Today we’d like to introduce you to Stephanie Desoto.
Stephanie, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
12 years ago when I went to beauty school I knew that owning my own salon was a goal that I wanted to achieve. I just wasn’t sure how or when and for a while there it was looking pretty bleak. My husband and I were newly married and we just had our daughter Penelope. We were broke and struggling. With a lot of help from our family, I was able to go to work and start building my clientele but when my son Sebastian came along 4 years later, I made the decision to be home more and reduce my hours in the salon to part time. This really caused my clientele to shrink to where there were some months where I would only work 4 days total. Doing hair was quickly becoming a hobby. When both kids were finally in school full time, I found myself with the decision of either going back to school for a career with a guaranteed paycheck or really going for it as a hairstylist. I had gotten pretty good at hair painting and balayage when it was first becoming popular and with the help of a very persistent friend, we created an instagram account so I could start posting pictures of my work. The idea of having a social media account to post hair pics was something that I was not looking forward to. I am not tech savvy at all. But, begrudgingly, I created @stephanie_desoto_hair and as they say, the rest was history. I was able to go from having just a handful of clients who had been with me forever and whom I love, to being booked out months in advance in the span of just one year. While it took a lot of work on my part, I quickly realized throughout this journey that none of this could be possible without the help of others and the absolute importance and necessity of community. People who believed in me before I ever did. This has become my mantra.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I definitely encountered obstacles a long the way, but for the most part its been a beautiful positive experience. For every one person who was negative there were 100 who lifted me up. I had so many people tell me that from the first time they’d met me they knew I had it in me. Again, people believing in me before I ever did. I continue to be blown away by this community. And for those who were negative, I know that it has nothing to do with me; but everything to do with them. All I can do is show them empathy and kindness.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Tupelo Honey Salon story. Tell us more about the business.
We are a small boutique salon in the beautiful city of Ventura. The salon itself has a beachy retro vibe. The building was an old Ventura home so it definitely has that homey feel which is what I strive for. We diffuse oils throughout the day and we have folky music playing softly in the background. It’s bright and clean and comfortable. A safe place for all who enter. I am extremely passionate about minimizing our carbon footprint and being as eco friendly as possible so we only retail companies that share in those same beliefs. We also are big on recycling and being aware of our waste. Its hard to be completely green, because hair salons generally produce a lot of waste, but we really try to be as mindful as possible. Our next door neighbor is an eco friendly, ocean friendly cafe and the owner really helps us in our efforts. When I was working on the mission statement for Tupelo Honey, I knew that on top of environmental awareness I also wanted to include the importance of community and supporting local businesses. We have pieces from local vendors throughout the salon and we retail a few items from local businesses. Serendipitously, all of these businesses happen to be female owned.
Ive created a space that I hope makes all who enter feel comfortable and at home. Our mission is love. Our culture is built on being grateful and mindful. Our focus is on natural, sun kissed colors and sustainable hair care.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I believe that everything happens for a reason and at the time its supposed to. The universe definitely had to align for me to be able to open Tupelo Honey. If I had tried to open a few years ago, I wouldn’t have been able to. It was cosmic fate, for sure.
- Address: 1987 E Main St. Suite A
- Website: www.tupelohoneysalon.com
- Phone: 8056283075
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: tupelo.honey.salon
- Yelp: Tupelo Honey Salon