Today we’d like to introduce you to Anna Woodside-Jones.
Hi Anna, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
After trying out a few months in college- I realized college was not for me. I’ve always wanted to be a hairstylist, however, I had to beg my parents to allow me to attend beauty school. My dad gave me 3 months to pick a different career but I was still so passionate about a career in the beauty industry. At 18 I enrolled myself in cosmetology school. I graduated at 19 and started at a busy Collinsville IL salon called the Sizzor Shak. I started to build my clientele through two young pregnancies and many days sitting in the back room making little to no money because it was based on commission.
My boss was very patient with me and my many mistakes- you gotta make mistakes to learn, right? With patience and perseverance (and the need to feed my two boys), 6 years later I built a great clientele and was able to go off on my own at a different salon in Collinsville called Lox Salon where I was rental. My clientele and talent only grew and I loved managing my own career! I was able to mix and match my favorite product lines to cater exactly to my client’s needs. My services became even broader as the years went on. I would go from a subtle balayage color to a crazy colored fantasy color, to a children’s cut, to a men’s cut, to a bridal party doing updos and makeup, to eventually offering extensions.
Extensions are one of my new passions. I created a self-taught method that is amazing and leaves my clients very pleased! Eventually, I moved to Avalon Hair Studio in Troy, IL, and my business continues to flourish and grow. I get to cater my schedule to work with my husband and my children’s needs, make new friends every day, establish client relationships that become personal, and create art that brings happiness to others. I am so blessed to do what I love and I wouldn’t change it for the world!
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
My first 5 years building my clientele were very stressful. At 22, I became pregnant with my first son, Deacon and I wasn’t making much money. Soon after I gave birth to him, I became pregnant with my 2nd son, Dannen. I had two young boys on a salary of around 25k a year and that’s all we lived on. The pressure was there to get better and grow as a stylist and gain a clientele. I made many mistakes. It was a challenge for me to tell the customer “no” if I felt it wasn’t achievable. I would always tell them “yes” and sometimes they would leave disappointed. I learned it was better to educate the client on what was realistic and discuss options, that way the client and I were on the same page.
Thanks – so what else should our readers know about Avalon Hair Studio?
I started my own personal shop in March of 2020. I have a very private setting and was able to cater to my client’s needs during covid. I pride myself on catering to my client’s needs and trying to give them the best experience and service all in one. I think one of the things that have helped me build my business is my genuine care for the people I have in my chair. We laugh together and cry together. I’m able to bring them confidence in their appearance while encouraging them in their life struggles or victories. Another thing I pride myself in is my extension method.
I have a large clientele who love the installations and color matching that I offer as well as the quality of the hair itself. My clients typically go 2-3 months before needing their extensions moved up which is an achievement for me after a lot of years of practice.
Are there any apps, books, podcasts, blogs, or other resources you think our readers should check out?
I am huge into learning tips and tricks on social media, YouTube, and online classes. I am not a reader by any means! I also have a large group of friends in the industry. We bounce ideas off of each other and provide feedback as well as help each other to stay trendy on new methods and products.
- Instagram: @cosmomtologist1