Back when I was a senior in high school, believe it or not, I still had hair. I actually had pretty cool hair, at least in my opinion. Probably not.
Unfortunately, genetics kicked in when I was relatively young. Now I go for the good ole buzzed look. It’s been a long time since I’ve gone to have a hair cut. I guess it’s cheaper this way? Not how I’d prefer it, but such is life.
I recently sat down with the young, charming, and very inspirational Megan Diez, owner of Megan Diez Salon. She graciously shared her entrepreneurial story with me. At only twenty-six, she now owns her own salon and is in the process of opening a second location.
Megan was originally from New York City but also lived in Pennsylvania and Florida. While she was in PA, she started at cosmetology school while still in high school. But that was put on hold when she moved to Florida.
“I’ve always wanted to do hair. When I was in the eighth grade I went into a local salon and asked if I could help sweep hair and just watch them work. I would do anything they wanted me to do. I shampooed hair when they needed extra help.”
Eventually Megan came to Greenville and attended school and, naturally, cosmetology was her major. While she was studying, she worked in a salon which allowed her to build up a clientele. In addition to that, she obtained an associates in business management. A pretty solid combination, I’d say.
“My long term goal was to have my own salon. When I was twenty-three my husband asked me what I was doing to get me there. ‘If it happens it happens,’ I told him. I always wanted to have my own salon. But I didn’t know what it would take to get there.”
Six months after that conversation with her husband, her goal became reality.
“I heard through the grapevine of an older gentleman who owned a salon wanted to retire and move. So I walked over to his salon to express my interest, but he was asking for way too much. I could never afford it. So I asked him to let me know if he was ever interested in renting it out. A year later he called me. He told me that he couldn’t find a buyer and he wanted to allow me to rent it. He called in February. I was open for business in March.”
She’s closing in on four years of “open for business.”
A year later, Megan had the means to renovate and replace the old furniture. She began hiring stylists and a front desk manager. Now she’s getting interns and is venturing into teaching. “I like to hire employees who are motivated and driven,” She told me. “I want them to have their own ways of finding clients. It’s important to hire professionals that are good at what they do.”
Megan will be opening up a brand new salon in the retail space below the new Main and Stone apartments. She’s hoping that she’ll be open for business this upcoming September.
“Being from New York, I like to go there to do my continuing education. That’s where I like to go to get inspired. I’m trying to create something that people aren’t used to seeing. I’m inspired by so many different places from around the world. My goal is to have you forget you’re in Greenville when you walk inside.”
There are a lot of salons around town. Obviously I don’t know a lot about any of them, but I asked her how she viewed them and planned to overcome it. Her response was intriguing.
“I don’t like to look at as anyone as competition. We are all doing our own thing. There are so many salons, but why do people go to them? It’s because of the relationships they build with people. I’d love to serve everybody, but that’s not a possibility. We all are catering to a different clientele. The most important things are the relationships that I’m nurturing. There are some many avenues to take in this business. I often have to remind myself what my main priority is.”
“When the chairs are turned around with guys getting their hair cut while chatting it up with the guy across from them who they had never met before. Then staying afterwards to see what the other’s hair cut ended up being. That’s what I live for. I want to break stigmatism that hair salons have a lot of drama. I want to nurture a community of people and create relationships. Friendships.”
“People asked me if it was hard to open the business. Sometimes it’s surreal, going to unlock the door and turn all the lights on, realizing that this is all mine.“
Dreams come true.
Not everyone knows what they are going to do from day one. Megan was lucky enough to have that inkling early.
Luck probably isn’t the word I should use, though.
She knew what she wanted, and she pursued it.
“It’s worth it,” she said, “to take the leap.”
If you find what you love, pursue it, and constantly seek better yourself at it. That’s where fulfillment will come in the business world. It’s not in the money. It’s in the heart.