We had the good fortune of connecting with Johnnie “Juicy” Long and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Johnnie “Juicy”, what role has risk played in your life or career?
If it makes sense for your business JUST DO IT!!! Calculated risks have always been my greatest leverage when it comes to my growth in business. My business flourished when I left working in a traditional salon, and opened a suite of my own.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I’ve come to realize that on my journey, the only person who made it hard was me. I stood in my own way a lot of times, and when I was just getting into business I was scared of the unknown. I started asking myself, ” but how will you know? If it makes sense, don’t worry about the what if… focus on the why not. ” I fell in love at an early age with hair. Friends would stay the night, and they all would get their hair done by me before they went home. It would actually be apart of the plan before they even came over (lol) After I graduated high school, I decided to venture off and go to college instead of continuing with my gift. That was my biggest life lesson. I went in this big circle wanting to please every one but myself. Fast forward, due to my lack of interest in college, I allowed my loans to default. Annoyed with the antics of working 9-5, I buckled down and paid my student loans off. I ended up going to school getting my Master in Cosmetology and working in a traditional salon for a few years. Yes, the salon was a nice step, but I wasn’t exactly happy just yet, I still didn’t feel as if I was totally in my element of where I wanted to be. I added on to my brand by starting a natural hair and skin care line. But that still wasn’t enough, I still felt as if I was working for some one and I felt like I was still in a box. In 2020, I decided to leave the salon and open up my own salon suite. One thing I can say is that the pandemic made you either sink or swim when it came to my profession. I chose to dive right in, I felt it was my perfect moment to stand on my square and upright as a business owner that I have always known that I am destined to be. My product sales have almost tripled, my clientele has doubled, and I feel free. That’s what taking calculated risks is all about in business. You have to stick with the “why not?” And trust that you will make it happen.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
You can catch me anywhere from lunch at Minero in Ponce City Market, Grindhouse Killer Burgers on Piedmont, to Dugans on a Wednesday night for a quick drink or Seasons 52 for some of the best lamb chops I’ve had ever in life. I work hard and take a moment to enjoy life. So it’s so many things or places I would go and do. When I’m not taking a mental break, I’m very social. If friends came to town, we would most definitely go to one of my favorite lounges called Blue Lagoon on Cheshire Bridge, we would go get massages from my girl Candace at Essential Touch Massage, hit up a few of not all of the food spots I just mentioned, and definitely enjoy some night life. Or we would be the party and invite everyone over, you never know. (Lol)
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I salute my ancestors for empowering me and placing everyone in my path that has assisted me on my journey. I thank Olori Orisayomi and Kabiyesi Oosalase for being the best teachers and spiritual advisors that a girl like me could dream of. I thank my family for being my greatest support and being there whenever I need assistance with my daughter. Most of all I thank myself, for trusting me and pushing through it all.