Angela Craig always had a special talent for doing hair. She worked in a salon in high school, shampooing clients and doing her friends’ hair. After attending community college for cosmetology, she worked at Master Cuts, where she learned speed. Later, at a renowned day spa, she perfected customer service. All along the way, she took classes and strengthened her skills. “Each experience along the way helped me grow professionally,” says Craig.
Now after nearly 16 years as a hairdresser, she’s on her way to building her own empire at Salon Empyre within Salons by JC in Mobile, AL. Her private studio salon is a welcoming space where the tagline is “Diverse Hair Care,” because Craig welcomes all clients and can work magic with any hair type, from straight and fine to dense and tightly coiled. Says Craig of her career path and her ultimate choice to strike out on her own, “Now I can live my dream. I never in a million years thought a place like Salons by JC existed. In 2012, I was considering renovating an office space to create a studio salon when I came across the company in a Google search. I was the first one to sign a lease and the first one to move in. Salons by JC had everything I had been envisioning for my future.” Delighted with the opportunity to brand her own space, Craig, who is clearly driven and dynamic, got busy working on her empire. After all, she had always plotted her own future from the ground up, just like the stars of the hit TV show “Empire,” for which she named her salon. Case-in-point: Craig had a respectable clientele and a contact list of previous clients but to build business fast, she posted prize drawings, specials and referral programs on her Facebook business page. As she attracted client after client, she focused on professionalism, consistent technical excellence and superb customer service. And it paid off—since opening a place of her own, she’s more than tripled her business.
Craig says the looks she creates range from sassy to casual-conservative. (Her clients range in age from 13 to 65.) “I like to evolve hair color based on seasonal changes, and I always personalize the look for the individual,” she says. “Once I complete the consultation, I show my clients various photos on my iPad to be sure we are speaking the same language. A medium-length, layered bob is not the same thing to everyone!” Now that her business is flourishing, she’s making her next empire-building move with her own independent education team: Couture Kut and Kolor. She and the team members, who are all long-time local friends, book hotel banquet room for large classes, offer one-on-one stylist training and teach on platform at industry trade shows.
Now she’s on center stage, Craig’s next goal is to “network in the industry and get my name out there.” Remember it, Angela Craig. “I always tell hairdressers to stand for excellence, dream big and go after what you want,” she says. “Be consistent and care about your clients.”