There’s nothing I love more than watching babes kill it at doing what they love. That's why I'm so excited for you all to meet Erica. I've had the pleasure to be Erica's neighbor down the hallway in a Phenix Salon Suites. She owns a studio called Revival Studio in Pleasanton, CA.
When I first met Erica, we were all moving into Phenix that had just opened up. There was a handful of people in her room, but I just knew that she was the one that was moving in. Not only did she have a warm, welcoming smile, but she exuded boss babe vibes and not in the intimidating way either. You see her and you just know she's very knowledgeable and methodical.
As I've gotten to know her over the course of last year, this remains true. She is very insightful and easy to talk to. I truly believe she had a huge part in helping me be as successful as I am today in my esthetician practice. Last year was my first year in business and there had been countless times where I would pop over and ask for her advice. On top of her exceptional hair skills, I know she would succeed in a consulting business if that were ever in her future.
How did you decide that you wanted to become a hair stylist?
At the young age of 16 our family friend, Jeffery, gifted me my first set of professional shears and I got to practicing on my 5 sisters. I just knew I wanted to help others feel beautiful. However, it wasn’t till 9-11’s tragedy that hit, was I encouraged to sign up for beauty school. I figured life’s short; do what you really want.
How would you describe your career journey?
My career journey has been a little bit of everything. I was blessed to have some amazing training and mentoring right out of the gates. The structure and high end salon vibes gave me a strong foundation. There, I started as a hourly employee, then went on to work commission. The opportunity presented itself and I decided to “rent a chair.” I was an independent stylist for several years. I’m always down for a good challenge so when the next opportunity presented itself I went into a partnership and owner role. We owned 2 locations and had up to 17 employees at one time. This role was filled with many hats mentoring, marketing, working behind the chair. The artist in me struggled to manage staff and my craft. So I’ve gone full circle and now currently focus on hair extensions and color. By honing in on one area it has allowed me to better service my niche clientele.
What is the most valuable lesson you've learned on your journey that you would like to share with aspiring stylists?
The most valuable lesson I would share is don’t be afraid to be you. We are a world of comparison, however, your secret power is no one can be you. Don’t be afraid to go out there and specialize in one area.
Out of all that goes into being a salon owner and hairstylist, what do you miss doing the most and can't wait to go back to?
I’m currently missing that connection. This time away has me missing helping others. My gift is to help others feel beautiful and I’m not able to do that with shelter-in-place.
What is your favorite quarantine hair tip?
My favorite quarantine hair tip would be to not wash your hair. I know it sounds gross but now's the time to train our scalp and slow down that oil production.
What product has been your favorite during this time and where can we purchase it?
My go to hair product is Oi butter (Davines). This luxurious hair mask has my locks shinning. You can purchase it on here!
For women that have a thinning head of hair, would you recommend hair extensions? And is it high maintenance?
Hair extensions are never a one size fits all so I always would encourage a complimentary consultation to further access and chat about hair goals.
Are hair extensions high maintenance? I’d say there high maintenance to be low maintenance. That being said every 6-8 you’ll be in the salon for maintenance and need to spend a bit more time styling on wash days. However, after you wash and style you’ll have several great hair days with no fuss. Hair extensions extend your style and absorb any unwanted oil at your scalp.
Lastly, what do you hope every clients feels when they step away from your chair?
I hope everyone stepping out of my chair feels beautiful. I want each client to see themselves in a more confident way.
It is life-changing to be surrounded by incredible, hardworking, like-minded women such as Erica. And I was lucky enough to be surrounded by more than just her at Phenix. Thank you so much, Erica, for this lovely interview! Can't wait to see what new projects and goals you have in store for your studio.
Let me know in the comment section what you enjoyed and what kind of interviews you hope to see in the future! Stay healthy, stay safe.