Life is funny sometimes. You never know the twists and turns your journey will take, but I’ve learned it’s definitely worth the ride!
I’ve always had this dream to create a space to call my own where I can grow my passion and help other artists catch that same spark for their craft. When I thought of the word ‘cultivate’, it resonated with me, because we grow from the root deep. As an Aveda educator, I’ve always felt that we all need growth and guidance and that is exactly what the core idea of my business revolved around. The idea of growing, changing, striving from the roots to create something beautiful. And that’s when the idea of Cultivate Hair Salon was born.
And then Covid crashed the party. Perfect timing, right??
During 2020 when everything was shut down, something inside of me felt a calling to become more than an educator. As a hair artist, I felt our industry could do better. I could do better. I decided a change in my life and career was in order. Not truly knowing what that meant, I dove into business leadership and more education. One of those unexpected turns that changed my path forever.
As I was slowing putting the pieces of this plan in place, I was blessed with a phone call. An older salon was abandoned from the pandemic and was needing new life. As soon as San Marco was mentioned, I knew the building and the salon. A girlfriend said I was the only person she could think of and gave me the information.
I wasn’t 100% ready (mentally or financially) to take this leap, but what could it hurt to just look? I instantly knew, while driving into the square, seeing the spot I’ve always loved…this is where I’m supposed to be.
It took all of 10 minutes of fear and excitement to make the decision to call my husband and start the process. (I’ll save you the time and energy of all the crazy conversations, tears, and disappointments that came along the way!!) I got home and didn’t move from my office until my business plan was complete.
Then the hard part. Financing. Let me remind you, it’s 2020. An SBA loan was laughable. Everyone was still getting PPP loans. Every bank I called, literally laughed in my face. I had all the elements there: an exceptional credit score, numbers from my previous years of hair, proven growth, year after year, behind the chair, and management for the last 10 years. I was literally being told no, or just being told to open first then we’ll move forward.
September came and the landlords needed an answer. It broke my heart to say no, but with no extra backing, I couldn’t risk my family’s future in just a dream. I said thank you for your time and good luck. And then cried…a lot.
I found myself searching for other locations in the area and kept running into shut doors. I worked diligently on grooming my business plan, praying, and researching.
Holidays hit, and in our business, you don’t have time for other distractions. I put aside my dream and promised myself, in January I’ll start back up. But that ache in my heart didn’t go away so easily.
January comes and so does a message that oddly, I never got a call. Just a message. It was the landlords, seeing if I was still interested in their building. I fell to my knees and cried. I told them I’d be there in an hour. I rescheduled all my guests and went straight over.
My husband and I figured out the financing and I signed that day. We celebrated for about 5 minutes and then got to work! I had three weeks to get the ball rolling and to be open by February 1st, 2021! Now, I needed to make a decision on products. Who am I kidding?!?! I knew exactly who to call!!!!
And the rest is history. Those 3 weeks were a blur, but when you are pushing towards your dream, it’s all worth it.
Now when guests walk through those doors and see my passion for this industry, for Aveda, for my craft, and cultivating other artists, they know that this little dream that I’ve carried in my heart for years has finally become a reality.
A place of growth, acceptance, education, and most of all…some kick-ass hair!