spider eggs.  A spider had laid eggs in his sinuses.  WHAT?!!!  There were some pretty loud exclamations at this revelation.  I just cannot even fathom that this is real.  Can this really happen?!  Medical professionals, please tell us the science on this!

Then we realized that we have some great stories from our clients.  Like the time we met John Bobbitt’s brother.  He and a friend were getting pedicures.  The friend and John Bobbitt’s brother had moved to the Nashville area in the previous year for various reasons.  My pedicure client and I were participating in the conversation, but then our conversation went in a different direction until I heard the words, “I bet Jacqui knows who that is.” Indeed, I do know who John Bobbitt is.  Some very good friends of mine have dressed up like John and Lorena for Halloween in the past.  John Bobbitt’s brother LOVED this, and decided he wanted John to know.  And then he FaceTimed him.  RIGHT THERE IN THE NAIL ROOM.  We all met John Bobbitt via FaceTime.  He’s apparently doing well as he had just been to the casino.  It seemed that it had been a winning day all around.

For a long time, I did not want to do manicures and pedicures.  I didn’t have good experiences with foot water in beauty school, and cuticles had previously made me nervous.  (I have no idea why.)  But 2 years ago, the salon needed someone to help in the nail room, and I felt like I was capable of that.  I’m glad I faced my fears.  The nail room has witnessed so many things- our creativity, clients’ comradery, sadness, joy, expectations- and I feel very blessed to have been a part of those things. There is something very special and humbling about transforming another person’s feet and nails.  The renovated salon will not have a dedicated nail “room.”  Chloe and I are hoping to be able to offer individual nail services in our suite when it is completed, but we don’t have the final information on that yet from our new owners.  So we wait, and we enjoy the last weeks we have in our little quirky fun space.



salon renovation

Company Meeting

We had a meeting yesterday to meet the new owners!  They were super nice, and we learned about them and what they are planning to do to remodel the salon.  All I can say is this: We are SUPER excited to see the finished product.  It is going to be so nice!  We also got a more in-depth timeline, and there was a slight wrinkle. We will be changing to booth rent on September 1 instead of August 1.

We’re a little bummed that it’s going to be a little longer, but it gives us more time to make plans and gather our supplies.  We really want to explore different styling products and look at retail options for our favorites.  We love a good product!  Styling products really make all the difference in the world.  Before getting into this business, I thought I had tried them all.  And they have really come a long way from 10-15 years ago when I was using hair glue to spike out my wannabe Meg Ryan look.  Cue the face palm emoji!  My current obsession is dry texture spray.  Kenra brand, I’m talking about you.  😉

We’ve got some plans on the books, so be looking forward to another blog post later this week about hot nail colors for this hot weather.  (Why did it take me a week to get a photo of our favorites?!) And we have a senior portrait shoot coming up on Monday.  A friend of mine from college lives in the area, and she has become quite the photographer.  She has an incredible eye for light and color, so stay tuned!

new beginnings, salon renovation

So What’s the Deal?

You might be wondering, “How are things going to be different at the salon?” We’ve had several questions about whether we were leaving our salon or starting our own business. Well, it’s a little bit of this and that.  As of August 1, we will have a new salon owner.  He is going to remodel our current salon into salon suites.  Everyone is planning on staying at the salon during the renovation process.  Once the construction is complete, Chloe and I are planning on sharing a double suite.  As of August 1, we will also be processing our own payments because we will be transitioning to booth rent.   So how is that different than what we do now?

Chloe and I are now on a commission-based pay system, meaning that we make a percentage of what our clients pay at the front desk.  When we switch to booth rent, we will be renting our space, and we will essentially be our own bosses.  Chloe will be her own boss, and I will be my own boss.  We will have to provide all our own products including shampoo, hair spray, color, gloves, foils, nail files, lotion, etc etc etc.  We wanted to start a blog and have a website together because we plan to share a suite once the salon is remodeled.  How fun is that?!  If you’ve ever been in the salon or nail room with us, you know we like to have a good time.  We are so excited about these developments, and we can’t wait to tell you more as we find out.

We’ve been planning and throwing all kinds of ideas around.  We love a good brainstorm, and we complement each other pretty well.  Our clients had a good laugh with us this week as we picked on each other about our organizational styles.  Her husband and I are pretty similar in that we are a little all over the place.  We always have plans, and we don’t always follow through with them right away… *ahem…* like when I left some polishes out on my manicure station with the intent of photographing them for another blog we’re writing.  (They are still on my station.)  Chloe and my husband are more alike in that they clean things up right away and like things a certain way.

Today, we met up at State Beauty Supply to get some of the things we are going to need right away like shampoo + conditioner and barbacide.  So many things to think about!  We wheeled the cart around while we looked and bounced ideas back and forth.  It was a good start down this new path, and we couldn’t be more excited about what the future holds.  Thank you for traveling with us!