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Conversations with Courtney Graham and Yana Newman

Today we’d like to introduce you to Courtney Graham and Yana Newman. Them and their team share their story with us below:

Courtney Graham and Yana Newman have been in the hair industry for over 15 years. They both specialize in color and that’s how they really built their large clientele. About 2 years ago they decided to make the jump and open up their own hair Studio. They were hoping things would start off smoothly, but that was far from the case. Building and stocking their studio had a few hiccups, and about 3 weeks post opening they discovered their previous salon had decided to threaten a lawsuit over a non-compete. Fast forward 2 years later, nothing ever came of it thanks to their brilliant lawyer. They now have a very successful business, booking 8-12 weeks out and have lots of new clients consistently reaching out in hopes to get in. 

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
The first year we battled our previous salon through lawyers over a non-compete. 

We also juggled 10 accountants our first year because we signed a 1-year contract with a horrible company. 

Let’s not forget we conquered the pandemic! We were given a day and a half notice we had to close our doors. As recently self-employed people we did not qualify for unemployment so we had to be resilient. We continued to make color touch-up kits for our clients and we would drop them off contactless. We sold our products and delivered those as well. We were closed for 64 days and we were then given a day and a half notice we could re-open. Luckily laws were passed and eventually, we were able to collect a few weeks unemployment and we were then granted with the PPP loan and that really saved us. We hit the floor running the day we opened and haven’t slowed down yet. 

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
Courtney is a long-time color specialist. She is fluent in balayage and lived in color. Foilayage, teasylights you name it, she does it. She also dabbles with vivid colors as those are extremely popular these days. 

Yana is also a fantastic colorist and is very experienced in vivid colors. She is Brazilian Blowout certified and has recently been certified in Invisible Beaded Extensions as well, she does it all! 

We’d love to hear about how you think about risk-taking?
Opening our studio is absolutely the biggest risk we have ever taken. We quit our company of 10+ years to start over. It was absolutely terrifying but we told ourselves “There is no plan B”, so it had to work. It was absolutely terrifying but we did it and we have zero regrets. 

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Sydnie Couch
Deer creek media

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