Today we’d like to introduce you to Tina Ong.
Tina, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
My name is Tina, I am a hair stylist and colorist and the owner and founder of Ave 65 Salon in the San Gabriel Valley. I studied my profession and graduated from Paul Mitchell The School and this year marks my second official year in the hair profession.
Before attending Paul Mitchell The School, I wondered often about what career path I would take in the future. I was not interested in businesses that were too formal or anything in an office setting. When I was in my twenties, I loved getting my hair done so much that I tried all sorts of hair colors and styles; I went from bleached blonde to hot pink and all colors of the spectrum in between! Before long, I started doing my own hair and it suddenly dawned on me: I want to do hair not just for myself but for others as well!
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
When I first started school, I was working full-time to support myself and pay for tuition and living in general. Many times during what people call “the hustle”, I wanted to give up or take a break from school due to the challenges of being on my own. Whenever I think of the darker times, I remember the friends and family that supported me and kept me focused on my goals; I wanted to overcome these obstacles to inspire those who share my struggles or have struggles of their own.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Ave 65 Salon – what should we know?
Prior to opening my own salon, I was renting a station in Arcadia; I just started in the business and was still trying to find my roots within the community. I found that renting a station at someone else’s salon had its limitations and I wanted my clients to experience my services in a particular way.
Working from a station in someone else’s salon did not feel like “home” due to the fact that I couldn’t set the tone through my own entertainment whether it be choosing the background music or the shows or movies streaming on the television screen. After much thought and consideration, I was determined to open my own salon; I took out a loan and started scouting for a location.
Ave 65 Salon was officially open in January 2018. People ask me why I named my salon “Ave 65” and it is one of my favorite stories to tell. My family came to Los Angeles in the 1980’s and our first home was on Ave 65. When my family emigrated from Vietnam, we started our new lives in California with nothing but each other. Ave 65 is a reminder that no matter what we have or what we lack, as long as we have the courage and passion to dream, we could make these dreams a reality.
The reality that I achieved with the love and support of my family along with this determination to dream, is this salon that I get to call my own. From here, I get to share my story, I get to help others in experimenting with their identity and confidence, I get to meet all kinds of people and hear their stories, I am grateful for and love what I do every day.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
My family and friends have been my biggest supporters but I also have to thank my clients, many of which have become friends, for giving me the opportunity to work with them and also for the referrals and continuous support.
In a competitive business like the beauty industry, a little bit of trust from one client can lead to the success that I have found with my team at Ave 65, another group of incredible people that I share this experience with.
- Address: 1116 S San Gabriel Blvd San Gabriel, CA 91776
- Website: https://www.instagram.com/ave65salon/
- Phone: (626) 656-6560
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ave65salon/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ave65salon/
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/ave-65-salon-san-gabriel-3?osq=ave+65
@reskent CK Ong