A beauty salon operated by young Black women in Gainesville is withstanding the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Studio Glam, located at 1109 NW 13th St., hosted a grand re-opening on Saturday with guests, hair stylists, nail technicians and more as the business unveiled recent renovations to its facility.
Studio Glam co-founder Erica Phillips said the pandemic matured the young cosmetologists who range from ages 11-22.
“We wanted to expand because so many girls wanted to come in,” Phillips said. “The pandemic showed them creative ways to branch out in the beauty business.”
During the grand re-opening, cosmetologists offered services such as manicures, pedicures, facials, makeup, waxing, brow tinting, eyelash extensions, general hair styling and braiding.
Others were selling organic soaps, phone cases and clothes.
“I don’t want them to stay stagnant in the beauty industry,” Phillips said. “I wanted them to broaden their horizons in the industry.”
The beauty salon officially launched in December 2019 and renovations to expand began in November.
The facility has a hair styling station, six rooms, nail bar, pedicure station and black marble laminate flooring was placed throughout the salon along with painted gray walls.
Phillips said she wanted to create entrepreneurial opportunities for young women in the industry and to avoid some of the pitfalls she faced when first opening a business.
“Through entrepreneurship, they get to learn marketing, budgeting and how to carry themselves with difficult customers,” Phillips said. “A lot of them were working from home and I saw that they were so talented. I wanted to be the person to provide a space for them in this city, especially young minority women.”
Antadria “Tae” Hawkins, founder of Kreative Touch Aesthetic, is one of the cosmetologists Phillips helped with providing her a space to offer her services.
“I was doing nails at home,” Hawkins said. “She helped me get an esthetician license. I wanted to broaden my scope and continue to do nails.”
Hawkins said the pandemic pushed her to think of new ways to create multiple streams of income to survive as an entrepreneur.
“I was very stressed out,” Hawkins said. “That [doing nails] was my only income. She (Phillips) came in right on time.”
Nicole A. Harris, an English and history teacher at Gainesville High School and 2021 Alachua County Teacher of the Year, attended the grand re-opening to support her students who are a part of the Studio Glam cohort.
Harris said Phillips exemplifies the adage, “Each one, teach one,” by creating a beauty salon to help get young women in the beauty industry on their feet.
“This is the power of community,” Harris said. “With her leadership, they will learn the importance of mentorship. This can happen in any industry. What Erica has done has the potential to replicate and be even greater.”
Phillips’ plans for the salon is to help more young girls get their business off the ground in other locations.
Girls who are interested in working at Studio Glam should call 352-363-9030 to schedule an interview.
The beauty salon’s operating hours are Monday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. The salon is closed on Sundays.
“There’s a big difference in maturity and experience in the business,” Phillips said, describing the young women’s growth at Studio Glam. “God is amazing.”