We had the good fortune of connecting with Laura Goddard and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Laura, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
The beauty industry in constantly changing, and my personal growth within the industry has always been very important. In 2010 I started my own studio after leaving a booth rental salon. It was important to me to create opportunity for myself and my family. For 10 years prior, I learned so much from different salon owners and stylists. When the time came to go out on my own, I was driven to fulfill my own personal goals and ideas of how I wanted to grow my career and hopefully inspire others along the way. It was important to me to see where the industry was changing and what role I could play in the change. Building a brand is not easy and it’s forever evolving. Sourcing natural and sustainable hair products was important to me and for my clients. Educating myself and clients on why I chose this path is very important to me. There are so many lines to choose from, but health and wellness was in the forefront of my mind when making these choices. I eased my way into ownership, by building my brand alone for six years and learning from my successes and failures. In 2016 I relocated and expanded the salon into the community where I live, Grant Park. This is when the growth really became “real”. Finding the #dreamteam wasn’t easy, but I wanted to provide a space for others with the same goals and ideas with a passion for doing hair and building relationships along the way. Adding value is always important, especially when something good is on the other side. Working with brands who care about the environment is really valuable. Salons produce a lot of waste, so becoming a Green Circle Salon was an important addition to the brand. Building relationships within the neighborhood in and out of the salon, has helped the salon grow organically. The thought process is never ending.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
We are firm believers in sustainable haircare and using natural & organically inspired haircare products. We are passionate about changing the beauty industry for the better and inspiring clients to use only the best possible ingredients to enhance their haircut and prolong color. We want our clients look their best, but care about how they got there and enjoy the process and journey along the way. We want to connect with people along the way, by creating relationships and providing a relaxing environment to relax and be yourself. As educators in the industry, we are always learning more and using that information to educate our clients. Sustainability is also our mission. As a certified member of Green Circle Salons, we are able to cut down on waste in the salon and divert 95% out of our landfills and waterways through a comprehensive recycling program. We even recycle PPE. We love that every time you visit the salon, you are making an impact on our environment. Every little bit counts if we all play a part and we love that our clients have the same goals in mind. As an owner I get to dictate the business flow and stylists I choose to work with me. Time, I think is necessary to build relationships with clients. I have been able to create the space I work in according to my creativity and constant reinvesting in it, myself and the stylists. The challenges of having business have always come, but they have created better opportunities along the way. Building a business from the ground up has taken a lot of time and learning. Knowing what I envisioned for myself has been the true motivation. It has taken a lot of focus, and with each change there is stress, but also reward. I won’t even go into the challenges of working through COVID, but we have made it work safely for ourselves and clients. Along this journey the personal connections and clients that believe in me have allowed me to take risks and move forward. It’s definitely a people driven industry and even when you feel like you are doing by/for yourself, it’s really the people around you pushing you up. That’s why working in my neighborhood is so gratifying. I want people to know that the journey has helped me grow has a person, as a stylist and as an educator. The journey never ends, it just keeps getting better. I am thankful for everyone who has had a part along the way.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I may be a bit biased, but I believe I am working and living in one of the best neighborhoods in the city of Atlanta. I have watched Grant Park & Summerhill grow over the years and can’t wait for more to come. Even though we are in COVID times, there are still plenty of hot spots to visit in the neighborhood. I love taking walks through the neighborhood and Grant Park and take in the nature all around and saying hello to neighbors and friends. We could visit the zoo or walk through Oakland Cemetery to learn some history of Atlanta. My favorite restaurants around are Mediterranea, Talat Market, & Patria Cocina (best margaritas!) Big Softie is my new go-to for ice cream! And we aren’t lacking on the breweries. Eventide is my fave! Community is where it’s at.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I will always first dedicate my success to the love and encouragement of my family and friends. One of the most rewarding support systems I have had, has been through all of the kickass women-owned business leaders who have supported me on this path. It helps to know you’re not alone. The #dreamteam was born when I met Amy Jagade. She is an amazing stylist, educator, mentor and friend. Having owned her own salon for 5 years, prior to joining LGStyle, she has taught me more about the business and helped me grow as a stylist, leader and person. She has a passion for the industry and it shows. You can find her working along side of me at the salon.
@heidiface Heidi Harris