I didn't grow up playing with my mom's makeup. I never paid much attention to my hair in high school. I had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up. I was drawn to art based, creative outlets -- culinary, photography, writing -- but none of them were truly satisfying. It finally occurred to me that I was working with the wrong medium. I needed people and a chance to relish the thing I'd misplaced for years: Confidence.
The opportunity to open a salon fell into my lap… aggressively. I simply could not turn it down. I knew there was an unaddressed demand for more than just a salon, more than just a place to get your makeup done, but a place of passion and talent, and above all; warmth. People needed a place to cultivate their confidence. A salon that's good for the soul, to encourage inner beauty and a sense of self worth that the world seems to undermine. I knew (without really knowing) that I could fulfill that need. So I took the proverbial leap of faith and decided to figure it out on the way down. It’s a beautiful thing when career and passion coalesce. Even more so when you're blissfully unaware until you wake up one day completely in love with what you do, and who you've become because of it.
Owning and running this company has taught me more than I had ever thought possible. I've learned from and worked with some of the top names in the industry: From David Tutera, Dina Ousley, and John Paul DeJoria, just to name a few. I've even been fortunate enough to have my work featured in Vogue, the Louve, and on a billboard in Times Square. These are perks to an already fantastic dream come true. These ultimate lessons in confidence, however, originate from my clients. Initially, I intended to help people discover their beauty, to use hair and makeup as tools to handcraft confidence... but in doing so, every client I've had the privilege to know has become a part of me and has repaid their experience tremendously. I would not be who I am today without those who continued to support me, my company, and my passion.
First and foremost, we need to say thank you for all the love and support from our community and network. We certainly could not have made it to where we are now... Which is a pretty rad place to be. In the last 9 years, we’ve had ups and downs, a boatload of changes, and lots of lessons learned *but* have finally figured out where to go next in this journey.
The thing about being an entrepreneur is that you have this unstoppable urge to always do the next thing - be better, learn more, grow beyond your wildest dreams - but because you see such potential in this thing that you’ve created, you forget that you can’t rush greatness.
Nine years have come and gone in the blink of an eye, and I value every second of it. With our amazing team in Virginia Beach, our satellite teams in Rhode Island and Florida - we needed a bigger central hub to maintain all the growth.
2019 was a wild ride, and it has probably been my biggest challenge... which produced the biggest reward. Welcome to the new and improved Darling and Dapper Studio!