Today we’d like to introduce you to Jessica Soler.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
The answer to how I became a stylist and eventually the owner of my own salon isn’t a pretty one.
For a long time, I was fairly lost in life. I didn’t go to college. I had no direction. Finally, after years of wrong turns and getting into trouble, I found myself standing in the last place I thought I would be: a courtroom. There I was, in those ugly orange suits they make you wear. I’d managed to curl my hair using pages from a book the night before. I was young and scared of what was about to happen. There was this judge… I couldn’t stand him… this judge was sitting there telling me I was on my last chance. He told me I had one year to straighten out my life or I was going to spend the rest of my sentence in a jail cell.
I remember crying as I went home. I was just SO angry. Who was this old guy trying to tell me what to do with my life? Faced with making a decision on what to do I sat down with my mother and did the only thing I could think of. We opened the phone book and looked up any kind of degree or certification I could get within a year.
I had three options: Dental Assistant. Nail Technician. Or Hairstylist.
The next day, my mother drove me to a school in Marietta called Roffler Hair School. We went in, I signed up, and the day after that, I was walking into my first class. Immediately I knew it was what I was supposed to do. It just felt right. Being there, I had flashbacks of all the times in my life when I had done hair. As a cheerleader in school, I’d done all the braids and curls for my teammates at competitions. I did the hair and make-up for our high school plays. I’d even done the styles for the marching band and color guard. It was then that I realized I’d been doing hair my whole life. I knew then I was in the right place. I had a passion for it. At that moment, I fell in love.
Looking back on that year, I feel so differently now. If it hadn’t been for that judge forcing me to make a choice at that moment… I am blessed to have been given the opportunity to change. I’ve found what I was meant to be doing all along. I wake up in the morning excited to head to work. Most days, I don’t even feel like I’m working at all. Yes, I help people feel beautiful. I am so grateful for that, but even more so, I am grateful that Salon Red has become more than a salon. Every day, I have the opportunity to help my employees and guests grow in their own lives. I can help heal others. Looking back on everything that led to where Salon Red is at now, I remember all the heartache and tears that got us here. But I can also look back and see all the memories we made. The love we have shared and the hearts we have helped to heal. I look back at all of that, and I am humbled to have found the place I was meant to be.
About a year after that fateful day in the courtroom, the time came where I found myself standing in front of that same judge again. That judge that I had been so angry at. By then, I was getting married and I was there to get permission to travel for my honeymoon. In that year, I’d graduated from beauty school. I was starting my family. I had a career. I had a life.
Standing there, I found myself crying again. Except for this time it wasn’t in anger.
All I could say was “Thank you.”
All this plus an amazing team, business coaches, self-educating and perseverance, has gotten me where I am today.
Has it been a smooth road?
It is constant white water and evolution, far from smooth. You have to be able to roll with the punches. The industry is still very much a “boys club” in a lot of ways. The laws have changed and cause challenges, the attitude of the people in the workforce has changed and makes it more difficult to sustain. My advice is to build an amazing support system; make sure you gather as much information as possible from others in the industry. Be humble. There is always room to grow. Be hands-on and dedicated to your team. It’s all about the relationships you build and the experiences people have. Lead by example.
Please tell us more about your work, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
I do everything with hair that can be done and some things that can’t. I specialize in cutting, razor cuts, shortcuts, men’s cuts. I am known for my avant-garde work and hair show creativity. I believe in challenging what is possible.
Are there any apps, books, podcasts or other resources that you’ve benefited from using?
Fire starter by Danielle Laporte
A new earth by Eckhart Tolle
Events for networking:
- Instagram: @jessica368