After being bit by a dog, Rachel Jones was self-conscious for years about the bald spot on the back of her head. The 23-year-old owner of Fringe Salon (located in Sola Salon at 6324 Fairview Road, Suite 150, www.fringesaloncharlotte.com) decided that cosmetology would allow her to help other people feel better about themselves. While Sola Salon houses many individual studios, the sorority house-like building hasn't hindered her from making her own mark in the cosmetology industry. Opposed to the typical five-days-a-week schedule, she stays open seven days a week and takes continuing education classes to make sure she can keep her skills fresh and offer a great salon experience.
Creative Loafing: Do you think you get stereotyped as not being as skilled as more experienced stylists because of your age?
Rachel Jones: I think that people are like, "Wow, you are really young to do what you do," but I let my work speak for itself. I have a good clientele, and word of mouth is how I get clients, so I haven't really had to do a lot of advertising. I can say I love what I do, and I think that it shows. I don't think people ever stop learning. I don't think my age has anything to do with it. I do good hair, and I think that if you're passionate about it, the stars are the limit.
How do you connect with your clients when they come into your studio?
From when you first sit down, there are little touches. I make fresh brownies for whoever wants one; I have pictures of me with my family; I'll ask if you want something to drink; I let them watch whatever they want on TV. I don't want it to feel awkward. Sometimes when you walk into a salon, there is so much going on, from the phone ringing to people walking in and out. I like the one-on-one experience, and I want people to feel like they can kick back and relax and feel like they can relate to me.
How do you like sharing your salon space with other stylists?
It's fun! It's like being in a big salon; you make friends with everyone on your hall. We sometimes switch services with each other. I do a girl's hair down the hall, and she does my nails. There are times where you want to shut the door and just talk with your client and be away from everyone's day-to-day stuff, and you can.