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Inspiring Conversations with Kaylee Parkes of Haven Hair Studio

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kaylee Parkes.

Alright, thank you for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us how you got started?
My story starts a little earlier than most people do. I had the pleasure of attending Harford Technical High School, where I could start my hair styling journey before most people even started thinking about life after high school. After graduation and passing my state board exams, I started a job at a large corporate salon, where I was able to start building a clientele and learn from the other stylists around me. I worked there for about a year until the pandemic, which threw a wrench in my plans- as it did everyone else’s. I was laid off and on unemployment for six months and lost almost all of my clientele, resulting in a scared young woman trying to figure out her next steps.

In July of 2020, I was approached by a team of people opening a My Salon Suite franchise in my area, wondering if I was interested in a tour. To say I was terrified was an understatement, but my parents pushed me to check it out, and I ended up putting a deposit down that day. I went home and freaked out about how this would all work, considering I was starting from ground zero. But through a lot of prayer and support from my family, Haven Hair Studio was born, and I was able to take my first clients in my suite the last weekend in August. The stimulus checks I received during my time off gave me the finances necessary to start a salon business. It provided a kick in the butt that we all needed to do the damn thing. So without the pandemic- while it caused a lot of tragedy- I probably would not be where I am today, and I know many other small business owners that feel the same way.

For the past (almost) two years, I have worked tirelessly to build my business and provide the best experience possible for my guests. I’ve taken countless online and in-person education classes to keep up with the ever-changing beauty industry trends and continue to elevate my business. I’m so grateful for my amazing friends and family that have supported me on my journey thus far, and I can’t wait to see where God takes me next!

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?
It hasn’t always been a smooth road, but I am constantly working to be the best stylist, business owner, friend, and person I can be. While starting a business amid a global pandemic created some challenges, people don’t often discuss the mental tolls of being a business owner. Creating boundaries is difficult, especially if you’re a people pleaser like me. Whether that means boundaries in client or personal relationships, it is a balancing act between business and personal life. Something I once heard about balancing a business was that it’s not like a see-saw. It is like a game of twister. Every area of your life does not hold equal value, and the variables of life are unknown, but that’s okay because balance isn’t about keeping things even; it’s about not falling. It’s about the people you surround yourself with that will keep you from falling. And while I am still trying to find that ideal work-life balance, I can rest in the fact that I am given so much grace in my life that I don’t have to have it all perfectly figured out.

Appreciate you sharing that. What should we know about Haven Hair Studio?
My goal is to provide luxury hair experiences in a space that feels like a haven, where people can come to let their hair down and feel like a million bucks when they leave. I specialize in living in color- including blondes, brunettes, and redheads. I love creating those seamless blends for low-maintenance hair that lasts months on end and is so customizable for every client. I also specialize in luxury extensions, providing clients with a custom experience that fits their needs, goals, and lifestyle. I have taken many extension classes, but most recently, I took a class with Luna and Mauve and am now a Luna Artist. This method of extensions is so different because it doesn’t put tension on the hair, unlike other methods, which can cause breakage and scalp irritation. These extensions lay super flat and are so seamless in the hair, and I am proud to say that so far, I am the only Luna Artist in the Maryland and DC area. I want to be the center for all things lived in color and extensions.

We love surprises, fun facts, and unexpected stories. Is there something you can share that might surprise us?
I would say most people don’t know that I would probably be a teacher if I weren’t a hairstylist. I’ve always loved working with children; whether volunteering with summer camps as a teenager, teaching Sunday school, or nannying- I love it all and I nanny for the sweetest family in some of my spare time and help with the nursery at my church. Something so cool about my industry is that it’s always in need of educators. A goal of mine is to be an educator for other hairstylists on the techniques I’ve acquired over the years and empower other young stylists to find their confidence in their business.

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Image Credits
Rachel Carey

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