Today we’d like to introduce you to Ash Nicole.
Ash, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
As a child, I was always determined to generate my own income in order to pay for things that weren’t in the household budget. I was tremendously shy growing up and my family moved around alot; through hair braiding, I found I was able to express myself creatively while also making friends and earning a few bucks. In the 8th grade I printed flyers and passed them out at school to my friends, teachers and even around my neighborhood in order to promote my services. If I was lucky I would make about $40 per weekend, which was more than enough for a fourteen-year-old in 2003. Once I reached high school, I began to take my budding career as a braider seriously. While most teens were hanging out on the weekends, I was braiding hair in a salon amongst seasoned stylists who taught me a great deal about the ups and downs of the hair industry. While I was certain that my passion was to braid, I didn’t possess the confidence to style full-time so I pursued a career in marketing and limited hair braiding to the weekends.
At age 24, I finally gained the courage and saved enough capital to leave my advertising gig and start a full-time career in the beauty industry as I opened my first salon, “City Girl” in Georgia. Less than a year, and a bad business deal later, the salon was closed and my spirit was crushed. I stopped braiding and returned to marketing, becoming a social media manager for various businesses local to Atlanta.
Set to expand my career in digital marketing & creative writing, I moved to Los Angeles in 2016 with only $1200 and a dream (like most of us do). I decided to advertise myself as a braider again to earn extra income until I could secure a steady job. Within one week of my arrival I secured three clients, including a talented actress who shared my information with her network and took my career to the next level.
Before I knew it I had built an established clientele in Los Angeles, ranging from teachers and nurses to top influencers & recording artists. Similar to my childhood I was able to use my craft to connect with people and provide for myself while making women feel beautiful.
In 2017, I opened my salon suite in Tarzana, Ca where I create braided styles for the most inspirational men and women from all walks of life. Through determination, consistency, and creativity I’ve been able to reach unimaginable heights, and become reacquainted with my passion & purpose.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The road hasn’t been smooth. I think the toughest part being the physical distance away from my close-knit family, especially my three nephews and niece. My four sisters and my mother are my support system; their constant encouragement and examples of leadership, accomplishment & grace push me forward. Though we are many miles away, technology has assisted in easing my homesickness as we chat and Facetime quite often. I find comfort in sharing my love for the city of Los Angeles with my family & friends back home and encourage them to visit often.
In addition to being away from my loved ones, standing for long hours to complete certain hairstyles can be quite physically demanding. There have been times where I’ve had issues with my wrists and other joints due to overworking.
Hair By Ash Nicole – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Hair By Ash Nicole is just that– braided hairstyles by me, Ash Nicole.
I pour passion into my work every single day, creating protective styles for a wide array of women & men. Since moving to LA I’ve gained the confidence to experiment with different hair types, textures, colors, and styles (most notably my Signature Soft Twists that have been featured in a national commercial as well as prime time television). I take pride in the fact that my clients trust me with the way they are presented to the world; it’s a huge responsibility that shouldn’t be taken lightly. I’m proud that I have been able to find stability in the beauty industry which in turn provides a safe, comfortable environment to service my clientele.
I’m also proud to intertwine my writing and marketing skills by creating the animated mini web series, “Edge Control”. Through this project, I am able to express myself and connect with the beauty community who have shared experiences similar to my own.
I don’t see other braiders as competition, I’m inspired by them. I know what it takes to become successful in this industry and I respect anyone who has had the drive to persevere. I am a spiritual woman and I have faith that whatever is meant for me will not pass me.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Personally, success is peace.
It sounds super cliche’ & cheesy but as I grow as a woman and a business owner I feel the most accomplished when all areas of my life are at peace; it’s luxury that many don’t experience in a lifetime.
On a larger scale, success means legacy. As Black woman, for me, it is important to build a foundation that my descendants can benefit from in the distant future
Phenix Salon Suites
5444 Yolanda Ave
Tarzana, CA 91356
- Website: www.hairbyashnicole.com
- Phone: 3236139116
- Email: Contact@hairbyashnicole.com
- Instagram: @hairbyashnicole
- Other: ASHNICOLE LLC