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Conversations with the Inspiring Kristin Wallace

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kristin Wallace.

Kristin, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I grew up a small town girl from South Beloit, Illinois. In high school, I had a job at the local salon as a receptionist, and it sparked my interest in the hair and beauty industry. After high school, I moved to Madison, Wisconsin for cosmetology school. After graduating, I realized Madison wasn’t the big city feel I was looking for so I picked up and moved to Chicago. I had the opportunity to work as an assistant for three years observing all aspects of the salon industry. From the business side to customer service and even the small details. I then began to build my own clientele book over the next few years while working under someone else’s roof. I knew there was something missing and decided to pursue my dream and create my own vision.

In the Spring of 2007, I opened Salon O Sixty-Five in the heart of the Gold Coast @ 65 East Oak St. Over the years, the business grew and lasting relationships were made. The goal was to build an environment for talented artists to thrive while providing superior customer service to our clientele. In the Summer of 2015, I received at the time what I thought was devastating news. The building I had built our business in on Oak Street for the last nine years was purchased by a New York real estate investment group with plans to be knocked down. I quickly gathered my thoughts, regrouped and utilized this moment of extreme change to once again create opportunity and build the salon of my dreams. I searched for a location for several months, looking at demographics, foot traffic, accessibility, etc… and soon landed at our new home located at 3 East Huron St. After four months of construction, my vision of Salon O Sixty-Five reinvented had become a reality.

Along the course of these career-building years, I met my husband in 2007, married in July 2012, and we welcomed our first child in September 2013. In 2012, my parents had relocated to Scottsdale, Arizona. We began visiting for holidays and winter vacations and over time began to see the need for a second salon location. In December of 2016, I officially opened Salon O Sixty-Five Scottsdale, located in the heart of Old Town (while pregnant with our second child). In June of 2017, our son was born and we soon made the decision to move out West and split our time between Chicago and Scottsdale. With a five-year-old little girl and 1yr old son, and my husband in the corporate world, I will be the first to admit, traveling back and forth is not always the easiest task. I would never be able to do this without an amazing support system. My family, friends, and amazing husband provide me the opportunity to live my dream.

But most of all, I would not be able to sustain this pace without the commitment and dedication of my clients and staff. That is what makes it all worth it. The greatest joy is seeing the smile on a client’s face knowing they are happy and confident leaving our chairs. Looking forward to the next ten years and remember “your number one accessory… is your hair.”

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Absolutely, obstacles and struggles are a part of the journey. Anything worth having doesn’t come easy. My advice to young women just getting started is never stop believing in yourself. Stay confident, and follow your passion. There will always be haters or those that prefer to see you fail, its a caddy industry. In the end, just believe in yourself, surround yourself with positive people and never lose faith.

What should we know about Salon O Sixty-Five? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Beyond being a salon owner, I’m a hair stylist at heart. I specialize in complete transformations including extensions, color correction, and Deva cuts (curly cut). My goal with every client is to listen intently to their needs and provide them with the best possible look that suits them. Every client is unique and I take my time to ensure they are 100% happy when they leave my chair. Customer service is at the forefront of everything we do. Communication doesn’t stop once they leave the chair. From booking appointments to accommodating schedules, to answer questions or concerns, I’m always available… and sometimes a little too much. 😉

Do you have any advice for finding a mentor or networking in general? What has worked well for you?
Always staying on top of your game. Our industry is forever changing and no one will provide you with all of this info. I pride myself as being one of the first in Chicago to provide many of the services I offer and brands I carry. Do your research. When traveling, I always go and visit the top local salons. If there is no time to receive a service, at least pick up a menu to see what they offer.

Contact Info:

  • Address: 3 East Huron Chicago, IL 60611
    4260 N. Drinkwater Scottsdale, AZ 85251
  • Website: www.Salono65.com
  • Phone: 312-943-4555
  • Email: kristin@salono65.com
  • Instagram: @hairby.kristin @salono65
  • Facebook: www.facebook.com/salonosixtyfive
  • Twitter: @salonosixtyfive

Image Credit:
Deanna DelaRosa @socially.beautiful

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