We had the good fortune of connecting with Ashley Shick and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Ashley, we’d love to start by asking you about lessons learned. Is there a lesson you can share with us?
Being a business owner teaches you so many lessons. The biggest one and most meaningful for me was self-assurance. When I went from being an artist behind the salon chair to owning the salon it was a big adjustment. It seemed so overwhelming.
When I decided to open my own salon, I was filled with self-doubt. I kept asking myself who was I to think I can run a business. Who was I to think I could open a business this young? What qualifications do I have? I had so many panic attacks I didn’t think my heart could handle it. I was defiantly going to need Botox early.
After each of these panic attacks you have no choice but to put it in the back of your head, go into work and grind.
Day by day things start to come together and I started to see myself building something and it looked good. I was starting to feel really proud and then feelings of excitement start to outshine the feeling of self-doubt. This sense of confidence started to form, and I knew I could do this, and this dream became reality. I am a business owner and that is why I never felt content working for someone else. It was always in me and it took taking the scary dive off the deep end to bring it out.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
At AshleyAnn Salon, the number one focus is the client. My business is one like no other because when you walk in the salon you are now my best friend, and your hair is my only concern. I am very proud that I have to ability to read people very well and understand their needs and translate it to their hair. I am not a one trick hairstylist. No matter what hair texture you have I can color it. No matter what hair color you want, I can give it to you. Do you want to be a bright blonde? All day you got it! Do you want to be a vibrant redhead? My pleasure! Do you want to be a dimensional, rich brunette? I got you boo!

I’m doing whatever you want while you sip a white claw and tell me about your life! I will always be here for the tea. I am a people pleaser and I have no shame in that game. I have channeled that into my business and my brand. AshleyAnn salon is all about making women (and the occasional man) feel absolutely beautiful inside and out. I adore my clients and look forward to seeing them every day.

I got to where I am today by staying passionate and consistent with my craft. I LOVE hair and I nerd out about it. I love to learn new techniques and stay up to date on the newest trends. That part is easy. Where it gets difficult is to maintaining consistency in marketing and keeping track of inventory and booking.
The best way to overcome these challenges is staying organized and being open minded to new ways to run the business smoothly. Running a business is like creating a well-oiled machine and you have to make sure everything stays in place so the whole thing doesn’t fall apart. As you grow you need to set new things to maintain your growth and allow you to grow further. For example, as I started to get 100s of clients it was getting overwhelming to keep up with them via text. I decided to move them all to online booking and made sure to make it easy and convenient. This made it easier for my clients to book while I was able to focus on other ways to grow. With social media and marketing, I found apps that I could schedule my posts for the week all in one day. That way while I’m doing hair my Instagram is popping!
I’ve learned how to multitask without feeling overwhelmed. You have to look at a problem and solve it not just for the moment but long term. I never thought I would be an organized person, running a business forced me into it.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?

This is so funny that you asked me this because my best friend from DC came into town last month. I took her EVERYWHERE.
Of course, we checked out AshleyAnn salon in Ansley Mall and then we checked out Piedmont Park which is just a mile away. Then we ate at Del Bar in Inman park and walked to Little Spirit.
Then the following day we hung out in my neighborhood West End. I had to take my vegan baby to Slutty Vegan and then we got tattoos at Official Ink Tattoo.
Then we went to The Trap Museum and spent the night exploring the beltline. Of course, we had to brunch at Barcelona in West Midtown. I wish she was here longer I would have taken her to all my favorite food spots. Atlanta has so many great restaurants for a foodie to offer. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
As cliché as this sounds, I have to send a huge shoutout to my family and friends. I could not have done any of this without them. When I was contemplating leaving my salon to open my own it was my mom that asked the question that made me take the plunge. She asked “Do you think you can do it? If so, then do it”. This made me really think about it and I knew I could.
My parents offered me emotional support. My aunt and friend offered me an affordable and safe place to stay so that I could get myself started. My friends also supported the business in other way by acting as models, photographers, and a web designer. It was something that made me feel like I have a village behind me that I am not completely on my own.
I also have to shout out to programs like “Thriver’s Society” created by Britt Seva. This is a program that walks you through being a business owner as a hair stylist.
I also was inspired by podcasts such as “How I Built This” and “The GaryVee Audio Experience”. As motivation and inspiration, the book “Six Figure Hairdresser: The Global Standard” really helped me make goals and they were achievable.

Website: ashleyannshicksalon.com

Instagram: instagram.com/ashleyanndoeshair

Facebook: Facebook.com/ashleyanndoeshair

Yelp: yelp.com/ashleyannsalon

Image Credits
HeatherLynn Gonzalez

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