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Life & Work with Julie Agles

Today we’d like to introduce you to Julie Agles.

Julie, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
When I was a little girl, I always had fun playing with other people’s hair, started with my Mom and babysitters. Then as I got into high school, I was doing all my girlfriend’s hair and make-up before we would go out and hit the town. I grew up in a small town 45 min west of St. Louis, MO. In Wash MO 63090 (Washington Mo). My parents have always been so supportive of my choices and gave me the confidence to do what was in my heart. Also instilled in me a strong work ethic. I went to Saint Francis Borgia High school, where I found out about a competition I could enter at Cosmetology Careers INC. I entered and won 1st place and received a full ride to CCI. So that is where I went after high school. 

After I finished school, I worked for Salon Design 2000, where we did training every Friday night and worked under a senior stylist; I loved this I felt it gave me a jump start into the do’s and don’ts real quick, so much is always needed to learn with on job experience. Thru the years of building my clientele and finding what part of St. Louis I wanted to be in, I landed in Brentwood Mo at Hair By Neno. He was a great mentor who taught me so so much! He was one of a kind for sure!! When that salon had to close, I decided it was time for a place of my own, so with a friend I met at Neno’s salon. Vince and I opened up Belli Capelli in Clayton, Mo. That was a big eye-opener, and I learned a lot with just working it daily about the ins and outs of the business end. After that, I needed a break from the owning a salon role for a bit, so to speak so, I rented a station and continued to work on building my clientele and in that time, I met my amazing husband, Steve. We married moved from Brentwood Mo to Webster Mo soon after and had a son Blaine. Then I got the bug to open up a salon again, so with my Husband help, we opened Meche Salon.

In the beginning, the business plan was I offered stations to rent from salon and me working behind the chair. However, I became overwhelmed with trying to get in everyone that wanted to come into me. It’s a very good problem to have so I decided to hire and train a Stylist to help with my clientele and help build theirs. So my business plan changed at that time to be a hybrid salon. At this point was running out of room and really wanted to find a new space, told myself I really just wanted a cute little house to work at in Brentwood, and one day I was driving down the street that I have drivin down a million times and noticed this darling brick house for sale on Brentwood Blvd… So we moved to our own building. My Husband Steve is so gifted and made yet another beautiful space for me and the Meche crew to be creative. I now have three renters and two stylist as employees a receptionist and myself behind the chair.

So that’s my history on where I started and how I got to my location. The history of my passion of hair and makeup has changed thru the years as well, I have always loved the cutting and coloring of hair. and the products that go along with that and a great style and beautiful makeup, However the ingredients that go into these products can vary. Our skin is the largest organ in our body and absorbs all kinds of chemicals in a daily basis, so my choices of products and color over the years has changed to be organic when it can be sources and as clean as possible and still do an amazing job that the product is intended to do. Also, became obsessed with hair extensions, I am certified in many different kinds and just love learning more and more about them, the hair… Education is very important to me I am always doing classes learning new ways of hair and makeup, products, technique, etc. And I love to help young stylist to mentor them and show them the way, feel its my duty, I had so many great mentors thru out the years and they really made me who I am today so it feels great to give that back. I love to see the new stylist’s talents shine! and to see them make money and stay in the industry. And the clients the most important part of the whole equation!!! I try to make everyone that walks in the door feel comfortable and at home and provide the best salon experience I can offer. I am so very lucky to have the best clients!! I have been seeing some of them well, quite a few of them from the very begining. We have all been thru so much together, and I love them all. I always say you should love what you do. If your going to go to work every day make sure you love it.

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?
I feel my biggest struggle has been the business end. I have had to just figure a lot out on my own. In hinds sight, I wished I would have went to some sort of business school. They didn’t teach too much of that back in my day of hair school. Now I think they do a better job at preparing them. My Dad has always been my go to guy who has helped me with decisions on business side of things. He is a business owner and always has great advice.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
My goal with my employees is to give them the confidence and education they need to become the best stylist they can be and to know their worth. To be able to make this a very lucrative business and stay in the game. To be good listeners to their clients and give the service that is expected. Each stylist ends up specializing in what they are drawn to organically. Personally, I specialize in hair extensions of all kinds, even hair toppers. I love being able to give my clients their hair dreams, the hair they have always dreamed of having. My most proud moment is when I am able to help give a client back their confidence. Not having hair as a women is a big deal. Being able to help them have hair and give them the appearance they desire makes me happy.

I love to educate my clients about the products I use on their hair, I created an online store during the covid shut down; I had to keep busy I always wanted an online store so I took that time to dedicate to doing just that. The stylist that rent from me are like family very grateful to work with them on a daily basis. They are amazing at their craft, so creative and smart. With us all being seasoned, so to speak we bounce ideas off each other and just work great as a team. The Hybrid Business plan is great in that we are able to offer something for everyone, and we all learn from on another.

Can you talk to us a bit about happiness and what makes you happy?
I am happy when… I see the look on my client’s faces when they feel their absolute best, and being able to be a part of that to see other stylists grow and discover what they enjoy spending my downtime with my family.

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