A Convo with Bay Area Curl Consultant Kia Fay
The space was welcoming and warm. It was the perfect combination of creativity and do-it-yourself style. Entering into it had me thinking maybe even I was creative and artsy.
No really, there are actual modge podge rocks that have amazing and inspiring slogans on them. Stylist Kia Fay asked me if I wanted a cool drink, and what would I like to listen to? I was immediately at ease. Like, “I may want to take my shoes off and stay a while,” at ease. So I asked:
When did you know that there was nothing else that you wanted to do?
Kia: You know I worked in various corporate environments for over 10 years and I never truly connected with the work that I was doing. It seemed like no matter what my project was, I didn’t really have ownership. I could never take it to completion with a bow and say that I did it.
Kia: I have always loved doing hair. I didn’t consider it as a career for a host of reasons. But there were a lot of pressures that I felt in the office. Obligations to wear my hair a certain way, to look a certain way, or dress a certain way. I don’t know if there was a defining moment, but my husband who was a hair stylist before he became a teacher asked me did I consider this for a living? I realized then that I had not. I also realized that no one had ever asked me that. When I started to do the work and really consider it, I realized there was no “go-to” person for curly hair servicing the South Bay.
Did you find that to be part of your own struggle?
Kia: I did! I could not, as a young professional, find a hairstylist. It is a complaint that I found often from my clients as well. People would recoil at my clients' curly hair. So the fact that I love it, coupled with concierge level service, it’s something that they have never seen before.
What does being here at Sola do for you and mean to you? What does it say?
Kia: This says, Ultimate Freedom and Creativity. The fact that it can look the way I need it to look and be set up the way I need it to be. Also, I choose the way I spend my time here however I want. When I want to spend time educating a client, that’s fine. When I want to service a whole family for a full day, that is fine too. The possibilities are endless and there are opportunities opening up that I have never even considered.
What are your initial questions and comments to a person when they come in ? What do you need to know about them to take it to the next level?
Kia: My first question is always, “How are you feeling about your hair right now?” because I can give a great cut or color, but if you are not onboard mentally… (Shoulder shrug) The answer to that question leads me in a number of different directions. Depending on what they say is how we start. But when you leave my salon, you get education, you get a breakdown of what we have done and you can do it at home.
And is that really something that is your mission?
Kia: Yes! With my help and direction I want my clients to feel as beautiful at home as they felt at the salon. I have had those experiences that have been wonderful in the salon but I left thinking I would never be able to re-create it. My goal is for my clients to say, “Not only does my hair look great, but I have the tools to do this as at home. Maybe later come back to Kia and modify my shape or add some color.”
Favorite Quote from Kia: With each progressing session that we have, I want to empower my clients to love their hair, as much as I love their hair.
KG: What would you say keeps you moving forward ? After the discovery, after the day to day, what keeps you motivated and going ?
Kia: Every different curl on every head of hair. The amazing thing about hairdressing is that heads of hair are like fingerprints and I’m never going to see the same one twice. Being behind the chair it is impossible for me to get bored. And here at Sola, I get to direct what I would like to take on.
Last question! What are some words of wisdom for someone considering Salon Ownership through Sola Salon Studios? What would be your tidbits of advice?
Kia: Many people in this format have a LOT of experience. My colleague that I share this space with has been working for 20 years. I really did take a leap when I started this. I would say to somebody who is considering it, “Do your research” and from everything that I have found, it is a win-win situation. When I made this investment — and that’s what it is, an investment — I knew it would have an incredible return.
I left Kia tidying her space and preparing for a whole family who was coming in later that day. I knew they would also leave feeling empowered with the tools to style their hair, educated with the proper way to care for it, and HAPPY because Ms. Kia showed it the love it deserved.
If you are thinking about opening own salon and want more info about Sola, visit www.solasalons.com.